Painted Rock Estate Winery

December 1, 2011 


Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd.
400 Smythe Drive, Penticton, BC V2A 8W6
Telephone: Winery 250-493-6809 | Sales 604-765-4538
Web: | Facebook | Winery Twitter | Proprietor John Skinner Twitter



John and Patricia Skinner, Proprietors

The son of a Canadian Forces fighter pilot, John was born in 1958 on a Manitoba military base. “I moved 20 times by the time I was 20,” he says. He was working his way through college with a job in a lumber mill when he noted that a friend who had become a stock broker was much more prosperous. So he left university and embarked on a career in the brokerage industry.

John was a stockbroker in Vancouver for more than 25 years, during which time he became an avid wine enthusiast. John and his wife Trish dreamed of having their own vineyard after spending time exploring wineries in the South of France with their family.

In 2004, recognizing that the quality of wines in this region was improving dramatically and driven by both his passion for wine and his desire to create a legacy business for his family, he purchased the land in south Penticton known locally as “The Blackhawk.”

Perched high on a bench on the east side of Skaha Lake south of Penticton, backing up against the famed climbing bluffs. Once an apricot farm, it had been fallow for 17 years. He planted in 2005 and 2006 and now has roughly 25 acres under vine, all of it Bordeaux reds or Syrah except for a block of Chardonnay. On the advice of consultants, he has planted multiple clones of every variety, giving his winemaker good blending options.

John was confident that this terroir and its site influences presented “a unique opportunity to create exceptional wines” and that he had “both the opportunity and the obligation to do this property justice.”

John and Trish’s vision was and remains to grow exceptional grapes in their estate vineyard to produce ultra-premium wines that reflect the perfect marriage of new world fruit and old world processes, employing the best modern technologies and expertise, while respecting old world traditions.

Most satisfying of all is that the whole family is involved. Trish handles the entire back office of this fast growing enterprise; daughter Lauren just received her MBA in Bordeaux with a focus on luxury brand management, food, and wine; and son Riley just spent the summer working for the winery in Vancouver while finishing his degree at UVIC.

Alain Sutre, Bordeaux Consultant | BIO
Barry Green, Vineyard Manager | BIO
Gabe Reis, Cellar Master | BIO


Painted Rock offers exceptional wines for a world audience. Envisioned as a family-run estate winery, Painted Rock draws its inspiration from proprietor’s John and Trish Skinner. The Skinner’s philosophy is rooted in the simple idea that wine should be made for friends and family to enjoy. With a dedication to quality and a respect for the terroir, Painted Rock ensures that each grape is of superior quality, proving that the best wines are made in the vineyard.

Painted Rock embraces the traditions of the old world and the imagination of the new world. Set in the Okanagan Wine Country of British Columbia, Canada, Painted Rock has arrived at an opportune moment in time. The Skinner’s knew that the Okanagan was starting to gain international interest, and they recognized it’s potential to produce serious wines. The Okanagan’s combination of hot, dry summers, cool mountain air, and unique microclimates makes this a spectacular place to produce wine.

“There is something magical happening on our site. Everything comes together in that perfect way.” Proprietor John Skinner.

Painted Rock sits on a spectacular bench overlooking the eastern shore of Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. This 60-acre property has a unique microclimate that is particularly suited to the production of premium wines. Since the early 1900’s, this orchard harvested apricots until the orchard was felled due to a gypsy moth infestation in the late 1980’s. The property, known locally as “The Blackhawk”, laid fallow while under the ownership of another winery until John Skinner and his family acquired and contoured it in 2004, and then began planting in 2005. This family-owned estate winery aspires toward a single vision of excellence that maintains the integrity of the wine and never homogenizes the brand.

