What is a Blind Tiger?

Back in the days of Al capone, and prohibition from 1920-1933. Speak easys ran rampant in the cities. A place to buy Illegal alcohol and party. In addition to Speakeasys, Blind Tigers and Blind PIgs emerged.

Patrons would buy tickets or tokens to see the "Blind Tiger" but really all they were doing was avoiding the cops and drinking illegally. That's why some were called "Blind Pigs" to taunt the law enforcement (pigs).

In Charleston, South Carolina. Vincent Chicco, a cafe owner ran a Blind Tiger in his Basement. But he cleverly designed a coin that just said "good for 5 cents in trade at Chicco's Cafe" but when you turned it over it revealed a picture of a blindfolded tiger. Blind tigers ran rampant throughout South Carolina, because they were so profitable. As soon as one was shut down another would emerge. Illegal drinking establishments ran uncontrollable until prohibitions end in 1933. 

The Story of Blind Tiger Vineyards

Owned and operated by Jerry and Charlene Wowchuk since 2007 and sitting on the ridge between the villages of Okanagan Centre and Winfield in Lake Country, British Columbia, Blind Tiger first planted the 11014 Bond Rd. site in 2010. With mature blocks of Riesling and Gewürztraminer, a block of Pinot Noir entering its second season, and planned additional blocks of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Blind Tiger’s on-site farming operation includes approximately 3.5 planted acres expected to produce approximately 14 tons of grapes annually at full capacity.

The farming operation received its Organic Certification from the North Okanagan Organic Association in 2013 and the vineyard’s growing philosophy attempts to raise quality produce with as little chemical intervention as possible. Natural compost fertilizers are used to maintain ideal soil nutrient profiles, sulfur is used to control fungus on developing berries, and a flock of organic heritage chickens roams the rows performing pest control duties.

Blind Tiger Vineyards winemaking takes place under the advisory services of Karnail Sidhu Singh, proprietor of Kalala Winery in West Kelowna. Prior to his venture at Kalala, Karnail was the organic vineyard manager at Summerhill Pyramid Winery for 10 years. The Wowchuks have consulted Mr. Singh’s formidable organic expertise over the past several years while developing the vineyard’s farming operation. Blind Tiger Vineyards officially opened its doors in the 2015 growing and wine tourism season.


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