It all started with a simple conversation over dinner in 2005, over many bottles of wine, when two friends, passionate about the wine business, said “Dude, let’s get into the juice business”! And The Oak & Priest Wine Company was born.
After many trips to Okanagan wine country seeking their first patch of dirt to build their winery, Jason Priestley & Chad Oakes were approached in 2007 by Vinequest Wine group to partner up on the purchase and financing of Canada’s premiere winery, Black Hills Estate Winery.
Then in 2008, with their love of big, bold Californian wines, Jason & Chad approached the sought-after Napa wine makers, Les Behrens & Lisa Drinkward (Behrens Family Winery) in hopes if they would be willing to make a wine for them. Sadly, they were too busy with their own amazing wineries and could not spare the capacity. After 6 years of winery visits, dinners, begging and sheer bribery, and with the urging of Behren’s wine evangelist (Robin Cooper) Les & Lisa relented. To this day, it still unknown if the choice of collaborating was out of inspiration ….. or desperation (from endless begging for their help), but a wonderful friendship and partnership was born. As an ode to the film industry which Jason & Chad call their “day jobs”, and because of his love of film & TV, Les embarked on creating “The Director” (2014 & 2015 vintages) a stunning Petite Sirah sourced from the finest Napa vineyard. Only 125 cases of each vintage were made.
On Sept 11, 2017, and after 10 amazing years of growing Black Hills Estate Winery from a 3400 case family vineyard into a 16,000 case boutique winery & destination tasting room, Vinequest Wine Group sold Black Hills to Andrew Peller Limited, Canada’s largest winery.
Last fall (2020), Jason & Chad and Les & Lisa bottled their latest collaboration, “The Producer” (2018 vintage) a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which will be released July 1st, 2021.