When the Skinner’s and their team first began assessing the property, they noticed the unique air movement on the site. Because the land lay fallow for 17 years before being acquired by Painted Rock, they were able to contour the entire property, promoting the air movement and ensuring that there were no undulations in the landscape or inconsistencies in the soil. To fully exploit the site’s potential, the Skinner’s brought in renowned viticulturalists and wine consultants from California and France who helped devise the 2004 planting strategy. Recognizing the success of Bordeaux varietals, they prepared the soil for the finest vinifera from Bordeaux. Along with the primary red components of the classic Bordeaux blends, they included a small planting of Malbec and Petite Verdot to provide spice for their blend and to broaden their blending options. They also planted a single block of Chardonnay.

The primary influence on the Painted Rock grapes is the cool air that flows down from the mountains. This wind ensures that nothing sits still, creating an active site that reduces rot and infestation in the vineyard. The cool mountain air then collides with the lake, making for warm days and cool nights, a perfect recipe for ripening grapes and retaining bright acidity. The amphitheatre of rock cushions the land, creating another formidable site influence that encourages heat retention. With the sun bouncing off the lake, Painted Rock reaps the benefits of being on a sloped hill so close to the lake. When the sun goes down in the West, the reflection and glare from the lake impacts the fruit, especially the Malbec and Petite Verdot varietals that gain complexity and colour from the magnified light. This reinforces the saying that great wines are produced near great waters. With more sunlight hours than neighbouring wineries, Painted Rock is literally drenched in light.

“What distinguishes Painted Rock from other wineries is as simple as the dirt. The estate property where the wines are grown is unparalleled. We have the right combination of the lake, the elevation and the rock bluffs, as well as the quality of the soil.” Lauren Skinner.

Young wineries, like Painted Rock, are also challenging the industry to change their environmental practices without compromising the quality of the wines. With a strong message of sustainability and a primary focus on quality, Painted Rock is set to become a leader in the industry. Their initiatives include crafting their bottles from a light eco glass that has reduced their shipping weight by more than 20%. They are also looking to biodynamic agriculture to understand new ways that they can minimize their carbon footprint when harvesting grapes and producing wines. Painted Rock is also exploring initiatives like geothermal energy, wind power, and solar heating as they plan on building a sustainable resort development.

“Painted Rock is a stunning vineyard with major potential.” Anthony Gismondi

Great wines reflect the quality of the land, the climate and the people that bring everything to fruition. Working with some of the world’s top winemakers, Painted Rock is quickly achieving a cult status within B.C.’s wine community. It is through collaboration that Painted Rock is stepping out from the crowds. Working with a diverse and skilled team, Painted Rock encourages each individual involved to add their own experience to the collective. The Okanagan has been producing good wines, and now there is an opportunity to produce great wines. Painted Rock is extremely optimistic about the potential for the Okanagan and particularly optimistic about their role in this exciting winemaking community. John and Trish Skinner are not only making wines for their family and friends to enjoy, they are intent on making iconic wines that will be savoured for generations to come.


Field Trip #589: How To Deface A Winery And Not Get Arrested…

by Andrew Morrison | I’ve spent the better part of the last few weeks zipping up and down from the Okanagan Valley camping, resort-hopping, eating, sippng and generally taking it easy. In that time I’ve visited dozens of wineries, old and new.

Though I’ve long loved their products, the architecture and design has often left plenty to be desired. The lack of representative style has always irked. More often than not – perhaps out of fear that they won’t be taken seriously – owners tend to produce on a stunted aesthetic that replicates what they see and over-respect in their French, Spanish, Italian and Californian counterparts.

It’s aspirational thinking, and as a consequence we have not a few absurd-looking Italian villa-flavoured Burgundian chateau buildings with Spanish tiled roofs and Napa-inspired tasting rooms painted in seven shades of Tuscan regret. It may be a sad testament to a tremendous lack of self confidence on our part (not to mention taste), but I prefer to think of it as an opportunity to do something different. Read more

GOODS: Mission Hill Family Estate Hosting “Three Chefs In The Vineyard” Dinner

Mission Hill is located at 1730 West Bank Rd in West Kelowna, BC | 250-768-7611 |

The GOODS from Mission Hill Family Estate

Vancouver, BC | On Saturday, August 27, Mission Hill Family Estate and The Glowbal Collection present an exclusive wine country collaboration. The ‘Three Chefs in the Vineyard’ dinner features Matthew Batey (Executive Winery Chef at Terrace, Mission Hill) and Vancouver-based culinary artists Dennis Peckham (Executive Chef, COAST Restaurant) and Ryan Gauthier (Corporate Chef, The Glowbal Collection).

