Select Page

Summer wine picks

Summer wine picks


Refreshing whites, rosés and juicy reds to soften that summer heat

Settle into a patio chair and throw some ice in the cooler. Here’s some crisp refreshing summer wines to help you through those hot afternoons and warm evenings.

These summer sips offer a journey through the season, from the scent of fruit blossoms, strawberries and raspberries to the tastes of crisp green apples and tangy lemon, lime and grapefruit. Summer wines are aromatic and fragrant, if not heady on the nose, and promise a refreshing mouth watering finish.

White grapes such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc are naturally high in acids and promise to be a bright and crisp.

Riesling in particular is great at expressing terroir, the particular land and environment the grapes grown in. Lang Vineyards in Naramata boasts the oldest Riesling in B.C. and the rocky slope has forced the roots of these 35-year old vines to go deep into the ground, picking up more of the natural minerals. Their Farm Reserve Riesling is well balanced and complex, and lingers — just how we hope those hot summer nights will.

It’s a little off-dry, yes just a hint of sweetness, so it’s perfect to sit on the patio and just sip. Which brings me to those other beautiful off-dry whites with their intriguing names, like Pinot Auxerrois, Gewurztraminer or Ehrenfelser. There all fruit forward with a touch of sweetness to highlight the flavours and when done well, a tangy but subtle acidity to keep your refreshed.

Ehrenfelser, a cross of Riesling and Silvaner, was named for a castle on the Rhine so go ahead and feel a little regal out on the terrace enjoying an expansive view of Okanagan Lake sipping a wine with royal roots.

When stocking up on summer whites, don’t overlook a Chablis-style Chardonnay. Unoaked and fermented in stainless steel, this light and refreshing white promises floral and green apple aromatics and an acidity that will “stimulate your taste buds and make your mouth water,” says Township 7 winemaker Mary McDermott.

The Chardonnay grapes come from Hidden Terrace vineyard nestled behind McIntyre Bluff, north of Oliver. Here the higher evaluation keeps the grapes cooler, key to maintaining big aromatics and good acidity. You’ll find similar cool conditions throughout Lake Country, Kelowna and Naramata and some amazing summer wines.

“We have enough heat in the summer time to ripen just about anything properly but we also have the cooler breezes off the lake in the early evening which helps to keep thing cool,” says Lake Breeze winemaker Garron Elmes. “You have enough time on the vine to ripen but you don’t loose the natural acidity of the grape.”

Pinot Noir really shines here and because its best served chilled, another great summer wine to add to your list. Add some playful sparklings and some rosés (hurry or all these luscious pinks will sell out) and your summer wine list is complete.

Photo by Chris Sternberg, Lake Breeze vineyards soak up the sun on the Naramata Bench

Wine reviews: A showcase of summer whites



As seen in

August-Sept-2016-okanagan-life-weddingLooking for a Okanagan wedding venue?

We're celebrating Okanagan weddings in our August/September issue. Let us help you find the perfect venue for your ceremony and celebration. Writer Shannon Linden is bring Hope beyond Stroke, with insight and optimism from survivors. Wine writer Yvonne Turgeon has some summer wine picks; food writer Bruce Kemp is in the kitchen with Chef Reynald Clemente from the West Coast Grill & Oyster Bar at Prestige Beach House in Kelowna.

Related Post

About The Author

Yvonne Turgeon

This communications consultant loves writing, wine and all things Okanagan (but hasn't given up her Rider green). When she's not doing PR for her clients, she's writing for Okanagan Life and managing the reins at

30,000 giveaway for small business okanagan

Current Issue

yearly-subscribeDigital Edition - Yearly Subscription

Each month, we're giving away 30 free annual subscriptions to celebrate our 30th year in publishing! With a digital subscription, you can enjoy Okanagan Life on your tablet.

Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Jan 24 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
Join us on Wednesday’s for our long table dinners, each time exploring a different theme or region in the world. Enjoy 3 family-style courses for $55 per person (plus tax & gratuity). January 10: France[...]
6:00 pm Wine Education Seminar: Through ... @ Quails' Gate
Wine Education Seminar: Through ... @ Quails' Gate
Jan 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Wine Education Seminar: Through the Ages - Vertical Tasting @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
At Quails’ Gate – we love wine! We love drinking it – making it and learning about it so we’re launching a new set of fun and interactive wine education sessions to share some of[...]
11:30 am Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran ... @ Coast Capri Hotel
Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran ... @ Coast Capri Hotel
Jan 26 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran - State of the City @ Coast Capri Hotel | Kelowna | BC | Canada
Mayor Colin Basran is the Chamber of Commerce’s guest speaker on January 26th providing his annual State-of-the-City address to a sold out crowd, about the past year’s successes, challenges and look ahead to where Council[...]
10:00 am The 2018 Scotties Tournament of ... @ South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC)
The 2018 Scotties Tournament of ... @ South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC)
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm
The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts @ South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) | Penticton | BC | Canada
The country’s best women’s curling teams will not only be chasing a Canadian championship, they’ll also be playing under a new format at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C. The Canadian women’s[...]


Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match