The first time we walked the steep untouched 10 - acre property we saw the great potential to create a special place.
On their first holiday together to Napa Valley and the Bay area, Jeff and Decoa came across the sculpture of Ex Nihilo at an art gallery in San Francisco. They immediately fell in love with the carving of Ex Nihilo and its translation, a Latin word meaning 'out of nothing.' Frederick Hart’s original Ex Nihilo, depicting creation, adorns the west façade of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Jeff and Decoa decided at that moment that Ex Nihilo would be the perfect name for the winery that they had discussed and dreamed of having. Jeff felt that the name would suit their winery, as it would have to be created from nothing, with respect to their pocket book. Ex Nihilo, the name and the sculpture, reminded Decoa of how grape vines come out of the ground to produce the fruit that is then made into wine, a new vintage is
created every year.
Over the next 4 years Jeff relentlessly continued the discussions of buying land to plant a vineyard and start a winery. Finally, with land prices beginning to sky rocket, and tired of discussing, Decoa awoke one morning with a compelling sensation that today was the day that she and Jeff were to look for the property of their dreams. They headed north out of Kelowna to Lake Country, an area that they enjoyed and had a well established and growing wine route.They explored every road and off road in the Okanagan Center and Carrs Landing areas.
On their fourth drive along Camp Road, Jeff all of a sudden slammed on the brakes and did a U-turn. He wasn’t sure what was for sale on the rickety hand painted signs: Peaches, Plums, Apricots, Cherries, Raspberries… or 10 acres. They immediately called the phone number on yet another rickety hand painted sign. The sellers agreed to meet them at the property in 10 minutes. Jeff and Decoa knew they had found their diamond in the rough, their Ex Nihilo.
Jay and Twila Paulson, who had gone to high school with Jeff and have been great friends ever since, came out from Alberta to visit that Christmas. They had also discovered a passion for wine; Jay had just finished his Sommelier certification. They toured the property with Jeff and Decoa and saw the dream, and decided to join the Harders in making Ex Nihilo a reality.