Painted Rock began with John and Trish Skinner’s belief that the Okanagan Valley had enormous, largely unrealized, potential. While the area was long known for producing some of the world’s finest fruit, it was the wines produced from the 1980’s “Vinifera Program” (where vineyards were paid to remove high producing, inferior hybrids and plant vinifera) that convinced the Skinner’s that the Okanagan would one day be an internationally recognized wine region. John knew that if they wanted to be involved, and make an impact, they had to move quickly. The goal was simple: find the best property and apply the most aggressive mandate for quality. Their extensive search took nearly three years and ended when they found “The Black Hawk”, a spectacular 56 acre bench on Skaha Lake in Penticton. In 2004 they purchased what was once “the largest apricot orchard in the British Commonwealth”. The orchard had been felled in the 1980’s and had lain fallow since.
Detailed analysis of the property occurred for the next year while the site was prepared and the property was planted in 2005. Envisioned as a family-run estate winery, the assumption was that this could be some of the finest “terroir” in the world and it was their job to deliver on its promise. From expertise to equipment to mandate the commitment was and remains uncompromising. According to John Skinner, “If Painted Rock is going to compete with the best in the world we must have confidence in our terroir and allow it to express its uniqueness. That's why we are 100% Estate."
Envisioned as a legacy family business, Painted Rock is anchored in family values and a shared vision. This was wonderfully reinforced when 500 year old native pictographs were discovered at the back of the property. John’s long deceased father was a passionate archeologist so this symbolized the relevance of history, the importance of place, and the extension of family. The legacy continued in 2015 when John and Trish’s daughter, Lauren Skinner, having completed her MBA in Bordeaux several years prior, joined Painted Rock to work along side John. She now serves as the Director of Sales and Marketing.
At Painted Rock, family describes more than just blood relations. The importance of a cohesive team, through teamwork and comradery, is paramount to its overall success. The creation a team committed to working towards mutual goals, who understand the vision of the Skinner family, was of the upmost importance when this endeavor began and has been one of the winery's greatest achievements.
It is now 17 years since the planting of the estate vineyards and the property is living up to its potential in every regard. When our 2017 Red Icon was named a Decanter Wine of the Year in 2020, it validated the progress made by the team and steeled its resolve. At Painted Rock there is a firm belief that by aiming highly and working cooperatively, British Columbia wines can compete with the finest in the world.