To set the mood and start the soiree, fresh summer wines and canapés are served between rows of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines.

Next, guests stroll to the Terrace restaurant where inviting and dramatic harvest tables are set for an amiable evening of dining ‘al fresco’. A locally-inspired four-course menu is presented by this trio of chefs, expertly paired with highlights from the winery cellar — all while being surrounded by the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley.

Experience an intimate gathering with fellow food and wine lovers, enticed by rich experiences, great company and creative chefs — from some of BC’s favourite and most memorable restaurants. Details after the jump… Read more

Blue Mountain And Friends Present A Feast For The Senses

December 20, 2010 


Blue Mountain is located at 2385 Allendale Rd in Okanagan Falls | 250-497-8244 |

News from Scout supporter Blue Mountain Winery:

Vancouver, BC | Join us on Monday, January 17, 2011 for an evening celebrating the premium wines of BC’s Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars. The event will be grazing style which will allow guests to wander the room sampling wines paired with cuisine from twelve of British Columbia’s top restaurants.

The following is a list of the twelve restaurants that will participate in this stellar evening: Cin Cin, C Restaurant, DB Bistro Moderne, Hart House Restaurant, Lift Bar & Grill, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar, Provence Marinaside, Raincity Grill, The Shore Club, The Vancouver Club, The Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish Inn and Yew Restaurant+ Bar

These restaurants will be matched with the following twelve Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars wines: Brut NV, 2006 Rosé Brut,2009 Pinot Blanc, 2009 Chardonnay, 2008 Reserve Chardonnay, 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Pinot Gris, 2008 Reserve Pinot Gris, 2009 Gamay Noir, 2009 Pinot Noir, 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir and 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir served in Magnum.

Many of the wines being served at this event have not yet been released by the winery and will be the first opportunity for guests to sample them.

The event will be held at Vancouver’s prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, which is conveniently located close to the Pacific Centre SkyTrain station and Canada Line. Details after the jump… Read more

“Nichol Vineyard” Of Naramata Joins The Scout Community…


Nichol Vineyard is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of Wineries & Breweries. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page. Read more

Heads Up! “2010 Afterglow” From The Naramata Bench Wineries


The Naramata Bench Wineries are coming to Vancouver for their annual ‘Spring Release’ on Monday, April 12, 6:30-9:00 PM, at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

Relax and bask in the AFTERGLOW of Vancouver 2010: it’s time for a glass of wine!  Chill with Naramata winemakers as they bring the most elusive and exclusive new releases from the cellars of the Naramata Bench to you – no road trips required. Wines are paired with food from Vancouver and Naramata’s premier culinary talents, including CIBO Trattoria, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Gramercy Grill, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar, Salt Tasting Room, the Westin Bayshore, and from Naramata, the Cobblestone Bar from the Naramata Heritage Inn and Hillside Bistro from Hillside Estate Winery.

Be the first to taste the annual “Best of the Bench” Spring wine releases, meet the winemakers, and place bids on the annual auction of exclusive award-winning wines and proceeds will be donated to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Looking forward to it. Tickets are $85 and available online at and by phone at 1-800-663-1900.

