From Dynamite to Delight

Blasted Church Vineyards

A Toast to Audacious Winemaking

In the heart of the Okanagan Valley, nestled amidst the rolling hills and overlooking the serene Skaha Lake, lies a winery that doesn’t just produce exceptional wines—it crafts experiences. It’s at Blasted Church Vineyards, perched on this idyllic vantage point, that we sat down with Lisa Baxter-Burke, the vivacious Experience Manager who’s the living, breathing embodiment of the winery’s ethos: fun, approachable, and utterly unforgettable.

Blasted Church Vineyards


Blasted Church is more than just a vineyard—it’s a story, an experience, and a testament to the boundless passion of those who make it thrive. As the sun paints the horizon with hues of gold and tangerine, one can’t help but be captivated by the breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s this natural canvas, adorned with vineyards and orchards, that sets the stage for the magical journey that is Blasted Church Vineyards.

The story of Blasted Church is one that goes back to a time when daring and creativity knew no bounds. In 1929, a crew from Okanagan Falls began a journey that would become the stuff of legend. Their objective: to dismantle an old wooden church from a deserted mining camp, a venture that was 16 miles away from their familiar haven. The challenge lay in the square nails that stubbornly held the church together. Harley Hatfield, a man of audacity and ingenuity, proposed an audacious solution: a controlled explosion to loosen the nails.

With dynamite carefully hung from the rafters, the congregation gathered to witness this spectacle—a fusion of trepidation and awe. In a mighty blast, the unexpected occurred. While the steeple met its end, the rest of the church emerged victorious, ready to be transported and rebuilt in Okanagan Falls. The steeple was restored, and the church stands proudly in the heart of the Okanagan Falls community, hosting services every Sunday. A sign on the front lawn bears the moniker “blasted church,” a testament to a community that knew the power of innovation and fearlessness.

From this tale of dynamite and devotion, Blasted Church Vineyards drew inspiration. It’s a name that embodies the spirit of boldness, adventure, and a touch of irreverence—an essence that’s woven into every aspect of the winery. The labels adorning their bottles are a testament to this spirit, each one a work of art, reflecting the winery’s playful personality. From the cheeky “Holy Moly!” to the contemplative “OMFG,” these labels beckon with a promise: here, wine is not just a drink, but a journey into the unexpected.

Blasted Church embodies an ambiance that’s both refined and refreshingly unpretentious. The tasting room exudes warmth and invites guests to relax and savour the moment. The staff, handpicked for their passion and knowledge, welcome visitors with open arms, eager to share the stories behind each vintage. There’s an undeniable sense of camaraderie that permeates the air, inviting guests to shed their reservations and embrace the experience wholeheartedly.


As we soak in the vista of Skaha Lake and the vineyards that stretch into the horizon, it becomes evident that Blasted Church Vineyards is more than just a winery.

It’s a sanctuary for those seeking not just exceptional wines, but an unforgettable journey—a journey that begins with dynamite and reverberates through every sip and every shared smile. With Lisa as our guide, we’re about to go on a journey that promises to be as memorable as the story that birthed this extraordinary place.


Taste The Experience

At Blasted Church Vineyards, every visit is crafted to be an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s the harmonious strains of live music or the serene embrace of a warm summer evening, they know just how to strike the perfect chord. 

At Blasted Church Vineyards, every visit promises an extraordinary experience. Throughout the year, the winery hosts a range of captivating live events, ensuring there’s always something special on the calendar. From the annual 7 Deadly Sins Party, featuring aerial performers, circus acts, and live music, to intimate concerts in the summer and cherished moments with Santa during their annual winter event, Blasted Church knows how to create unforgettable memories.

Blasted Church - 7 Deadly Sins - trapeze


In the words of Lisa, “Our concerts aren’t just about the music; they’re an invitation to unwind, let loose, and relish in the interplay of music and wine. It’s akin to a symphony for the senses.”

Yet, the enchantment doesn’t end there. Blasted Church offers a diverse array of tasting experiences, each carefully designed to cater to varied palates. Whether you choose to lounge on the patio, casually sipping, or opt for a more structured, guided tasting, there’s a tailored experience for everyone. Lisa emphasizes, “Our tastings are crafted to be approachable and enjoyable. We believe that every visitor should depart with a deeper appreciation for our wines.”

Each tasting is an odyssey through Blasted Church’s diverse portfolio, revealing the artistry that goes into every bottle. It’s not solely about the wine; it’s about the stories, the people, and the devotion that infuse every glass.

Enhance your visit with a touch of culinary excellence by indulging in selections from Winery Chef John Burke’s carefully curated menu. Elevate your experience with delectable choices such as charcuterie boxes, house-made dip duos, and artisanal cheese plates.

As Lisa warmly reveals, “Our regular seated tastings are a celebration of this place’s beauty. It’s not just about tasting wine; it’s a sensory journey set against one of the most mesmerizing vistas in the Okanagan.”

