Valley First

Featured Member: St Hubertus and Oak Bay Vineyard & Estate Winery

Featured Member:
St Hubertus and Oak Bay Vineyard & Estate Winery

In 1984, Leo Gebert came to the Okanagan Valley to start his own winery and purchased the J.W. Hughes Vineyard, which was planted in 1928. Two years later, Leo’s brother Andy joined him and they established St Hubertus and Oak Bay Vineyard & Estate Winery in 1992. The family-run, 76-acre certified transitional organic vineyard produces 170,000 bottles annually using estate grown grapes—a rarity in the Okanagan.

While the business has grown and evolved in three decades, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In 2003, the Mountain Park wildfire devastated the winery and their Geberts’ family home, along with hundreds of other buildings in the area. Leo credits the community’s support for being able to rebuild quickly but the ordeal gave him a crash course in the value of working with an experienced insurance partner.

“We’ve only ever had one insurance claim, but it was a doozy,” Leo says. “We have complex insurance needs that includes their business consisting of a farm, manufacturing and bottling centre, retail store and outside sale as well as all of our personal coverage, and discovered after-the-fact that there were lots of things that weren’t covered by our policy at the time.”

Four years ago, they were searching for an insurance partner who understood that complexity and found one in Valley First’s Commercial Insurance team.

Making the decision to work with an insurance partner isn’t something Leo advises other business owners to take lightly. “Take your time and shop around,” he says. “Ask lots of question and work with someone who is willing to answer all of them.”

Visit St Hubertus and Oak Bay Vineyard Estate Winery for more information.


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