THE ADVOCATE 525
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
would have done so much more had the years allowed, but he made his
mark in the time he had.
Chris Jentsch (1963–2021)
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years
Chris was literally larger than life. An immense bear of a man with a vivacious
presence, an engaging laugh and a constant smile, it still seems hard
to conceive that he could have died this year at age 58.
Chris’s was the third generation of his family to grow fruit in the Okanagan.
He started with apples in the ’80s, building his own custom packing
house, but moved to cherries when apple prices tanked in the 1990s, selling
mostly into Asia. In 1999, he planted his first vineyard on the Golden Mile
between Oliver and Osoyoos, and later built his family home among the
vines. He had vineyards on both sides of the valley, and then in 2012 constructed
his own eponymously named winery, C.C. Jentsch Cellars. He had
a lot of fun with the name in advertising (with billboards saying, “Who are
I had met Chris over the years as a fellow grape-grower and then had a
couple of occasions to help him out of a bit of a scrape.
In the hills above the Okanagan Valley are a number of creeks that were
dammed decades ago to create irrigation reservoirs for the old flume-fed
systems that dominated irrigation until the 1980s or so. Those reservoirs in
many cases are now privately maintained by ranchers for water. Some do
not do a good job.