Chris and Betty Jentsch in the vineyard of the winery CC Jentsch Cellars. After Chris passed away this spring, Betty has decided to close the winery. (CC Jentsch Cellars photo)

Oliver winery decides to close after founding winemaker dies

C.C. Jentsch Cellars will close its doors at the end of August

An award-winning winery in Oliver is closing its doors for good after its founder and winemaker passed away unexpectedly this spring.

In April, Chris Jentsch, owner of C.C. Jentsch Cellars in Oliver died suddenly at the Penticton Regional Hospital at the age of 58.

“The recent passing of Chris in April has led Betty (his wife and co-owner) to reach the difficult decision to close the winery. Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. the wine shop will be closing its doors for the last time,” the C.C. Jentsch Cellars Facebook post reads.

“We would like to thank all those who took the time to visit us over the years and those who have enjoyed our wines from afar. Your enthusiasm and support is greatly appreciated.”

All of the vintages of The Chase, The Quest, Viognier, Chardonnay and Blanc de Noir are sold out at the winery. Check your local wine sellers to see what might be available there.

Numerous people took to Facebook to share their memories of Chris and Betty and their winery experience.

“To be in the presence of Chris and his wine was to be a part of a magical experience that I will always treasure. Your love for each other, his cherubic grin and great belly laughs, these are irreplaceable gifts,” wrote Jim McCullum.

Chris and Betty Jentsch opened the winery on Highway 97 in 2012. Quickly they were recognized nationally and internationally as a producer of fine vintage wines.

Chris and Betty were instrumental in raising $20,000 for local charity Highway to Healing Support Society that helps with children who have medical issues that can’t be addressed locally.

In July 2020, they set aside 100 cases of their double gold Voignier, selling at $200 a case with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Highway to Healing.

B.C. wine guru and author John Schreiner said in his book ‘Okanagan Wine Tour Guide’ that Jentsch was a third-generation fruit grower who started with apples, moved to cherries and eventually grapes.

READ MORE: Oliver winery owner dies

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