Having only been open for just over 5 years we are very proud of our Achievments thus far.  We have been awarded 45 awards for our 4 vintages and look forward to perfecting our art even more with each passing year!

2012 Awards~15 Awards

Canadian Wine Awards 2012

Silver~Santa Rosa Plum

Bronze~2011 Fameuse

Bronze~2011 Pippin

Bronze~2010 Mulberry Pear

Bronze~Iced Orin Frizzante

Bronze~2010 Plum Rose

BC Wine Awards 2012

Silver~Iced Orin Frizzante

Bronze~2011 Fameuse

Bronze~2010 Mulberry Pear

East Kootenay Wine Festival 2012

Best Dry Fruit Wine~2011 Cherry

Best Off Dry Fruit Wine~Fameuse

Best Overall Fruit Wine~Fameuse

NorthWest Wine Summit 2012

Silver~Santa Rosa Plum

Bronze~2011 Fameuse

OWFS Best of the Best 2012

Finalist~Santa Rosa Plum

Taste BC Awards 2012

Honorable Mention~2010 Plum Rose


2011 Awards~9 Awards

Canadian Wine Awards 2011

Best Fruit Wine~2009 Santa Rosa Plum~Silver Fruit Wine

2008 Mulberry Pear~Bronze Fruit Wine

2010 Fameuse Frizzante~Bronze Sparkling Wine

Northwest Wine Summit 2011

2008 Mulberry Pear~Gold Fortified Fruit Wine

2009 Santa Rosa Plum~Silver Fruit Wine

2009 Plum~Silver Fruit Wine

2009 Apricot~Bronze Fruit Wine

OWFS Best of the Best 2011

2008 Mulberry Pear~Finalist in Fruit Wine Category

2009 Santa Rosa Plum~Finalist in Fruit Wine Category


2010 Awards~10 Awards

BC Wine Awards 2010

2008 Mullberry Pear~Fruit Wine~Gold (2nd Most Unanomys Gold of BC Wine Awards-10 of 12 Judges)

2009 Santa Rosa~Fruit Wine~Bronze

Northwest Wine Summit

2008 Iced Orin~Tree Fruit Dessert~Silver Medal

2008 Santa Rosa~Tree Fruit Dessert~Bronze Medal

Canadian Wine Awards

2009 Santa Rosa~Fruit Wine Dessert~Silver Medal

2008 Mullberry Pear~Fruit Wine Fortified~Bronze Medal

All Canadian Wine Champioships

2008 Cherry~Tree Fruit Dry~Gold Medal

2008 Santa Rosa~Tree Fruit Dessert~Silver Medal

East Kootenay Consumer’s Choice

2009 Plum Rose~Overall Favorite Fruit Wine~1st Place

2009 Santa Rosa~Fruit Wine Dessert~1st Place

2009 Awards~8 Awards

NorthWest Wine Summit 2009

2008 Apple Pear~Tree Fruit Dry~Bronze Medal

2008 Cherry~Tree Fruit Dry~Bronze Medal

2008 Peach Nectarine~Tree Fruit Off Dry~Bronze Medal

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival

2008 Santa Rosa~Best of Varietal~Finalist

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival

2008 Santa Rosa~Fruit Wine~Silver Medal

Creston Wine Festival

2008 Cherry~Silver Medal

2008~Iced Orin~Bronze Medal

East Kootenay Consumer’s Choice

2008 Santa Rosa~Dessert Wine~1st Place

2008 Awards~3 Awards

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival

2008 Blackberry~Fruit Wine~Bronze

East Kootenay Consumer’s Choice

2008 Iced Apple~Dessert Wine~1st Place

2008 Blackberry~Dessert Wine~2nd Place

2008 Cherry~Rose~2nd Place

Here is what others are saying….

The Future is Sparkling at Rustic Roots

Mar 1st, 12                    / 0 Comments

There is something special and sparkling in the works at Rustic Roots this year. “We’re expanding our sparkling portfolio this year,” says Winemaker Sara Harker. Fans of the fizz will now have more tasty choices from the landmark Cawston winery.