With each pour, you’re immersed in the alchemy of winemaking. The attentive staff guides you through the subtleties of each vintage, sharing the stories that make Blasted Church truly exceptional. It’s a chance to not only enjoy the wines but also to grasp the craftsmanship and dedication that fill every bottle.

Let’s not forget the wines themselves—each one a testament to Blasted Church’s unwavering commitment to quality and innovation. From the crisp, invigorating whites to the bold, velvety reds, there’s a wine tailored for every palate.

Yet, it’s not only about the wine; it’s about the experience. It’s about crafting a moment of unadulterated enjoyment, where time seems to hold its breath. And with that view over Skaha Lake, it’s nearly impossible not to be filled with a sense of wonder and gratitude for the beauty that envelopes us.

So, whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or a casual sipper, Blasted Church’s regular seated tastings present an opportunity to appreciate both the wine and the moment, leaving you with memories that linger long after the last drop is savoured. 


Taste The Wine

Enter the clandestine world of Blasted Church, a winery shrouded in an outwardly playful aura but harbouring a secret passion for pushing the boundaries of winemaking, boasting the Okanagan’s most obscure and nerdy grape varieties. Each bottle is a testament to winemaker Evan Saunders’ audacious experiments, making Blasted Church not just a winery but an immersive odyssey into the cool, the daring, and the extraordinary.

As we walked through the lush vineyards of Blasted Church, Lisa, the Experience Manager, shared with us the essence of what sets this winery apart. “We’re not just about producing wines; we’re about producing experiences,” she emphasized, her eyes alight with passion. Held in the embrace of the Okanagan Valley, Blasted Church overlooks the serene waters of Skaha Lake, offering a view that breathes life into every bottle they produce.

Blasted Church prides itself on offering a wide variety of wines, each showcasing unusual and unique varieties.

“The Sauvignon Blanc is beautiful gem in our collection,” Lisa shared, her voice animated with pride. This skin contact white wine is a testament to the winery’s commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing innovative winemaking techniques. This intriguing method lends a rich, amber hue to the final product, along with a distinctive flavour profile that’s captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts far and wide.

Blasted-Church sauvignon blanc

Then there’s the “Holy Moly” Petit Verdot, a wine that commands attention. Lisa painted a vivid picture of this exquisite creation, saying, “It’s like a storm in a glass, a tempest of flavours that dance on your palate.” With its bold, dark fruit notes and a hint of spice, it’s a wine that leaves an indelible impression, much like the booming thunder and flash of lightning in a summer squall.

Blasted Church Holy Moly

Petite Verdot, a grape variety known for its role in Bordeaux blends, usually plays a supporting role, comprising just a small percentage of the final blend. It imparts richness, imparts a beautiful colour, provides tannin structure, adds a delightful floral note, and contributes a touch of acidity. However, at Blasted Church, they took a daring leap and let the Petite Verdot take centre stage in the Holy Moly, making it a rare and exceptional 100% varietal. This audacious move is a testament to Blasted Church’s unyielding commitment to pushing boundaries and crafting wines that stand out in a crowd.

Blasted Church Wine Tasting Room


In our conversation with Lisa, she spoke fondly of the meticulous care the winemaking team, led by Winemaker Evan Saunders, Assistant Winemaker Dave Courtemanche, and Cellarmaster Jamie McNeill. “From crushing to cleaning, it’s a dance of precision,” she noted. But their dedication doesn’t end within the walls of the winery. The vineyards themselves are a testament to their commitment, with tasks ranging from the delicate art of pruning and tying to the robust work of picking and spraying.

With the vineyards as our backdrop, Lisa pointed out the newly planted Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo, and Malbec vines. This bold decision to replace certain grape vines was a testament to Evan’s commitment to quality and his unyielding pursuit of perfection. It’s this willingness to challenge convention that defines Blasted Church’s winemaking approach, aiming to create an experience that lingers long after the last sip.


The walls of Blasted Church’s tasting room bear witness to the myriad awards and accolades that adorn the bottles.

When it comes to embracing the Blasted Church experience beyond a single visit, the Blasted Church Flock Club beckons. This exclusive membership is an ode to the true connoisseurs of Blasted Church wines. 

When it comes to embracing the Blasted Church experience beyond a single visit, the Blasted Church Flock Club beckons. This exclusive membership is an ode to the true connoisseurs of Blasted Church wines. 

Make The Pilgrimage

A Tranquil Pilgrimage through Blasted Church’s Enchanting Landscape

The Pilgrimage Walk takes us on a journey through the awe-inspiring grounds of Blasted Church. This self-guided exploration, strolling amidst the scenic Merlot rows that lead us to the property’s boundary. Here, we were treated to a breathtaking panorama that unfolds, revealing the captivating beauty of Skaha Lake and the West Bench. What a beautiful place to pause, relax, and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. It’s a moment to savour the unparalleled views and revel in the tranquil ambiance during your visit.


