One of the most beautiful things about wine is how every bottle and every sip is so vastly different. It evolves and changes with time. Some are best enjoyed right away while others take time to mature and become more developed and exquisite with age. Every bottle is a true work of art; people put their heart and souls into crafting the most delicate and bold flavors.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to taste the art and hear the stories from the artists themselves.
Doing an Okanagan wine tour is great fun, but it’s all thanks to those you share the adventure with, my gang was exceptional.
From left to right: Mark (Kristi’s boyfriend), Kelsey, Stephen (Kelsey’s boyfriend of 9 years), Nina, Dan (Nina’s boyfriend of 7 years), Lola (see below for EXCITING news), yours truly and Kristi (her Mama and mine were best friends all throughout their childhoods and still are to this day).
We went to a ton of wineries, we drank many a sips of fantastic vino and had the loveliest of times.
Our first stop: See Ya Later the wine was great, the land was gorgeous and the story was cute. Major Hugh, the man who started it all was one thing above anything else: a dog lover. He even has a little graveyard out front with gravestones in place for all of his beloved pals.
One thing, however, did bug our group. When we first arrived, we went for a bit of an exploration and found a baby coyote with a trap stuck on his foot. Dan ended up calling the wildlife help line in the Okanagan and they said someone should shoot the poor little guy to put him out of his misery. When we told the workers about our discovery, no one really seemed to care. For a winery that is so adamant about loving our four legged pals, they didn’t seem all that interested in helping one who was in need.
As for their wines, the Jimmy My Pal Rosé took the cake for my favorite of the bunch. Crisp, fruit forward with hints of raspberry and cranberry. A little sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
My absolute favorite winery, hands down was Silver Sage. Anna Manola took us on a hilarious and witty journey through her wines. Not only was she a captivating story teller, her wines were delicious. I ended up buying four bottles when I had originally planned to put a cap of only one bottle from each winery. Oops.
The entire estate was gorgeous with bellowing rose gardens and weeping willows. Absolutely a must-go if you’re doing the tour through the Okanagan.
Road 13 was an actual castle. The grounds made me feel as thought I was in a Disney movie. One with a ton of wine and castles, of course. Their best wine was hands down the 2014 Syrah Mourvedre, we were able to taste it but unfortunately they were completely sold out. Ah well, c’est la vie, reason to come back earlier next year!
Another top-of-the-list spot was Church and State. Generous pours, phenomenal staff and fantastic wine. You might know their wine labels as the ones with witty titles, like the one below… my personal favorite: C’est La Fucking Vie, of course.
We heard the word “Meritage” many times though out our tours. Turns out it’s the North American name for Bordeaux style wines. In 1988, the Meritage Alliance grew frustrated with wine-labeling requirements and decided to hold a contest to conceive a word that they could use to describe and promote these blends. Meritage comes from the marriage of two words: Merrit and Heritage. The lucky winner received two bottles of wine from the first ten vintages of every wine licensed to use the name… all over North America… lucky bastard.
When Lola came to meet up with us, there was something different about her… something sparkly and glowing. She was asked the question and she said yes! So ecstatic to see her marry the love of her life. She is going to make the most perfect bride.
This adventure was definitely one for the books. So many sips, so many laughs, so many great memories. This has been an ongoing tradition for both of my sisters and this was the first year I was finally able to join along.
I know I will be dreaming of all of the wine until I can sip sip sip again next year.