In addition to the Fameuse Frizzante from their 100-year-old Snow/Fameuse Apple tree, blended with Santa Rosa Plum, they will be producing a dry white version made with Pippin Apple and Nectarine.  Apples make great sparkling wine bases, says Harker. “Any time you ferment apple in a stainless steel tank, it traps co2. So it’s perfect for making a sparkling wine because it has a bit of co2 already.”

Just like with grape wines, complexity is always at the top of the priorities. “I do blending of different yeasts and play around a lot with that to find yeasts that bring out the characteristics I want.” Blending also plays an important part in adding complexity. Sara blends varieties of fruit including different maturities to reach optimal balance.

The big project in the works this year is a sparkling Iced Orin Apple. “It will be the world’s second sparkling iced apple wine,” explains Harker. It will miss out on being the first by only a year to a company from Quebec. No doubt fans of their Iced Orin dessert wine will be looking for this one when it hits the wine shop shelves.

Stop in for some great new bubblees this year at Rustic Roots!

~ Luke Whittall

Top honours

April Lawrence, CHBC News: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Two Cawston wineries have just swept the top three prizes for fruit wine at the 2010 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards.
Two Cawston wineries have just swept the top three prizes for fruit wine at the 2010 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards.
Photo Credit: Jeff Martin, CHBC News


Known as the organic farming capital of Canada, the Similkameen Valley may be the reason valley wineries are having so much success with fruit wines.

Two Cawston wineries have just swept the top three prizes for fruit wine at the 2010 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards.

The awards are considered one of the most prestigious in the Canadian wine industry; judging for the awards took place in Penticton this August.

Nearly 1,000 wines were tasted, with expert judges choosing the best in a variety of categories.

The winners were revealed this month, and Forbidden Fruit Winery’s 2009 Pomme Desiree apple ice wine has been named best fruit wine in the country.

Cawston winemaker Steve Venables says the wine features six varieties of apples, including Gala, Granny Smith and Mcintosh.

The winery also won third place for its Plumiscuous Plum Mistelle fruit wine.

Venables grows all of the fruit for his wine on his organic family farm; he credits the high quality of organic fruit for the success of his fruit wines.

Sara Harker, winemaker at Rustic Roots winery, agrees; the winery’s 2009 Santa Rosa plum dessert wine took second place in the fruit wine category.

Harker says the huge success of the two Cawston wineries at the wine awards demonstrates the impact of organic farming on wine quality.

The other major Okanagan winner at the Wine Access awards is Naramata’s Howling Bluff winery, which took home the prize for top red wine with its 2008 Pinot Noir.

This is the first time in the Awards’ 10 year history that the Winery of the Year wasn’t from BC; that honour went to Tawse Winery from Ontario.

© Copyright (c) CW Media Inc.



CWA 2010: Fruit Wines of the Year

The best fruit wines at the Wine Access 2010 Canadian Wine Awards


Posted December 2nd, 2010


1.Forbidden Fruit 2009 Pomme Desirée Iced Apple, Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia $30

Iced apple wines have taken top honours two years in a row. Last year’s winner was from Quebec; this one is from fruit grown in British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley. Forbidden Fruit has been growing a range of organic fruits for 30 years. This golden nectar has wonderfully pure apple expression, elegantly wrapped in subtle caramel notes. The sweetness is beautifully balanced by fine acidity.

2.  Rustic Roots 2009 Santa Rosa, Cawston, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia    $28

Dessert wines add sweetness to holiday get-togethers

By John Gerum, Special to Coquitlam NOW December 3, 2010

Dessert wines should not be neglected as part of your holiday festivities.

There are many styles and sweetness levels to these types of wines. Dessert wines can be enjoyed by themselves or matched to desserts. When matching sweet wines with cake, pie, chocolate and ice cream, make sure the wine is slightly sweeter than the sweetness level in your dish, otherwise the flavour profile of the wine will disappear and fade into the background.

A fun recipe idea for the holiday includes using the wine in your dessert. Peel and cut, into bite-sized pieces, any of your favourite fruits such as pineapple, mango, orange and melon. Drizzle a few ounces of dessert wine into the bowl, mix, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, scoop mixture into parfait glasses, top with whipped cream and serve with a small glass of the same dessert wine.

