A sort of modernized log cabin with a sweeping view over a dramatic valley, the Hatch looks more like a wilderness camp than a winery. Its logo is jarring, and weird, and kind of funny: a man with a birds-nest for a head, an egg hovering, UFO-like, just above — like an idea, poised to hatch, or to be swallowed down the hatch. The whole place feels like an irreverent response to the pretension that viniculture often inspires. Inside, I encounter more of the unexpected, including a few hobos.


“These are wines that don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Jesse Harnden, the official “arch deacon” at the Hatch explains with a crooked smile. Fittingly, the labels for the varietals selected for their “hobo series,” from Cab Franc to Muscat to Semillon, are specially-designed by a local artist named Paul Morstad, depicting ironically-drawn, shabbily-dressed gents who would look perfectly at home in a Depression-era bread line. The whimsy continues all around me — labels with triceratops and flying pigs and a very strange-looking creature, playing a banjo. “Every one of our wines has a story,” says the arch deacon.

I’m in the Okanagan Valley near the city of Kelowna, which sits at the center of one of Canada’s fastest-growing wine regions… [read more at]