Road 13: First They Changed The Name, Now They Change The Wine


Road 13 is located at 13140-316A Ave south of Oliver | Toll Free: 866.498.8330 |

News from Scout supporter Road 13 Winery

Oliver, BC | Trust the team at Road 13 Vineyards to switch it up. Effective this spring, the winery will be moving away from the production of several varietal wines to focus on blends. Joining the popular Honest John’s Red and White and the premium Fifth Element, are Stemwinder, a refreshing white blend (CSPC $21.99) named in honour of the soil of the winery’s home vineyard, and Rockpile, a red blend (CSPC $24.99) named after Mick and Pam Luckhurst’s most difficult vineyard. Both wines can be found at the winery, VQA stores, the BCLDB and private wine stores and restaurants. Read more

CedarCreek Estate Winery Joins The Growing Scout Community


The Fitzpatrick family and their CedarCreek Estate Winery are now proud member supporters of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of wineries and breweries. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page here. Read more

Wineries Lastella and Le Vieux Pin Get Boxing For Christmas

November 30, 2009 


Oliver wineries Le Vieux Pin and La Stella present bottled gifts for the holiday season

News from Scout supporters Le Vieux Pin & Lastella

Le Vieux Pin & Lastella are offering an exclusive 2 bottle, 6 bottle & 12 bottle gift packages to enhance anyone’s holiday season. With a choice of reds & whites customize your gift to create the perfect wine combination… Read more

Oliver’s “Stoneboat Vineyards” Has Joined Scout Magazine

September 8, 2009 


Oliver’s Stoneboat Vineyards is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page. Click ahead for a taste, or visit their Scout page in our winery sectionRead more

JoieFarm: Inspirations, Stories and Old World Reference Points


“JoieFarm Revealed: Inspirations, Stories and Old World Reference Points of winemakers Heidi Noble & Michael Dinn”

News from Scout Supporter JoieFarm

3252051211_7ece320f8aThis evening of charcuterie, cheese and four flights of wine will examine the wines and regions that have directly influenced our winemaking at JoieFarm. Six relevant old world wines from Alsace, Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Spain will be poured alongside JoieFarm’s A Noble Blend 2008, Rosé 2008, Reserve Chardonnay 2007 and PTG 2007. These flights have been chosen to illustrate why we at JoieFarm have made the choices that we have about what and how to make our wines. This evening will also be an exclusive preview to the very limited production of our 2007 Reserve wines to be released in September 2009. $80 (includes food, wine, tax, gratuity). Monday June 8th, 2009 @ 7:00 pm. For reservations please contact Salt Tasting Room at 604.633.1912. Tickets also available online at Read more

Sustainability In The Vineyards At LaStella And Le Vieux Pin


News from Scout supporters Le Vieux Pin and LaStella

We take the environment very seriously; and to protect what Mother Nature has provided us with we maintain the following practices… Read more

Stoneboat Vineyards



7148 Orchard Grove Lane, Oliver BC | MAP
(between Black Sage Road and Road 9)
Tel & Fax: 250-498-2226 | Toll Free: 888-598-2226 |
Hours: May – mid October: 10:00am – 6:00pm daily


About Stoneboat Vineyards


Located along a winding country lane in Oliver, BC, on the rocky soils of the lower Black Sage Bench, Stoneboat Vineyards is one of the newest premium artisan wine producers in the South Okanagan Valley. The winery is owned and operated by two generations of the Martiniuk family, who have been growing vines on the since 1983.

Our focus in viticulture and winemaking is on Pinot varietals, which we believe are best suited to our unique location on the Black Sage. Our wines are sourced exclusively from three estate vineyards, which, unlike much of the South, thrive atop hundreds of feet of calcium encrusted stones. Their lower elevations and southwestern exposures balance warm days with very cool nights, enabling us to grow intensely flavoured whites with refreshing minerality and rich, layered reds.

Since its inception, Stoneboat has quietly earned awards and accolades for its balanced, character-driven wines. Over the past 25 years we have developed a close relationship with our land, following a farming philosophy that values integrity, minimal intervention, and sensitivity to the vines and soils. Our winemaking is inspired by this same approach; we strive to create wines that offer the most honest expression of their origins in our vineyards.

