Partner, Willy Sabo
Grapegrower, Sam Baptiste
Winemaker, Aaron Crey
The meaning of Apricus
Apricus Cellars was borne out of our love for the climate, land, soil, and sun of the South Okanagan and the fruit grown in those elements. Apricus (äˈpriːkʊs̠) is a medieval Latin word that means both ’basking in sunshine’ and ‘delectable’. No word better describes our wine and the environment in which we produce it.
Of utmost importance at Apricus Cellars is showcasing the outstanding quality of the fruit grown for us just minutes up the road. One of our owners often says, “you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken droppings. Likewise, you can’t make the best wine without the best grapes”. From our light and refreshing Pinot Gris to our bold Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Meritage blend, you’re sure to taste the quality of our grapes in each and every bottle.
About the Owners
Willy Sabo is a hard-working entrepreneur with a background in salvage and surplus steel sales. Although partnering in a winery wasn’t part of any calculated business plan, Willy has always kept an eye out for good people with whom he could work. Meeting partners Sam and Aaron was serendipitous. From the first of many shared bottles of wine, they were fast friends, sharing a keen interest in viticulture and, of course, the fruit of the labour now in Apricus Cellars’ bottles! Like many from the Fraser Valley, for years Willy and his family would spend the summer in Osoyoos, staying at Nk’Mip Resort where a lot was learned and an appreciation for indigenous culture was born. Over the last couple years, Willy and his wife, Kelly, have made the South Okanagan their year-round home away from home. Willy brings with him a strong sales background, a love of all things wine, and loads of entertainment. More often than not, he tells customers at the winery that he’s the caretaker! Truly, he believes that being a part of Apricus Cellars in the DWV is the perfect semi-retirement passion project.
Sam Baptiste grew up in the Okanagan and is a proud member of the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). As a high school student in 1968, Sam helped plant the original vines in Nk’Mip Vineyards. After high school, Sam spent several years working and serving his community. During this time, he pursued a diverse education in horticulture, enology, and viticulture, studying at UVic, UC Davis and colleges in San Diego and Wenatchee Valley. Beyond his formal education, Sam brings to the table a wealth of knowledge about this land, these grapes, and great wine. Outside the vineyard and the wine, his passions include golf, cars, and music. Since 1990, Sam has been the general manager at Nk’Mip Vineyards. Apricus Cellars is proud to purchase our grapes from Sam and his team.
Our winemaker, Aaron Crey was born and raised in the Fraser Valley, a member of the Cheam Band within the Sto:lo First Nation. As a teen, he spent a couple years working on salmon rehabilitation projects for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Eventually, though, after falling in love with the South Okanagan, he happened upon winemaking. He loves the challenge and has developed a passion for the process, always trying to capture the very best facets and characteristics of the grapes with which he works. Aaron studied viticulture and enology at Lincoln University in New Zealand and spent seventeen years on the winemaking team at Nk’Mip Cellars. When Sam approached him to make wine together and begin what is now Apricus Cellars, Aaron jumped at the opportunity. As the sole winemaker, he loves the creative freedom he’s been given by the other partners.