Two Naramata winemakers announce new venture

Val Tait, former GM and winemaker at Bench 1775 will be focussing on creating a new label of exclusive wines with life partner Ian Sutherland.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/2house

Two of Naramata’s most familiar faces in the wine industry have announced a new venture combining their years of talent and expertise into new wine brand, 2house.

Val Tait has been GM and winemaker at Bench 1775 Winery for many years and has announced her departure to focus on her exciting new collaboration with life partner Ian Sutherland, also a winemaker and founder of Poplar Grove Winery.

“Over the past eight years I have enjoyed the process at Bench immensely," Val said in a press release today, April 15. "Growing the brand, the reputation and the production from 950 cases to 26,000 have all been very satisfying. With the growth came increased sales both domestically and through exports. It has been a real pleasure to work with owner Eric Lui and his family as we have had a good collaborative relationship and I had a lot of freedom to experiment with different wine styles and to make unique wines. Now I am ready for a new challenge.”

Val and Ian are combining their passion for winemaking and their incredible collective knowledge of the industry to build this dream together.

“As both owners and winemakers for 2house, the collaboration will be in the analyses of each other’s wines, as we each bring our independent take on winemaking to the project," Ian says. "We have both tasted and collected wines from around the world and the wines we have most enjoyed were distinctive of place, so we plan to make 2house wines that are very reflective of the South Okanagan. The project is going to be tightly focused on two wines from two winemakers per vintage.”

The couple shared that their fruit will be sourced from the Gill brothers’ vineyards, owners of Gold Hill Winery in Oliver and that the duo will manage the viticulture hands on. The wines will be “super focused on small lots” and Ian adds, “We intend to really connect with the people we are making wine for, to have direct, strong and personal relationships with our customers.  2house wines will be available to people by invitation.”

Watch for the first wine release this summer. More info at Instagram: @2housewine

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