New on the block
Update the touring map. Six more cellars are opening their doors with bold new vintages to tempt your inner taster.
While cellar door launches have slowed since 2012, at least six Okanagan Valley wineries have opened or will open tasting rooms in 2013, in addition to one that is finishing major renovations. Most of the action is on the Golden Mile Bench.
At Perseus Winery, the first stop approaching Naramata Bench on lower Bench Road, the changes include redoing most of the interior and completely altering its exterior appearance. To install a new restaurant, the kitchen has been expanded, and outdoor seating added on the deck and patio in the shade at the back.
50th Parallel Estate Winery
Opened in May, the cellar door at 50th Parallel Estate Winery brings the total welcome mats in Lake Country to an even half dozen. Playing to the strengths of its cool climate vineyard, recently-hired star winemaker Grant Stanley specializes in delicious Pinot Noir and aromatic white varieties. The temporary tasting room will be replaced by a sleek, modernistic winery 2014.
By this summer, Pentâge Winery’s long anticipated winery opens, 10 years after the original launch sans cellar door. The amazing structure is built in a box canyon (small ravine) above Skaha lake and features walls of solid rock, providing a geology lesson for visitors.
Okanagan Falls’ newest winery, Liquidity Wines on Allendale Road opens its contemporary, West Coast-style winery this summer. Showcasing a gorgeous, south-facing panorama, plans include a bistro in 2014.
At the corner of Highway 97 and Road 8, intersection Winery opened to the public in may. Having played a prominent role in BC’s wine industry, Bruce Schmidt decided to create his own winery from scratch. Housed in a former fruit packing house, intersection aims high, growing varieties best suited to Golden mile Bench terroir.
Maverick Estate Winery
On the southern edge of the Golden Mile Bench near Oliver, maverick estate Winery combines winemaker Bertus Albertyne and family’s South African roots with wines from grapes grown in the desert-like South Okanagan. A cellar door is slated for completion by the end of August.
Culmina Family Estate
Positioned high on the Golden Mile Bench, the Triggs family will be launching Culmina Family Estate Winery in time to process the 2013 harvest. With former Osoyoos Larose winemaker Pascal Madevin in tow, the emphasis will be on elegant, Bordeaux-style reds.