“You start with the life you think you want, but if you’re really fortunate, end up with the life you were meant to have through a chain reaction of events”
Welcome to Chain Reaction Vineyards! We are Joel & Linda Chamaschuk (yes, that is hard to pronounce, isn’t it?)
Since we first met in the early 1990’s, we lived in Vancouver but vacationed in the Okanagan every summer. We have great memories of staying at Happy Valley campground in West Kelowna, and cycling and visiting the wineries in that area. This is where we first discovered wine, and have been huge BC Wine advocates since then.
As avid cyclists, we began visiting the South Okanagan for cycling and triathlon events/training weekends, which also gave us a chance to explore the wineries in these areas and become better acquainted with each community. These trips allowed us to visit favorite wineries and discover a few new gems. We never dreamed we might one day have our own winery (although for 30 years Joel has had a secret desire to be the guy behind the tasting room bar).
In 2017, after having worked several decades in the technology sector in Vancouver, we realized we really wanted something new and different from our lives. One too many long commutes in the rain was the tipping point. We started looking for opportunities in the Okanagan, and fell in love with our Naramata Bench property from the moment we set eyes on it. It is a block from the Kettle Valley Rail trail, and right on Naramata Road – two of our favorite cycling and running routes. It was an orchard with amazing views of Okanagan Lake, and with its topography knew it would be a prime vineyard site and ideal location for a winery.
We moved in early 2018 to pursue our dream of starting a vineyard and opening a winery. Three days after moving to the Okanagan and still sleeping on the floor because we hadn’t fully moved in, Joel started his first day of viticulture school. Shortly thereafter, we got right to work removing the orchard and preparing the land before planting our first vineyard in spring 2019. It has been a challenge, tremendous amount of work and a huge learning experience ever since! And we haven’t regretted it even for a minute.
We are a small family run operation and choose to do everything ourselves. We’re not even sure we can be called a family since it’s just the two of and our four cats. And the cats are utterly useless so it’s really just the two of us with help from our friends and well placed consultants. We’re involved in every aspect of this operation from social media and marketing, label design, managing the vineyards, building out our tasting room, and working in the tasting room. Our productions will always be small because we want to continue this hands-on approach, eventually including wine-making to the list. We like to think that our passion for wine, cycling and this amazing lifestyle will shine through in each bottle of wine.
We hope you will come visit us, hear more of our stories and taste our amazing wines!
Joel & Linda