Richard and Jitske Kamphuys are the owners of Ancient Hill Estate Winery. Tiring of big city life in the Netherlands, we decided to ‘go west’ and seek out a lifestyle more in tune with nature. In 1992 we ended up in Kelowna and decided to make it our home.

Buying a property that had an orchard on it, we set about to try our hand at orcharding. The same property had been a vineyard in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, but had been converted to an orchard after a severe winter killed off most of the vines. When it became clear that the returns from orcharding were too volatile, the decision was made to replant a vineyard on the property and eventually build a winery.

The Rittich brothers, after whom a local road is named, were one of the viticulture pioneers of the Okanagan. In the 1930’s they imported various vinifera varieties from Europe, with the goal of seeing which ones would grow well in the Okanagan. Based on their trials, various vineyards were planted in the 1940’s. The hillside across from the Kelowna Airport, the current location of Ancient Hill Estate Winery, was one of their test areas. Several abandoned vines, part of the vineyard planted in the 1940’s, still survive on the property to this day.

Owned In: Kelowna, BC


Last Updated December 6, 2021

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