Joka & Wilbert Borren
The Borrens have always had adventurous spirits. Wilbert and Joka both grew up in Holland. They bought a small pig farm in Lacombe AB and started a family. After successfully growing and expanding the farm, it was time to sell and find their next adventure. A previous vacation to the beautiful Okanagan area had them intrigued. With a strong desire to continue farming, in 2011 they purchased a 17 acres vineyard property and moved their young family to Penticton BC.
With no background in viticulture, the Borrens had a lot to learn, but luckily they were accustomed to working hard. They enlisted the help of their sons to help rejuvenate the upper vineyard which had been seriously neglected. After successfully growing grapes in their Naramata Bench vineyard for other wine producers for 7 years, they felt it was time for another adventure. Retaining a portion of their 2017 harvest, Wilbert and Joka made their first vintage of pinot noir and merlot with assistance from Tightrope’s Lindsay O’Rourke. Working with consulting winemaker Pascal Madevon, the 2018 harvest added chardonnay, riesling and a rosé to round out their portfolio.
The Borrens will always be farmers at heart. “We love being outside, working the land and caring for our vines. We believe each vine has its own character – almost like a personality – that requires unique attention. You develop that knowledge and understanding after years of caring for a vineyard. For this reason, we plan to stay hands-on in the vineyard so we can continue to grow the best fruit possible, as we firmly believe that wine is made in the vineyard”. And as a small producer, the Borrens will continue to be involved every step of the way in the wine making process, from all the vineyard work, to harvesting, producing the wine and speaking about their wines in their tasting room.
“Family means the world to us. The Four Shadows name was inspired by a photograph of our four sons during a family vacation in Mexico. Even though our boys are growing up and following their own dreams, they are still a big part of Four Shadows. They have left their mark – from helping in the vineyard, renovating the tasting room building, or making the beautiful sign that hangs outside our tasting room. “
“We hope that when you visit our tasting room, your experience is one which is comfortable and fun. Our intention is for it to be an extension of our home where anyone can feel at ease talking about wine regardless of their level of wine knowledge. We want to make wines that you can enjoy with friends and family, and create your own special memories.”
The entire Four Shadows wine portfolio will be available in their tasting room on Upper Bench Road, opening in Spring 2019. And maybe if you’re lucky and show up at the right time of day, you might just spot one of the shadows!