Serendipity Winery, located in the heart of the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley, BC, is owned by Judy Kingston and assisted by second-in-command Katie O’Kell.
The adventure began in the fall of 2005 when Kingston embarked on a holiday wine tour of the Okanagan with a view to finding a retirement property in the south Okanagan. Instead, she found an old orchard in Naramata. This was the first Serendipity “aha” moment, as she set out to convert the orchard to a vineyard with the goal of establishing a new boutique winery.
Beginning in the spring of 2006, the property was completely re-landscaped to provide the optimum slope and orientation for the new vineyard. Kingston selected the wine varietals for planting to match the micro climate and four distinct soil types on the property. In 2007, she planted eight acres of vines, with Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc as the main reds, and Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc as the whites. Subsequently she has added to the vineyard with additional plantings of Syrah, Pinot Noir and ‘a little Malbec for blending’.
The first harvest was in 2009, and was of exceptional quality. It was a tribute to the many hours of hard work and dedication that Kingston put into the vineyard, and her goal of producing quality over quantity. To add complexity and diversity to the wines, additional grapes have been purchased from local Okanagan growers who share the same commitment to quality. In the time since releasing these first wines, the winery continues to delight, surprise, and capture accolades and in 2013 the winery was named BC Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Competition.
Nestled among the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench, a visit to Serendipity is all about discovery, surprise and warmth. Each guest of the winery becomes a member of the extended Serendipity family. Visitors enter the estate through a simple farm gate entrance but after rounding a short dusty bend between rows of vinifera, they come face to face with the winery’s gorgeous 25-foot double doors, which feature Serendipity’s logo cast in stunning wrought iron.
Either Judy or Katie is usually at the winery, welcoming every visitor with a smile and a glass. The passionate mother and daughter team are always pleased to share their passion and education with their guests.
Judy Kingston - Fearless Leader
Katie O'Kell - Chief Grape Stomper
The story of Serendipity is, in many ways, the story of Judy Kingston. Judy grew up in Toronto, completed her undergrad in Math and Computers at Western University in London, Ontario, and her law degree at the University of Ottawa. She was also in the first graduating class to receive a degree in computer science at Western University.
Katie was born and raised in Toronto and received her BSc in Biology at Hamilton’s McMaster University. After ruling out medical school, Katie was accepted into law school but had time off between her undergrad and the start of the next session, so she traveled to Naramata to assist her mom in the interim. She had already spent a few summers helping at the winery, so knew what she was getting into… almost. Katie ended up loving the work at the winery so much that she deferred her law school acceptance and has stayed on at Serendipity full time. Katie has recently completed a three-month stage at New Zealand’s ultra-modern Delegat Wine Estate, where she worked harvest for the 2016 vintage. Katie has completed her winemaking degree with UC Davis in California, and got 100% on her final exam. As a part owner with her mom at Serendipity, Katie spends most of her time in the cellar making wine, but also spends part of her day doing marketing and administration, helping Judy run the winery behind the scenes