Back Door Winery in Summerland BC | Our Story
Back Door Winery has slowly grown from roots of dissolved partnerships and apple orchards. Before Pieter Smits purchased our Summerland property, it had actually sat abandoned for 7 years. Tragically, there had been no water, no pruning... nothing except neglected grape vines and a lot of potential.
Pieter was out on a trip from Edmonton to visit his parents, who also happen to own Sonoran Estate Winery in Summerland. After walking the land during that visit, he fell in love with the property and decided to purchase it. Friends and family were hesitant due to the state of the land and buildings. More than once Pieter heard “What are you thinking? The only good thing about that place is the back door”.
But he could see a diamond through the coal. He quickly started working day and night to restore the winery, and bring back life into the vines. The winery philosophy is built on recycle, repurpose, and reuse.
Even the house was a mess when he started working on it. It had been built during the depression, and with no prior renovations, he quickly learned the truth in what was being said. The only thing good about that place may have been the back door! At one point, while Pieter was levelling out the house, a great pile of sawdust came crashing down on him from the ceiling. So much so, that he literally had to shovel out by hand. Amidst the chaos of the renovation, Pieter started to question his sanity. It seemed he could not keep track of his drill bits, nails, screws, and at one point… his keys. A tragic tale indeed.
That same day, he ended up discovering a hole in the far corner of the house. Hidden within the wall was a crow’s nest, and amongst the bottle caps and bits of tin sat Pieter’s keys.
With great care, Pieter carefully moved the crow’s nest to the back of the vineyard, though he expected her to take off and never be heard from again. Having a mind of her own, the crow decided she would not leave the property. She still taunts and mocks Pieter to this day, and we think she is waiting for the perfect moment to steal back the keys to her back door.
We love the story of how Back door Winery came to be. Now, we even hang a “back door” in our tasting room as homage to that history, and to remind all of us to look beyond the apparent in order to reveal true value. So come by for a visit, and sign our back door.