History of Farming
The Stewarts have been pioneering horticulturists since the turn of the last century. Having come to the Okanagan in 1908, Richard Stewart Sr. settled in the Kelowna area, began to work the land, and founded one of the valley’s most successful nursery businesses. Some 50 years later his son Dick Stewart carried on this tradition by moving out of the nursery business and into grape growing.
In 1989, Ben and Ruth Stewart founded Quail’s Gate Winery and began the family’s transition into the winery business. Over the next two decades the entire family joined together in the pursuit of making Quails’ Gate one of Canada’s foremost producers of premium VQA wines.
Today the family farms over 180 acres of vineyards in the valley and is regarded as a leader in the development of viticulture practices in Canada. Ben Stewart pioneered the introduction of premium French Dijon Pinot Noir clones into Canada. His work led to the development at Quails’ Gate of some of the oldest and most highly sought after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blocks.
Along with various innovations in farming practices, the family is also employing the use of technology to improve grape quality while reducing the resources required to farm each acre of land.