Click here to Contact Us
Little Farm Winery is the result of years of hard work for owners Alishan Driediger and Rhys Pender MW. In 1998 Alishan and Rhys were faced with the decision of pursuing “conventional jobs” or taking the plunge to follow their passion for food and wine. They never looked back and since then life has been one adventure after another. From professional culinary training to all forms of winery work in the Okanagan Valley and wine retail in Vancouver; through owning/operating a catering company and the creation of Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads in Kelowna, they had their hands full. Although, it was when they purchased a five-acre property in the stunning Similkameen Valley that the REALLY hard work began.
In 2008 Rhys and Alishan sold their tiny 800 square foot house in Peachland and due to the luck of selling at the peak of the housing market before the bust, the opportunity presented itself to convert their good fortune to a five-acre mixed hayfield and orchard and nearly 100-year-old, characterful but slightly run-down, house. There is something about a passion for wine that drives those caught by the bug to want, or perhaps need, to create their own wine from scratch.
Throughout this endeavour, Rhys fuelled his insatiable passion for wine knowledge by completing course work with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) culminating in becoming Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW) in 2010. Since 2005, he has operated a WSET wine school in the Okanagan Valley called Wine Plus+. During this time, Alishan became a highly accomplished and recognized baker and business owner with Okanagan Grocery. Alishan also completed a winemaking diploma while raising their young daughters Madeleine and Elodie.
There is something very personal about preparing a site, planting the vines by hand and then nurturing the young vines through the dangers of heat, cold, wind, pest and disease. The opportunity to turn those precious grapes into wine after three years and hundreds of hundreds of hours in the vineyard gave a lot of perspective. It seemed wrong to do anything but let the flavours and character of the vineyard and the vintage show through. That first vintage in 2011, and the whopping 56 cases of wine produced, became a treasure of four years of hard work and commitment. The on-site winery at Mulberry Tree Vineyard was completed in 2013, just in time for harvest.
Our dream has always been to make wines with minimal manipulation and intervention to really capture the vineyard site and growing season. Little Farm Winery will never be big. We will always focus on making small batches of single-vineyard wine that reflect each site’s unique characteristics. The goal is to make interesting, characterful, natural-ish wines and look after our little farm.
The Name Little Farm Winery
The name Little Farm Winery was inspired by the French term 'paysan'. While reading an article about natural wine producers of France, they found one wine grower preferred to be called a paysan, or small farmer, as he translated it. It struck us that we are small farmers too and that we were the paysan’s of our Little Farm.