The spring of 2008 brought big changes to Pioneer Ranch. A long held family dream finally came true. Sperling Vineyards harvested their first vintage and with much success! The Casorso legacy is replete with determination, hard-work, ingenuity and success, but the one element that has been consistent throughout is “family.”
Giovanni Casorzo (Casorso,) began this viticultural journey in the late 1800s when he left struggling Italy to find a better life in America. After making his way to British Columbia, he was introduced to Father Charles Pandosy who convinced him to come and work as an agriculturalist in the first agricultural community in the “Interior,” the Okanagan Mission.
Back in Italy, Giovanni’s wife Rosa was making her way to her husband with their three small children. Arriving in San Francisco and unable to speak english, she was advised by dock hands to follow the bell - a church bell - destined to hang at the Okanagan Mission. Rosa made her way to the Okanagan Valley, and soon after became the single largest investor in what would later become, Calona Wines.
Viticulture and agriculture have been mainstays of the Casorso story. Each son branching into his own field. Charles, planted the first vineyard in the Kelowna area in 1925, and Louis and Pete planted vines on the Casorso property, where Sperling Vineyards is situated, five years later. Today, the 45-acre Sperling Vineyard, includes a 45 year-old planting of Maréchal Foch, a 35 year-old planting of Riesling and another old planting of Perle of Csaba (a Muscat variety,) along with Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. In the spring of 2008, blocks of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were planted to support the production of premium sparkling wines.
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