Our Story

It all started with a simple conversation over dinner in 2005

Over many bottles of wine, two friends, passionate about the wine business, said “Dude, let’s get into the juice business”! And The Oak & Priest Wine Company was born.

The Journey to Black Hills Estate Winery

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 8 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 and “The Producer” (2018 vintage) a killer Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the finest single Napa vineyards. Only 56 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.


On Sept 27th, 2020 the horrific Glass Fire swept through Sonoma, Napa and Spring Mountain devastated the wine industry, including Behrens Family Winery, destroying their winery, and 2019 & 2020 vintages. Along with it all of The Oak & Priest’s barrels and inventory. Thankfully Les, Lisa, Robin, Schatzi, the new tasting room and all 36 chickens survived the devastating fire.


Thanks to two great winemakers, Napa’s Rudy Zuidema and Paso Robles’ Curt Schalchlin, Oak and Priest was back in business with three new, outstanding wines. “The Bomb” – Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (2018- 56 cases), “The Great Escape” – Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (2018- 56 cases) and “Sin Toro” Napa Grenache (2018- 56 cases)



Oak and Priest’s new wines sold out quickly, and in 2023, they followed that success with the second release of “The Bomb” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (2019- 56 cases) and “Sin Toro” Napa Grenache (2019- 56 cases) which were gobbled up by collectors and wine enthusiasts on both sides of the 49th parallel


Continuing to build on the success of the 2018 and 2019 vintages, Oak and Priest is proud to be releasing it’s third vintages of “The Bomb” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (2020- 160 cases), and “Sin Toro” Napa Grenache (2020- 112 cases), as well as the second vintage of “The Great Escape” Single Vineyard Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (2022- 200 cases).  And we are thrilled to be releasing our first ever white wine “Out of the Park” Napa Sauvignon Blanc (2022- 300 cases)