Today, our third day of wineries, we visited such an array. Starting with La Stella, the sister winery to Le Vieux Pin, I was completely smitten with the wine geeky tasting room manager. He ‘spoke my language’ – telling us about the terroir, how much oak and the types of barrels each wine had seen, exactly where the grapes were grown on the estate and soil compositions. The other two women at our tasting were glazed over (they awoke briefly when the Moscato di Okanagan came out, I think because it was sweet), but he had me at the first cork popping! A wonderful, informative, intelligent, higher end, calm experience. No wading through limousine or bus crowds to get to the bar…refreshing and the wines were outstanding. I purchased a Rose and their Maestoso. Stay tuned for reviews.
Onto Burrowing Owl where I admit I felt slightly let down. I’d imagined it would be a higher end experience than it was but it was kitschy and designed to appeal to ‘splash and dashers’. It was hard to get detailed information out of the pourer and their manager refused to extend the 10-15% industry discount to me although we had quite a lengthy discussion about Vista D’oro and what happens there. Burrowing Owl is big business…and it showed.
Next we hit Tinhorn Creek, stopping on Patrick’s advice to enjoy lunch at Miradoro (pic) which we heartily took him up on. I had a flight which paired the white blend with my Walla-walla onion soup, a rose for sipping (Cab Franc and on the skins for 11 hours- based) and the award winning Merlot with my zucchini, tomato and cheese pizza. Fresher ingredients would have been hard to find. We tried to do an abbreviated tasting but it was so packed we left the tasting room after a chat with their door greeter (where I did try their unoaked chardonnay).
Onto Gehringer Brothers where I was delighted to learn they’ve been in the Okanagan Valley since 1980 and it shows with their price points. MUCH cheaper and easier on the pocketbook than any other winery in the area, they concentrate on whites which they grow high up on their eastern facing slopes. I bought their Pinot Blanc and a Pinot Noir which was all free run and very lightly pressed. They also have Chasselas, Ehrenfelser and Auxerrois. Their two owners graduated from European programs – one from the Geisenheim Institute.
At Hester Creek we enjoyed the experience with our young pourer. They have a beautiful tasting room where you can even enjoy a special food and wine pairing experience (too bad we hadn’t known). I will look forward to enjoying their late harvest Pinot Blanc soon.
We stopped in at Road 13 and were a little confused by the incongruity of the ‘castle’ alongside the trendy marketing and feel of their brand. There’s a long story about it in John Schreiner’s book if you care to indulge 🙂 I can’t wait to drink the bottle of sparkling Chenin Blanc – perhaps tomorrow in Whistler!
Finally Rustico Cellars and then ‘home’ again. So glad we’d started with La Stella – clearly today’s star. Thank you to my DD…he’s so long-suffering 🙂 Thanks for supporting my habit, honey!