Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger founded Stag's Hollow Winery in 1992. The couple started with a small 10 acre vineyard planted with Vidal and Chasselas grapes, and constructed the winery in 1995. At the time, Stag's Hollow was one of only 30 wineries in British Columbia.
Initially, the winery's production was limited to 1500 cases annually, and focused on producing Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Vidal wines. However, demand for the wines led to expansion, and the winery began working with other local growers to produce high-quality grapes.
In 2011, Stag's Hollow expanded further with the acquisition of 18 acres of land 2km north of the original vineyard. This new vineyard, called Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, is home to a variety of grapes from Spain and Italy, as well as a large amount of Pinot Noir.
In 2019, the winery was purchased from Larry and Linda, but the couple remained as managers until their retirement in April 2021.
Stag's Hollow Winery uses a unique trellising system called the Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) in their vineyards. This system divides the canopy into two curtains trained downwards from high canes. The foliage is trained downwards from these canes, forming the double curtains. This training system increases both yield and grape quality by reducing shade on the grapes.
In addition to using innovative trellising techniques, the winery also practices sustainable farming. This includes conservation, pest management, responsible water usage, and efficient energy use. The vineyard does not use chemical fungicides to control powdery mildew and rot, instead relying on organic products. All canopy management is done by hand, which reduces energy consumption and allows for greater precision.
To support biodiversity and maintain healthy soils, the winery also grows diverse vegetation buffer zones to provide habitat for beneficial insects and control pest populations. These practices help ensure that the grapes used in Stag's Hollow's wines are of the highest quality.
STAG'S HOLLOW ESTATE VINEYARD
The Stag's Hollow Estate Vineyard has a unique geological history. The vineyard is located in a kettle hole, a landform created by blocks of ice calving from a receding glacier and becoming partially buried by glacial outwash. This hollow remained after the ice age, and the stony, glaciofluvial soils left behind are ideal for grape growing.
The vineyard's Merlot and Pinot Noir blocks, which are over 30 years old, are located on the southwest-facing slopes of the hollow. These slopes receive significant solar radiation, which allows for consistent ripening even in difficult vintages. This unique landscape has made the Stag's Hollow Estate Vineyard one of the most distinctive in the Okanagan Valley.
SHUTTLEWORTH CREEK VINEYARD
In 2011, Stag's Hollow Winery purchased land in Okanagan Falls, just 2km north of the winery's original site. This land, which was previously a hay field, was chosen because it was expected to be well-suited to growing Pinot Noir. In addition to Pinot Noir, the winery also planted two Spanish grape varieties, Albariño and Tempranillo, as well as two lesser-known Italian varieties, Dolcetto and Teroldego. These varieties were chosen because it was believed that they would thrive in the region's microclimate.
The new vineyard, called Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, has already produced high-quality fruit, and the winery is impressed with the results. The vineyard's location and terroir make it an ideal site for growing the grapes used in Stag's Hollow's wines.