Nichol Vineyard



RR1 S14 C13 -1285 Smethurst Rd | Naramata, BC | V0H-1N0
Telephone: 250.496.5962 | Fax: 250.496.4275
Twitter | Facebook




While it was not always apparent to Ross Hackworth that he would one day be a Naramata winery owner, as a person who appreciates fine wine, he had enjoyed the wines from Nichol Vineyard for a number of years before he bought the winery from founders Alex and Kathleen Nichol.

It’s fitting that Ross would purchase a winery in Naramata, as he grew up there and his family ran an orchard in the area. Ross started his adult life with an education in business, and based from Vancouver worked as a sales executive for many years with a major pulp and paper company. Always interested in wine and attracted to the craft, Ross would spend his spare time making wine as a home winemaker. He would make enough wine to enjoy with family and friends, but with a full time career that involved much travel he could not get too serious about winemaking. Instead, Ross’ frequent business travel and entertaining with fine dining opportunities exposed him to wines from all over the world and helped him develop his palate.

While Ross was leading an executive lifestyle, meanwhile, the Nichols opened the Naramata winery in 1993 after converting an orchard into a vineyard; in doing so they planted the first Syrah in the Okanagan: the first Syrah in Canada. While skeptics of the then-new industry thought they were crazy to plant Syrah on a cold climate site, the resulting wines likely inspired many others to plant what is now one of the Okanagan’s important red varieties.

In 1999, Ross returned to Naramata to spend weekends helping his friend restore what is now the Heritage Inn and Spa. In the process, he reconnected with his roots and bought a home in Naramata. After making wine as a hobbyist for so long he decided to take the leap and as he says, legitimize his winemaking, by taking the step of winery ownership. As he sought his own vineyard, the Nichols were preparing to retire. Serendipity. Ross and the Nichols worked out an agreement for Alex to mentor Ross for a couple of vintages, as Ross recognized that home winemaking and owning a winery are very different things! Ross was an apt student, for the quality of Nichol wines quality of Nichol wines has continued to improve.

Together they worked on the 2003 to 2005 vintages. Ross also spent long hours with Kathleen Nichol and learned the specific viticulture requirements for managing this premier site. Transition to full owner operator was completed in February of 2006.

In the vintages since, Ross has remained true to the site and fundamental Nichol style. While investing in a new winery facility, equipment and plantings of Syrah, the focus has remained on the land and it’s unique cold climate location.

About Nichol Vineyard


Village Grown, World Class, True to Our Roots

Nichol Vineyard, known among Canadian wine lovers in the know, has been operating in Naramata Village in British Columbia using 100% Naramata fruit since 1993.

Owner and winemaker Ross Hackworth’s focus is to maintain a small estate winery, striving to grow world-class wines. The recognition Ross has been receiving for his wines is testament to the work he is doing at the tiny Naramata winery. Since 2006 he has been at the helm creating premium, limited vintage wines, carrying on the tradition of the winery’s original owners and namesake, Alex and Kathleen Nichol.

The vineyards sit on a pocket of land tucked against steep, heat-radiating red granite cliffs, and are perfectly situated: under the former Kettle Valley Railway and above the deep blue Okanagan Lake. This site offers the ideal place to grow grapes that produce wines with intense fruit and bright acidity.

Looking west across from the vineyard and over Okanagan Lake, you can see the shores of Summerland and the landmark Giant’s Head Mountain. The soils at Nichol Vineyard were created during the prehistoric time when volcanic activity and glaciation provided the till, granite, bedrock and silt, which all come together to create a unique, rugged site that generates fine wines.

Our Wines


Since 1993 Nichol has been creating wines exclusively from grapes grown in Naramata. Our vineyards, on a pocket of land tucked against steep heat-radiating rock cliffs, are the ideal place to craft wines demonstrating intense fruit and refreshing acidity. Our soils – glacial till, granite shards, bedrock and silt – create a site that is extreme and unique. Click here to browse and purchase our wines.

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