The Slamka family planted their first vineyard in 1969 with the intention of selling grapes to large commercial wineries. By 1996, the three Slamka sons had established their own winery. Wines vinted from the hot summer grapes of 1994 made up our first commercial releases.
New vineyard blocks have been added or replanted over time, allowing us to try new varieties in our search for those best suited to our 12 acre parcel. This combination of growing techniques, modern wine making practices, and maturing vines works to create the unique character of our wines.
In the fall of 2018, Little Straw hired a new winemaker to take over the reins from Peter Slamka, who decided to step back from his previous role in our family winery. As Pete passes on the keys to the cellars, we welcome Barb Hall into the fold and look forward to years of creative collaboration.
Barb came to us with a wide range of experience in the BC wine industry, with a total of 16 years in various roles, including vineyard management, sales, and eight harvests as a winemaker. She obtained her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from UBC Okanagan with the intention of becoming a winemaker. An Irving K. Barber research scholarship and a scholarship from Les Dames d'Escoffiers provided training opportunities in the industry before she had even graduated. Barb's philosophy echoes our own when she explains that “... wine is grown, and the great wines connect us to the land and season. In its essence, wine is a moment in time captured that we are able to share with friends and family. Just like us though, wine evolves as it ages, and it is how that moment turns into a story that is the most fascinating thing to me as a winemaker.”