Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past. We look for adventures at wineries around the world. After all, grape minds think alike.
Our featured winery is we continue our conversation with Stephen Cipes, proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery in British Columbia, Canada.
Well, we started out of our little garage making wine in 1990, 91, and we introduced the same Strutt in December 91 to right in the beginning in 92 in New York City to great reviews there, as I mentioned. So official opening is 92, but we've been making wine since the late 80s. You know, we came here in 1986, my family and I from New York for 30 years now. We've just dedicated to the amazing growing conditions here and the lovely people here. I have to say that British Columbia is a treat to be here. Such a lovely, honest, and wonderful people all around us at all times. Our crew, our employees like family. It's beautiful. A lot of people join Summerhill because they want to. I even get comments like Steve we'd work here for if you didn't pay us.
We love this place. There are so few things in this world that give us energy. Most things take energy. Yeah. So that's wonderful.
Something we learned in a previous episode was that Steven built a pyramid on the property to incorporate that pyramid into the winemaking process.
What I think it is, is sacred geometry is related to the electrical nature of life itself. And it brings out I would say it's not it does not make any liquid worse or better. It clarifies it. So if you put a wine in there, for instance, that has flaws in it, it will bring out the flaws and make wine like cooking wine. You can't drink it. And if it has good qualities, it'll bring out good qualities—the same with milk or orange juice or any other liquid. And we've proven that time and time again in the last over 30 years now. And it's very conclusive, and we're very thrilled with the experiments and plan to go on bigger and better and more experiments to prove the value of sacred geometry on liquids. The size of our pyramid would be the exact size of the capstone on the Great Pyramid. Ironically, we didn't plan it that way, but it just happened to come out to be exactly what the size of the capstone on the pyramid would have been—sixty feet square and four stories high.
Well, You are one of the most visited wineries in Canada. I imagine that you've got quite a few employees every year. We have about 170 employees in the season, and that drops down to about half of that in the shoulder seasons. But of course, with COVID, we're running way below that because most of the weddings have been canceled, not allowed to have more than 50 people and they have to be six feet apart. And the Chinese tourists that we get every day, busloads of tourists from China are not coming. We're not getting any tourists from the United States. Even our own in Canada are coming much less frequently. So we're way down in and visits this year because of COVID. And yet, interestingly, our sales have gone up incredibly because the Internet sales, the wonderful online sales have been fantastic. I think we had a fifteen hundred percent increase over the same months last year. So, yeah, people want to buy our wine. That's organic; it's the pyramid, this gold medal-winning, whatever. And they love the wine, so they don't come to see us anymore, whether it's ordering online and we deliver. And a portion of those employees that you just mentioned are working at the website. Your restaurant is just a wonderful restaurant. Very proud of that. We have a 200 seat organic restaurant and catering. We usually do over 100 weddings a year. So we do a lot of food. We at one time were called by the suppliers, the biggest outlet in all of Kelowna, which is huge. That means all the hotels and all of the big restaurants and everything. We were the biggest one, Summerhill, because we do a lot of volume and food, and we have a fabulous chef who's the chef that the chairman of the chef association and the teacher at the school. And everybody really admires him and respects him is a pillar in the community and we're very proud to have him. That's Jeremy. We have an application now into the city and the Agricultural Land Reserve to actually build a world think tank on food production. It's called the Culinary College for Humanity, and it will feature classes and certifications to show the industry and homeowners, of course, how to cook and grow and prepare. Meals that are organic and local versus chemical and far distance in part four of our interview with Steven Cipes of Summerhill Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, we talk about how to make the Earth a safer place for all of us and his future goals for the winery.
Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best 5 Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHSYM. If you like the show, tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.