Marg and Jake Ootes are building their dream on the north shore of Shuswap Lake in the small community of Celista. They originally bough the property in 1995 while living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and for the next several years travelled back and forth to build our home and develop the property. The first vines were planted in 2002. They became permanent residents in February 2005.
Jack is enjoying a very interesting life. He was born in Holland in 1942. In 1952 his parents emigrated to Canada settling in Renfrew, Ontario. It was in Ontario where Jack started a communications career as a reporter for several Ontario community newspapers. In the 1960's he began focusing on politics while working for the Federal Department of Northern Affairs in Ottawa. In 1967 he joined the Government of the Northwest Territories as Executive Assistant to the Commissioner and in 1970, jack became the first Director of the Territorial Department of Information, responsible for all government public affairs and communications.
His life took a turn towards publishing in1975 as the Owner/Publisher for three award-winning and successful weekly newspapers in Alberta. In 1983 he launched Northwest Explorer Magazine, the in-flight magazine for NWT Air and in 1988 he became the Owner/Publisher for Above and Beyond, a general interest magazine for the Canadian Arctic and in-flight magazine for First Air.
Jack was elected as MLA of the Northwest Territories for Yellowknife Center in 1995, and upon my re-election in 1999, was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Education, Culture and Employment and responsible for the NWT Power Corporation. He served as MLA from 1995 until my retirement from politics in 2004.
Marg grew up on a dairy farm in Chilliwack, BC, where most of her family were also farmers. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA and BSW and worked as a social worker in BC, Ontario, Montreal and the Northwest Territories, specializing in adoption and staff training.
While in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories she started Arctic Art Gallery which became the largest art gallery in the Northwest Territories. Marg also served on the Board of Governors of the National Gallery of Canada for three years in the 1990's.
There passion for life, business and the farming lifestyle brought Jake and Marg to Celista. With over 32 medals in five years, including a double-gold (Best in Category) in All Canadian Wine Championships. Celista has surprised many with cold climate wines.
Lee Holland is the winemaker. He has been in the wine industry since his early 20's and has been making wine for Celista Estate Winery for the past five years.
When visiting the winery you can enjoy fresh bread, gourmet cheeses, and crackers, and Belgian chocolates with a glass of wine on the garden patio.