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After tasting several vintages of wines made by the former owner, Eric felt this was indeed a very special vineyard. He, along with his team, established the site’s ultimate potential would be fully realized by focusing on a small, terroir-driven line of wines made from Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The old vine plantings – 1978 Riesling and 1985 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay became the backbone of the vineyard. Other varietals were removed and new plantings of the 3 flagship varietals commenced in 2005. The vineyard would not only have considerable vine age as its anchor, it would grow to have superior clone variation as well.
Tantalus’ inaugural 2005 vintage immediately attracted the attention of national and international wine critics and Tantalus was quickly added to a short list of Canada’s very best Riesling producers. Today, in addition to Riesling, Tantalus is also recognized for consistently producing high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
With the success of the wines and the increase in production, came the need to build a new winery. Tantalus’ sleek new facility was completed in March 2010 and has the distinction of being British Columbia’s first LEED-certified winery.
With its spectacular lake views, historic old vineyard and new state-of-the-art LEED winery, visiting Tantalus is a one-of-a-kind experience. Enjoy premium, single-vineyard wines in a stunning, gallery-style tasting room, surrounded by works of art from some of Canada’s most highly-acclaimed artists.
DEMPSEY BOB - The Inspiration Behind Our Labels
Tantalus proprietor, Eric Savics, has known Tahltan, Tlingit artist, Dempsey Bob, for over 25 years and since then he has become very close friends with him and his family.
A celebrated artist and a dedicated teacher, Dempsey began carving in 1969 and was directed to the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in 1972 by Freda Diesing, who was his earliest mentor and teacher. In addition to appearing in multiple international exhibits, select pieces of his work have been acquired by top internationally-recognized galleries and museums, including the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, the Audain Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
As a dedicated collector of his work, it was a natural choice for Eric to approach Dempsey for permission to feature his masks on our Tantalus wine labels. Dempsey gladly gave his consent to share photographs of his original carvings, and in doing so acknowledged the decades-old fine relationship between art and wine. This natural symbiosis would now too be shared at Tantalus through each bottle.
In addition to a flagship collection of Dempsey Bob’s works featured at our winery tasting room, Eric hosts a large private collection in his home and is regularly asked to exhibit these works by major art institutions or by Dempsey Bob himself.
We congratulate Dempsey Bob on his incredible body of work so far, highly recognized by two honourary degrees from both UBC and SFU, and by his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in June of 2013. “For his dedication to the preservation of Tahltan-Tlingit artistry as a master carver and mentor to a new generation of artists.”