A large majority of dessert wines are available in half bottles, 375-ml size, and are usually served in small, three- to four-ounce glasses. They vary in alcohol level from nine per cent to about 16 per cent. Don’t serve them too cold, or the great flavours will be frozen out. Cool is best, at about 10 C, or leave them at room temperature for about 45 minutes after removing them from the fridge.

With these guidelines in mind, let’s take a look at some delicious holiday dessert wine selections.

In the past few years, some outstanding fruit wineries have been established in B.C., particularly in the Similkameen Valley near Cawston, where two of the best are Forbidden Fruit and Rustic Roots. I have been very impressed by the quality of their dessert wines.

Crushed Innocence from Forbidden Fruit is a dessert wine produced by organic white peach grown at the winery’s farm. It tastes of peach, honeysuckle and notes of orange, and the flavours of ripe fruit just burst from the glass.

Rustic Roots has crafted a Santa Rosa dessert wine made from Santa Rosa plums. I was pleasantly surprised by the interplay of the tart plum and the sweetness of the wine. The nose and flavours of extracted plum, strawberry and citrus round out this wine.

Read more:

John Schreiner on Wine

Writer and wine columnist John Schreiner is Canada’s most prolific author of books on wine.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Similkameen Wineries: the year-two tasting


* Rustic Roots Winery opened two years ago on a family-owned organic farm. The winery occupies part of a fruit stand right on the highway at Cawston. Winemaker Sara Harker had so many wines at her table that the tasting ended before I got through the dessert wines, with the exception of the quite remarkable Mulberry Pear Port ($28.90). The fruit comes from several old mulberry trees on the farm. The berries are macerated in alcohol over the summer and this is used to arrest fermenting pear juice when some sweetness remains. The resulting wine is neither as heavy nor as sweet as Port; perhaps that is why it tastes immediately like you want a second glass. I am at a loss for descriptors for this very successful tour de force. 90.

The table wines are also very good. Peach Nectarine 2008 ($18.90) is the winery’s answer to Pinot Grigio – a delicate white with a refreshing, tangy finish. 88. Apple Pear ($18.90) is a dry, full-bodied wine in which the fruit flavours blend well. 90. Cherry 2009 ($18.90) is a tawny-hued rosé with flavours of cherry and almonds and with a texture rather like Pinot Noir. 88. Plum 2009 $18.90) is another rosé with spicy, fruity flavours and a dry finish. 89.

B.C.’s Similkameen Valley proves itself to be an intriguing wine region

By Jurgen Gothe, September 6, 2010


Rustic Roots Winery Mulberry-Pear Port 2008
Not port as we know it, but a port-style fortified wine; the mulberries are macerated in grain spirits and then used to stop the fermentation of the pears. A marvellous dessert wine, rich and complex, sweet and silky, some hints of exotic spice and lots and lots of ripe pear, and then that must be the mulberries talking as it glides along the tongue. They say it pairs beautifully with a good, strong cheese, and that’s my project for this weekend.

B.C. Wine Awards pour out some major surprises

By Jurgen Gothe, October18, 2010

…Best of all, there were some major surprises. Two of the highest-ranking wines came from a long-time favourite in this corner, Road 13, and a newcomer fruit winery called Rustic Roots, also discussed not long ago in a column about the Similkameen wineries tasting. And there was the welcome phoenix of winemaker Roger Wong’s once-upon-a-time single-varietal (Riesling) operation, Focus, as Intrigue Wines, and more fine fruit wine from Summerland Sweets’ recently established Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery. More on those in a moment.

…The other wine to win very high golds (10 out of 12) was the mulberry-pear dessert wine from Rustic Roots. The organic farm and small winery in Cawston is where winemaker Sara Harker holds forth. Her portfolio of dessert wines is magnificent, and this is its apogee. Ditto for the raspberry wine from Sleeping Giant, made for the winery by veteran B.C. winemaker Ron Taylor. Perhaps next year we can add a category, best fruit wine?