Ben Bryant grew up on a farm close to Mudgee, one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions. Before moving to the Okanagan Valley in 2018, Ben was enjoying the job title ‘Chief Winemaker Australia for Pernod Ricard Winemakers’, orchestrating some of the most well-known and important names in Australian wine (Jacobs Creek, St Hugo and more). On a leap of faith, Ben moved halfway across the world with his three children, Bella, Hamish and Jilly to take a position with Mission Hill as VP of Winemaking for the Mark Anthony Group. After 2 years with the business and a Wine Align ‘Winery of the Year’ under the belt, Ben set off on his own with the ultimate desire to dig roots, watch his children grow and eventually create a collection of wines that his hands were on from farm to bottle.
Katie, originally from the Okanagan, moved back in 2018 after a decade in South Africa. With an extensive background in hospitality and marketing, Katie dove deep into the subject of wine in 2016. She found success as a freelance writer and storyteller in the South African wine world, publishing several wine related articles and sharing with her large audience of followers as she worked her way through a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. After moving back to the Okanagan with her two small children, Isla and Piper, serial entrepreneurs Trent and Ria Kitsch (SAXX underwear, Doja Cannabis, Kitsch Wines) gave Katie her first job in the Okanagan wine industry. She worked her way from Tasting Room to Sales, Distribution and Marketing, where she continues to enjoy her work and collaborative relationship with the family.
Katie and Ben met in 2019. They not only discovered a shared love for wine, but also the common dream and goal to farm, own and grow a wine business of their own one day.
“We wanted to produce wines that tell a distinct story of place and potential when it reached the glass. We wanted to contribute to this exciting and relevant wine region. Most importantly, we wanted to do something that would involve our children and create something that they can be proud of.”
The dream became a reality when their paths crossed with David and Cynthia Enns, dynamic pioneers in the Okanagan wine industry with a similar vision and work ethic.
David and Cynthia Enns spent over two decades making wine, having founded Laughing Stock Vineyards, one of the early wineries on the Naramata Bench. In 2012, David and Cynthia found an abandoned pear orchard just past Naramata village. The address listed was 1 Mill Road and the pair planted it exclusively to Pinot Noir. Ben and Katie have undertaken to farm, grow and produce their own wines from this unique property while also sourcing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from other sustainably farmed, unique vineyards from across the Okanagan Valley including the newly named sub GI, the East Kelowna Slopes.
© 2023 1 Mill Road Winery
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