29690 Highway 97, RR1, S.42, C.19
Former Calgarians Stella Schmidt and Bruno Kelle purchased this winery in 2006. New to wine, but not to marketing, Schmidt and Kelle took a cue from all the successful “critter” labels, changing the winery name to Golden Beaver. “Our name caused a stir,” says Kelle. The beaver mascot on the wine labels quickly found its way into souvenir stemware and items of clothing.
Subsequently, however, the couple have toned down the bucolic labels, moving to labels with classical elegance. The winery has found a niche for its Vin de Curé dessert wines, made with grapes that are allowed to dehydrate partially before being pressed for wine.
In 2009, after changing their minds about selling the winery, the owners doubled the size, added a barrel room and contracted Bordeaux reds and syrah. “We want to do big reds,” Kelle says.