GRAY MONK BEGINNINGS
The roots of Gray Monk Estate Winery began in the family. For generations, the Heiss family worked together to make their dreams of owning a vineyard into reality. Today, their slogan is “Generations of Commitment”, recognizing the years of working together as a family to see their dreams come true.
The winery's name, Gray Monk, is the English translation of the Austrian name for Pinot Gris. The winery is appropriately named as George & Trudy sourced 50 plants of Pinot Gris from a nursery in Colmar, Alsace in 1976. These 50 vines are recognized as the first plantings of Pinot Gris in Canada.
With the 1990 vintage, Gray Monk upgraded their label and eventually bottle package to a fresh, clean, international style, and at the same time introduced a premium proprietor's cuvee, appropriately named “Latitude 50” - all of which led to their becoming the best selling B.C. VQA winery.
One of the original five estate wineries that pioneered the BC Wine Industry, the Heiss family now owns and farms 75 acres strategically planted throughout the Okanagan Valley.
The Heiss family is proud to remain as British Columbia's oldest family owned and operated winery. The founders, George and Trudy, recently celebrated three monumental milestones: 34 years of winemaking, 44 years of grape growing and 54 years of marriage.
A true family operation, youngest son, Steven oversees Sales and Logistics; middle son and winemaker, George Jr. continues to work with winemaker Roger Wong, and the rest of the cellar team to capture the flavors of each vintage and eldest son Robert manages the daily operations of the winery.
Perched above Okanagan Lake with stunning panoramic views of mountains, vineyards and the lake, Gray Monk Estate Winery offers guests a true taste, or sip, of the Okanagan lifestyle. With a bustling wine boutique, a full service banquet facility and a world-class restaurant, the winery is equipped to host guests for all occasions.
From their cherished vineyard near Latitude 50 – a trail blazing family winery has led the way, helping to shape the "BC Wine World" enjoyed today.