A former Edmonton teacher turned grape grower, Vern Rose, established the House of Rose Winery in 1993.
Two decades later, Vern turned 75 and could no longer run the business he started as a retiree. He passed the estate on to his daughter, Aura Rose, and her husband, Wouter van der Hall. Vern passed away a year and a half ago at the age of 91.
“His dream was that someone in the family would take over the winery,” Rose said. “He had a very good life.”
Now, the couple operate a unique, organic and sustainable, intimate and entertaining winery atop the Rutland highlands.
Their music nights, which have grown from 20 people six years ago to over 120 people, feature local musicians that otherwise may struggle to find somewhere to play.
“Our summer music series started more from a desire to listen to live music,” Rose said. “We’re so busy in the summer that we never get off the property.”
On Aug. 8, at 6:30 p.m., Kinga Heming, Loni Moger and Bernie Addington will play their rendition of famous jazz compositions from various artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
Only three days later is Diva Day. On Aug. 11, customers will be drinking and eating in the name of “women having a fabulous day,” in support of the NOW Society, from 1 to 5 p.m.
This winery doesn’t discriminate: 10 Gallon Cats will perform on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m., showing the crowd what 160 years of collective live experience looks and sounds like.
To end off the summer on Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m., the Blue City Trio will harmonize classical tunes.
All concerts are weather permitting and guests can bring their own food and picnic set up, or purchase food from the onsite food trucks.
“We want to make it accessible and affordable for everyone,” Rose said.
The House of Rose Winery often partners with local charities for events. In June, the House of Rose Winery, in support of the BC SPCA, hosted a costumed dog race through the vineyards to mark National Hot Dog Day.
Similarly, July’s Harry Paw-ter Day had guests bringing their dog to the winery, dressing them up as a Harry Potter characters in celebration of International Harry Potter Day and to mark the final Dog Day of Summer.
These events were the brain children of UBC Okanagan co-op student Nikhita Dhanday, who Rose said, brought great personality and character to the winery.
On Sept. 15, Earth to Table will bring local vendors together for their Vegan Market. Admission is free, but they will accept donations for a local charity that has yet to be decided.
“Another part of our inspiration is always community,” Rose said. “We believe that the community needs to look after one another.”
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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