Photo: Saturna Island's Hooman Haftbaradan
Once again, owner Larry Page has his Saturna Island Family Estate Winery on the market.
The asking price, $7.9 million, has been reduced from the more aggressive valuations over the past decade. In fact, there is an Okanagan winery selling at the same price, with far less acreage. Bonitas Winery at Summerland, which has a 13.25 acre waterfront property, is listed for $7.1 million.
winery is on a 78 acre property, with almost 60 acres of vineyard and with a
bistro and a spectacular ocean view. So why is it selling for about the same
price as Bonitas Winery? Saturna Island
As they say in real estate, it is all about location. The ferry service to
Island is so poor than you can
probably drive to Summerland from
in the same time it would take to reach the island. Vancouver
winery has been dressed up for this occasion with sharp new packaging for its
wines, which are now some of the best yet released from this property. Saturna Island
Credit Hooman Haftbaradaran, the British-trained winemaker who joined
in 2010 after a
few years in the Okanagan with St. Hubertus Estate Winery. Saturna
in 1973 of Iranian parents, Hooman came to wine after a degree in hotel management
and while working as a sommelier in leading European hotels (Claridge’s in , for example).
While taking a winemaking degree at London Brighton
University, he did vintages in Greece, Germany
and . While there in 2008, he
discovered the Okanagan had a wine region. Washington State
he took over from a pair of South Africans, Danny Hattingh and Megan DeVillieres, who are now in the
Okanagan. A winemaker and a vineyardist respectively, the pair had spent two
years correcting problems at the island property. Danny’s wines showed
considerable improvement. Hooman is building on that foundation. Saturna Island
“As for my approach to winemaking,” Hooman told me a few years ago, “I am a diverse person. I lived in different places. That reflects in my winemaking. I see what the vineyard brings to me. I am working with the grapes and with the juice. I am not forcing anything.”
The wines I tasted suggest he has stayed on course.