Sukhi Dhaliwal’s life could fit a movie script. If nothing else, it serves as an inspiration to anyone, from anywhere who aims to climb to success. Dhaliwal arrived at Vancouver International Airport in 1991 with $5 — borrowed cash he kept in his pocket — and boarded a bus to reunite with his wife in Oliver. Dhaliwal did what many immigrants from India do when they reach British Columbia’s interior, he worked in orchards, picking fruits that were as foreign to him as the climate he weathered and the faces he observed. After settling in, he sponsored his family members from India’s Punjab state and together they learned the details of how to best cultivate fruit in the South Okanagan. Soon, Sukhi and his younger brother, Balwinder Dhaliwal, leapt from vineyard workers to managers at some of the area’s top wineries and then finally to farming entrepreneurs themselves. Steadily, the Dhaliwals accumulated 350 acres of land in 25 locations in the region. They concentrated on growing vinifera grapes for the thriving winemaking industry and their grapes ended up in bottles that won awards year after year. Thus, the question arose among their family, friends, and acquaintances in the industry, Why don’t the Dhaliwal brothers start their own winery? Following years of research and education in the winemaking business, they did just that, launching Kismet Estate Winery in 2013. They continue to sell grapes to winemakers in the area, but retain about 10 per cent of the fruit for their own production. The results are wines that are elegant, fruit-forward, and indicative of the terroir of the South Okanagan.
Masala Bistro hours of operation are 11am-7pm, open everyday except for Wednesdays!