In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Laughing Stock and Bella

The last couple of visits in the Okanagan were really interesting. The first was at Laughing Stock Vineyards on the Naramata Bench. Cynthia and David Enns (above) were financial people who caught the wine bug, and they bought this property in 2003. They were the ninth vineyard on the Bench, and now there are 30. [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Le Vieux Pin, La Stella, Black Hills and Tinhorn Creek

Severine Pinte is the winemaker behind two high-end Okanagan properties: Le Vieux Pin and La Stella. The former is a Rhône specialist and is currently making some of Canada’s top Syrahs.

Severine Pinte

These are superb wines with real definition, and count among the country’s very best. They are quite northern Rhône in style, but they [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Meyer Family Vineyards, Culmina and CheckMate

Jak Meyer and Chris Carson

Jak and Janice Meyer bought a small vineyard in the Naramata Bench back in 2006. Originally, this was just a hobby vineyard, but in 2008 when Jak started selling the grapes he realized that selling 600 cases was quite a bit of work and that he’d never make money doing [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Summerhill Pyramid, Liquidity and Painted Rock

Summerhill Pyramid Winery is one of the Okanagan’s most distinctive. We visited with Ezra Cipes, CEO and son of the founder Stephen Cipes. Stephen brought his family here back in 1986 from New York, and began Summerhill Pyramid winery in collaboration with winemaker Eric von Krosigk.

Eric and Ezra

Back in the late 1980s, when the [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, Gray Monk and Tantalus

The second day of this trip was spent immersed in the beauty of the northern and central Okanagan. As a wine region, the Okanagan is simply too diverse to make all that much sense of. The lake is very long, and climate shifts quite a bit from the cooler north to the pretty warm south. [...]

In the Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada, day 1: Quails' Gate

It’s never much fun when you have a tight connecting flight and then get delayed. Yesterday I arrived in Vancouver after a nice flight (6000 words written, a sleep and a Woody Allen movie), only for technical problems to keep us at the gate for 50 minutes before getting off. It’s a horrible feeling as [...]

Culmina Unicus, a Gruner Veltliner from British Columbia, Canada

On my visit to the Okanagan Valley, it was nice to meet Donald Triggs (above) and taste a few of his wines. One stood out immediately as being particularly interesting: it was Gruner Veltliner, made from third-leaf fruit.

Triggs has been an important figure in the Canadian wine industry. A businessman with international experience, he partnered with Alan [...]

Two cool wines from the Okanagan, Canada: Riesling and Syrah

Tried these rather lovely wines from the Okanagan Valley in Canada, and thought they deserved a write-up, even though they might be hard to find. You heard it here folks: Canada deserves to be taken seriously for both Riesling and Syrah.

Le Vieux Pin Tramonto Syrah 2010 Okanagan Valley, Canada
A private label from the [...]

Some pictures from the Okanagan

Had a great day touring round the Okanagan yesterday. It’s a very scenic wine region. We began at Mission Hill, the really impressive winery owned by Anthony Von Mandl.

Then it was a visit to Tantalus, who are making super-impressive Riesling and very good Pinot Noir. Kiwi ex-pat David Paterson is the winemaker here.

David [...]

In the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada

I am in the Okanagan! David Scholefield (below) and I drove up here yesterday morning. It’s a lovely four-hour drive through some spectacular scenery. Although there’s the possibility of flying from Vancouver to Penticton, the drive is worth it for the views. On the way I got to see my first ever wild moose, and [...]