With enough grapes to go around, the Okanagan now features five new wineries in the Oliver Osoyoos region. These new additions to the wine trail are making this summer even sweeter for wine touring.
TIME is the newest venture from Harry McWatters, the founder of the first British Columbia estate winery, Sumac Ridge, back in 1980. The TIME Estate Winery production facility is scheduled to be complete before the end of harvest this year, but visitors can pop into the temporary tasting room in the meantime.
Standout Wine: The 2013 Sundial is a notable blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks.
This quaint, family-run vineyard and winery opened in May and is a bright and beautiful addition to the town of Oliver. The patriarch of the Coulombe Family, Ray Coulombe, envisioned the property as a winery at first glance, despite the fact that its five and a quarter acres of vines had been long neglected. After six years and plenty of wine education, the entire family, along with their partners, settled in Oliver to run the business together.
Standout Wine: Pull up a stool at the tasting bar to try the 2013 Compass red blend. This pleasant blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon brings forth fruit flavours such as cherries, blueberries and prunes.
The Dhaliwall family had been growing grapes for other wineries in the region for over 20 years before they decided to venture into the wine-making business themselves with Kismet Estate Winery in Oliver. While they are insistent that their winery is still a bit green, their wines are easily drinkable and perfect for summer patio season.
Standout Wine: The 2014 Infinity Rosé served up ice cold is practically summer personified. A raspberry aroma gets your attention and the bright strawberry flavours keep you in. The Dhaliwall family recommends pairing it with samosas and tandoori chicken.
You might recognize the Bartier Bros. label—they’ve been in the wine-making business for quite awhile now. Previously running their label over at Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland, the pair of brothers felt it was finally time to set up their own shop. They are the latest winery and tasting room to launch in the region, opening their doors earlier this month.
Standout Wine: The Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2013 is a great choice, with a complex, full-bodied and savoury aroma to it.
Gary Misson, the co-owner of Montakarn Estate Winery, named the vineyard after his wife, Montakarn Misson. Upon purchasing the sprawling property, the couple began replacing the stone fruit trees that populated the grounds with grapes in anticipation of opening the winery at the end of the 2014 season.
Standout Wine: Named for a wild horse born on the Montakarn property, the 2014 Tippy Toe is a slightly sweet white blend of Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
British Columbia’s Best Wine Regions (and Where to Sip)
The Okanagan Valley is emerging as one of the world’s most exciting wine regions, thanks to its range of climates and terroirs. Meanwhile, the Thompson Valley’s Kamloops area is on the rise. Sip aromatic whites at the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival (Sept. 28 to Oct. 8) or Pinot Noir at Privato Vineyard & Winery in Kamloops.