Karnail Singh Sidhu has won the BC Grape Growers’ Association’s inaugural viticulturist of the year award.
Sidhu, who is the proprietor, managing director and viticulturist at Kalala Organic Estate Winery, will receive a $2,000 bursary towards attending a viticulture education event.
“We have been growing wine grapes in B.C. for 60 years and winning international recognition for the quality of wines produced,” BCGA president John Bayley said in a press release. “We know that ninety per cent of the quality of the wine comes from the grape, and we want to give recognition to the hard work that growers invest.
“We were really impressed with the dedication we were seeing in the vineyards. Judging was a challenge, as all the nominees were deserving of the award.”
Sidhu comes from a farming family, but his father encouraged him to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. It was when he moved to Canada that he returned to farming. Organic farming came naturally to him, as he learned from his father who didn’t farm with chemicals.
He spent 10 years at Summerhill Winery, expanding his knowledge of viticulture before planting his own vineyard and opening Kalala Winery in West Kelowna in 2008.
He farms 20 acres of grapes at his West Kelowna location as well as 20 acres in various locations in Oliver and Osoyoos. Kalala is a family venture, as his wife Narinder is the controller and his two daughters are regularly involved in both grape and wine production.
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