Harvesting the Essence

As luck would have it, our visit coincided with the Pinot Gris harvest, an occasion that held special significance for us, given our fondness for this particular wine at Blasted Church.

The approach to crafting Pinot Gris here is a testament to the meticulous care invested in every bottle. While some winemakers opt for extended skin contact, Blasted Church’s method focuses on imparting richness and complexity, elevating the wine’s profile.

It’s worth noting that this Pinot Gris is exclusively sourced from their own estate, ensuring the utmost control over the quality and character of the fruit. In this, winemaker Evan Saunders has masterfully captured the quintessential essence of BC Pinot Gris, delivering notes of apple and pear, a bright acidity, and a delightful freshness—all harmoniously balanced without a hint of excessive sweetness.

A Global Effort: Temporary Foreign Workers

The heartbeat of any vineyard lies in the hands that tend to the vines, and Blasted Church understands this deeply. For the past five years, they’ve welcomed the same dedicated team of five skilled workers from Mexico. Their tenure aligns perfectly with the seasons, departing when the weather turns cool and returning as the warmth graces the vineyards once again.

These artisans are entrusted with the critical tasks of vigor management, a role encompassing everything from pruning and tying to tucking, picking, and meticulous spraying.

Their expertise is woven into the very fabric of Blasted Church’s winemaking process, ensuring that each vintage receives the attention and care it deserves. This global collaboration is a testament to the universal language of wine, transcending borders and uniting individuals in the pursuit of crafting exceptional vintages.

Sustainability and Innovation

As we ventured deeper into the world of Blasted Church, it became evident that their dedication to sustainability is not just a trend, but a core value. They’ve embraced practices that harmonize with the environment, ensuring that each bottle produced is a testament to their commitment to the earth.

Blasted Church embraces pioneering approaches, such as the exclusive use of screw-top closures since 2004. This bold move, once revolutionary, has now become a hallmark of their commitment to accessibility and convenience, showcasing their dedication to innovation in the industry. Lisa emphasized, ‘It’s more than just a closure; it’s a symbol of our dedication to the earth.’

In the realm of packaging, the winery has taken thoughtful steps toward sustainability, exploring lighter-weight glass bottles to reduce environmental impact in production and transportation. This conscientious shift exemplifies their ongoing pursuit of eco-conscious winemaking, ensuring that each bottle produced is a testament to their environmental responsibility.

Blasted-Church-Wine Tasting Patio

Beyond packaging, Blasted Church’s dedication to environmental stewardship begins in the vineyards. They practice low-intervention, high-expression farming, aiming to carry forward the remarkable qualities of the soil into their wines. Progressive farming practices, including drip irrigation with water from Skaha Lake, allow for precise and timely water management, limiting usage throughout the year and cultivating concentrated fruit for exceptional wines.

The commitment to holistic farming is evident in their approach to cover crops, fighting erosion, improving soil structure, and providing habitats for pollinators and beneficial insects. Post-winemaking, organic waste such as stems, leaves, and skins are composted and reintroduced into the vineyards. Additionally, the introduction of chickens from True North Farm contributes to increased biodiversity, pest control, and soil improvement, aligning with Blasted Church’s dedication to regenerative practices.

Plan Your Trip to Blasted Church

Before we wrap up, make sure you plan your pilgrimage to experience Blasted Church in Okanagan Falls!

Goodnight, Blasted Church!

As our conversation with Lisa drew to a close, there was a palpable sense of gratitude for the time spent amid the vineyards overlooking the serene Skaha Lake. The story of Blasted Church Vineyards is more than a tale of exceptional wines; it’s a testament to audacity, innovation, and an unyielding commitment to quality.

In every bottle, one can taste the dedication of the winemaking team led by Evan. His audacious decisions, from uprooting vines to experimenting with varietals, have resulted in wines that not only challenge convention but redefine it.

The experience at Blasted Church transcends the tasting room. It’s in the lively concerts that transform warm summer evenings into symphonies for the senses. It’s in the regular seated tastings, where time seems to slow against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring Skaha Lake. Each pour is an invitation to savour not just the wine, but the moment itself.

And for those seeking to make Blasted Church a part of their own story, the Wine Clubs beckon. The Flock, whether through the newly introduced Choir or the esteemed Traditional Clubs, offers a gateway to an exclusive community. Here, membership is more than a transaction; it’s an invitation to become a part of the Blasted Church family, to share in the passion and the craft that defines this exceptional winery.

As we bid farewell to Blasted Church Vineyards, it’s with a sense of anticipation, knowing that each visit promises new discoveries, new stories, and new wines to savour. It’s a place where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary, and where every glass is a toast to the joy of living in the moment.


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