The Schales Family
Our story is one that has been etched out of tradition and flavored with passion. It is the story of a love affair that began in 1783 when Christian Schales planted his first grapes in the small Rheinhessen Village of Dalsheim. And today, 8 generations later, the story continues in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Armed with generations of winemaking and grape growing experience behind them and his grandfather’s winepress, Bernd and Stefanie Schales left Germany May 2003 in search of a new adventure and a new chapter for their next generation.
Sounds like a fairytale so far? Well that all changed when we bought our first 11 acre vineyard property 3 weeks later in Okanagan Falls. We moved into the house, grew the grapes & sold them to different wineries in the Okanagan while we learned about the hot summers, cool nights and sometimes frigid winter conditions here in Canada. But the farming concept worked for the next couple years till (in the view of my neighbour) "these crazy kids" got a bit bored and mingled with the idea of starting a winery.
We acquired the Summerland property 2007 (which included 7 acres of vineyard and the winery warehouse) and processed our first vintage 5 weeks later in it. 8th Generation is a hands on and true Family winery.
My wife, Stefanie, is at the very epicenter of managing both our business, as well as our young, energetic family. Professionally trained as a draftswomen, Stefanie has a strong appreciation for order, structure, and balance. Tremendous skills that are most beneficial to our business.
I am the winemaker, and I interpret my responsibilities to be as important in our Estate Vineyards as they are in the Cellar. I studied viticulture, oenology, and business management at the State Academy for Viticulture & Oenologie of Weinsberg in Germany. I have refined my winegrowing and winemaking skills at our family vineyard in Germany, as well as in other wineries in Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.
Most gratifying to us is our ability to expose our children to the importance of taking pride in our craft, and how we care for the land that we are fortunate to make a living out of.
Since then we expanded our properties to another two locations one in Naramata and one apple orchard beside the existing winery location. All of them are unique and all of them are worked by our own team & us ....