Sometimes you get some free time and can take a quick trip to the Okanagan. That recently happened to me. I wanted to visit at least 2 new wineries to me on this trip. I stayed in Kelowna, and checking the latest winery map, I saw that I have been to all in the area before, so I fixed my gaze further south to Summerland, where I saw Sonoran Estate Winery and Evolve Cellars. Also in the area, although not new to me, is a winery that I like to visit as they are always doing something new, is Okanagan Crush Pad. So 3 wineries in 1 day. That is a very easy pace, and gives you the chance to chat with a winery principal, linger over a wine, and enjoy the beautiful Okanagan scenery. Below are a few wines that I enjoyed at each winery.
Sonoran Estate Winery
I don’t know why I haven’t visited this winery before. It is along the route from Kelowna down to Penticton. I entered the tasting room where I met Jodi, who is in charge of sales at the winery. She was bright and friendly and offered her comments on the wines she was pouring for me. The first was their Jazz Pinot Blanc 2012. I am not a huge fan of BC Pinot Blanc, other than from a few specific wineries, but this one was exceptionally tasty.
Sonoran Estate Winery Jazz Pinot Blanc 2012 ($15) – Light light stone fruit nose. Dry with high acidity. Citrus, stone fruit, in particular apricot flavour. mouth-watering acidity on the finish. This wine is fresh BC fruit in the glass. Rating:
Sonoran Estate Winery Jazz Riesling-Gewurztraminer 2012 ($17) – Aromas of apples, lychee and pears. Off-dry with higher acidity and some oiliness in the glass. Lots of stone fruit, flavour with citrus in behind. Light sweet spices. Rating:
Sonoran Estate Winery Jazz Rose 2012 ($15) – This rose is made from Pinot Noir. It has a light strawberry nose. Off-dry, soft with a mineral streak. Cherries and strawberries flavours. Medium acidity. An easy sipper. Rating:
Sonoran Estate WInery Jazz Series Malbec 2008 ($28) – Lots of red and black cherry, cedar, and vanilla on the nose. Very aromatic! Lighter body, higher acid, with puckering sour cherry flavour, followed with cedar and oak. This wine needs aging, maybe 4-5 years, and will reward you for the wait. Rating:
Evolve Cellars was originally the Bonitas Winery, but Bonitas closed in January 2015 I was told, and was then the land and winery purchased by Harry McWatters and his daughter Christa-Lee McWatters Bond. They have the grapes from the Bonitas vineyard, plus grapes from the Sundial Vineyard, which they own on the Black Sage Bench.
Evolve Cellars Gewurztraminer 2014 – Very nice aromas of lychee, orange and roses. Dry, light body, with tropical fruit flavour and minerality on the edges of your mouth. Lychee follows. Rating:
Evolve Cellars Pinot Noir 2014 – Light smoky sausage together with strawberries and cherries on the nose. Dry, with medium body and acidity. Fine tannins, with ripe cherries, smokiness and some leafiness in this wine. A feminine style Pinot. Rating:
Evolve Cellars Cabernet Merlot 2013 – Big aromas in the glass of coffee, dark fruit and nutmeg. LIghter bodied with fine tannins. Lots of ripe black fruit flavour along with cinnamon and nutmeg spices, and black pepper. Rating:
Okanagan Crush Pad
OCP was established in 2010 by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie. The Crush Pad is located on Switchback Road in Summerland, BC. They produce their own wines, as well as are a custom crush and wine making facility to many smaller wineries that do not have their own equipment. OCP also work with the BC Sommelier of the Year, each year, to have them produce a wine of their choice. We have had wines made from Syrah, Chardonnay and more.
Route 97 Meandering White 2013 – Lots of citrus, pine and green herbaceousness on the nose. The herbal and citrus continues to the palate, together with sweet spice and some citrus rind. Dry with high acidity. A patio sipper at $15.90 a bottle. Rating:
TNT Chardonnay 2012 – Light smoke and apple aromas in the glass. Medium body, with a light flint / mineral component. Round with light flavours of red apple and butterscotch. Mouth watering acidity on the finish. Rating:
The wines from all these wineries are available from their websites for sure, and should be available at BC VQA shops and private wine shops like Legacy.
Sonoran Estate Winery link.