George Hanson, owner of Seven Stones Estate Winery, seen here enjoying the view and wine from his Cawston winery. Hanson passed away suddenly Feb. 7, 2021. (Contributed)

George Hanson, owner of Seven Stones Estate Winery, seen here enjoying the view and wine from his Cawston winery. Hanson passed away suddenly Feb. 7, 2021. (Contributed)

Condolences pour in for beloved Similkameen winemaker

George Hanson, owner of Seven Stones Winery in Cawston, died Feb. 7.

Condolences are pouring in from all over B.C. after the sudden passing of beloved winemaker George Hanson, owner of Seven Stones Estate Winery in Cawston.

Seven Stones Winery made the announcement about George’s death on their Facebook page, explaining that they have temporarily closed.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Hanson, the beloved owner/winemaker of Seven Stones Estate Winery. George passed away suddenly in his home on the evening of Sunday Feb. 7. He is survived by his wife Winona, his son Christopher and his stepsons Colin and Rowan,” reads the post on their Facebook page.

More than 120 comments appeared on the Facebook page and on Twitter, marking what a beloved person George was and what a legacy he left both in the community and the wine industry.

“My deepest condolences to his family and the staff of the winery… He built one heck of a winery and definitely left his mark on the Similkameen Valley,” said Keremeos’ Grist Mill general manager Chris Mathieson.

“George was a wonderful example to us all to live your dreams and embrace life with passion. His exuberance and kindness shone through in all our interactions. He will be missed,” said Anne Currie.

Seven Stones is known for its full-bodied reds, spectacular views and mysterious caves where Hanson was known to host winemakers dinners.

“Tonight my thoughts are with the family and friends of George Hanson. George was a champion of the Similkameen Valley. His contributions and hard work will not be forgotten. Our region in the South Okanagan is stronger today because of people like George. RIP.” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) also sent their condolences.

Hanson served as an RDOS Electoral Area “B” Director from 2002 to 2011. He served as RDOS vice-chair from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2007 to 2009. George also served as chair of the Sustainable Similkameen Strategic Planning Steering Committee & Advisory Group.

After retiring from the telephone industry in the Yukon, Hanson realized his dream of becoming a professional vintner. According to the RDOS, George is quoted as saying, “I feel very fortunate to be living my dream where work seems somewhat like play.”

“George was a great community advocate who was respected by his fellow board members,” says RDOS Chair Karla Kozakevich.

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