Earlier this month it was announced that, after 16 years, British Columbia’s Harper’s Trail Winery will be closing by June of this year. Owners Ed and Vicki Collett will open their tasting room in May for one final month before retiring and moving on to the next stage of their lives. Along with the current vintage, Harper’s Trail will now be releasing an exclusive collection of library wines.
Having previously visited both Australia and Chile’s wine regions and seeing how similar their climates are to that of the Thompson River Valley, Ed recognized the possible success of starting a vineyard in the Kamloops area.
The Colletts were the first participants in the development of the Thompson River Valley wine region, even though they had no previous vineyard or winemaking experience. The couple relied on advice from several industry veterans who helped set them on the right path. As a result, the Thompson Valley wine industry emerged and developed into an official wine appellation.
The Colletts purchased the property in 2007, planted the first vineyard block in 2008, and opened Harper’s Trail, which was Kamloops’ first winery, in 2012. Since then, Harper’s Trail has become a 5,000-case producing winery that generates 100% estate grown wines on the vineyard’s 25.5 acres. The winery has earned many top honours in prominent national and international wine competitions. Most recently, at the 2022 National Wine Awards, Harper’s Trail won a gold medal for its 2019 Chardonnay Sparkling and a silver medal for their 2020 Silver Mane Block Riesling. At this past year’s All Canadian Wine Awards, Harper’s Trail received gold for their 2019 Chardonnay and silver for their Field Blend White.
In preparation for their pending retirement, the Colletts hope to find a successor to purchase the winery and further enhance it. In case you have a desire for taking on such a challenge, the winery is listed with realtors Cushman & Wakefield.