A Day of Revisits!

 After so many new wineries I thought it would be a nice day to revisit some of my favourite wineries! I stayed in West Kelowna and visited two wineries I've been to before, both of which I enjoyed but didn't really blow me away the last time. I always love to give second chances so that's what today was all about! And without further ado I give you, the wine!

Winery #1: Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery

Mt. Boucherie has been growing grapes since 1968 and they served their wine out of a fairly small tasting room, but it wasn't until last year that they opened the doors to their brand new, upscale winery and restaurant and let me tell you, it's absolutely gorgeous. The view during the wine tastings alone is incredible, but I've also heard that their restaurant, The Modest Butcher, is phenomenal and very well priced. I went to this winery last year and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't totally blown away. What they do that's interesting is they present you with a list of wines that you're allowed to choose from to try! Read on to see which wines I chose and if my opinion was changed...

1. Green Lightening 2019

I have such a soft spot in my heart for Gruner Veltliner. It's such a unique grape coming from Austria and it's finally establishing itself in the world! These specific grapes were picked early and cool fermented, bringing out more of the green and citrus notes. This was such a fun welcome wine, very light and fresh with lots of citrus, lemon peel as well as some lemongrass in there. This is a great summer wine and would pair well with a patio!

2. 2020 Elder Vicar

Along with the first wine, this is also an exceptional summer wine! A blend of Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, this wine was made as a tribute to Father Pandosy who planted the first wine grapes in the Okanagan. This was very nice on the nose with lots of peach and peach blossom. It's done in an off-dry style and you can really taste some spiciness from the Gewurztraminer on the palette! 

3. 2020 Eye of the Partridge Pinot Noir Rose

This was one of my favourite wines! You all know by now that I'm a sucker for Pinot Noir, so it's no surprise when I adore a Rose made solely of Pinot Noir. This is Mt Boucherie's newest release of Rose, actually just released last month! They actually call it the Eye of the Partridge because the colour of this Rose matches the colour of the eye of a partridge once it's been killed. Which is super morbid, but I kind of love it! This is done in a dry style but it is still SO fruity and full of strawberries. There was a wasp that kept flying around my tasting and this was definitely its favourite wine. 

4. 2018 Zed's Dead Zinfandel

Ok you guys if you're a fan of Zinfandel, I highly recommend you purchase this wine! Their Zinfandel vines were really affected by the winter freeze in 2018 and it ended up killing all their vines, so this is Mt Boucherie's last vintage of Zinfandel for the foreseeable future! If you're curious like I was, they will be replanting the vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon vines! This Zinfandel is just full of in your face red fruits, tons of red cherry and even some blackberry in there! It has very nice tannins that give it a great mouthfeel.

5. 2017 Summit

This was a gorgeous wine is Mt Boucherie's flagship wine and is a red blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet France, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. This was full of dark fruit like cherry and red currant, with a nice mix of black fruit like dark plum and fig. There were also some nice spicier notes from oak aging as well as notes of vanilla in there! I literally wrote in my little notebook "this is such a good wine, wow the tannins are so smooth and the mouthfeel is just gorgeous" and I mean I really don't think I could put it better than that!

6. 2017 Merlot Icewine

The description of this wine on the menu they give you is literally just "You're Welcome" and honestly, it doesn't need to say anything more. I've never had a red icewine before and this was just so good wow. The grapes were picked at -11C and ensured that the juice in the grapes would be as sweet as possible. This honestly smells just like sugarplum and maple syrup and is just a phenomenal dessert wine. 

My wine taster, Takara, was amazing and had so much interesting information she told me about all of the wines and gave me time to enjoy my wine with the beautiful view, exactly the way I love to do a tasting! She was great and if you can, I would definitely recommend her for your tasting!

Winery #2: Quails' Gate

I will be totally honest here, I have a love-hate relationship with Quails' Gate. I am SUCH a huge fan of their wines and I think the winery is gorgeous, but I always find the tasting experience a bit impersonal. That being said, I still enjoyed myself with the gorgeous view from their tasting patio! WOW were these wines ever good! Quails' Gate, like Mt Boucherie, presents a list of their wines available for tasting and you get to pick 4! So without delay, the wines I chose were:

1. 2019 Chenin Clone 220

I am such a huge fan of Chenin Blanc and I wish more people would branch out and try it! It's recently been gaining a lot of ground in the Okanagan and is actually pretty similar to Chardonnay in that it can be very versatile with use (or not) of oak! This particular version of Chenin Blanc was aged on lees in concrete eggs! I'm a huge fan of the concrete egg trend, I think it just adds a very unique profile and mouthfeel on white wines. This one had a lot of citrus, a bit of peach and lots of minerality! This was a very nice summer wine.

2. 2018 Rosemary's Block Chardonnay

Hello here I am once again loving a Chardonnay! This was aged in 100% French oak and was so much more complex and refined than your average Chardonnay. This wine literally tastes like Creme Brulee and is so smooth with floral notes and some peach notes as well. It also had some nice bready notes on the nose as well as a hint of minerality. I would absolutely pair this with some sort of lemon butter cod or chicken, or a nice summer risotto. 

3. 2018 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir

Oh hi once again, your resident Pinot Noir lover once again loving a Pinot Noir! This wine starts in stainless steel but then moves to French oak, giving it a very unique mouthfeel. It has lots of beautiful blackberry and red cherry. It's almost like a heavier Pinot Noir than I'm typically used to and would actually stand up really well against red meat!

4. 2019 Old Vines Foch

Another Marechel Foch wine! Clearly this is gaining popularity in the Okanagan, which is super cool! The vines at Quails' Gate for these grapes are 38 years old and this is actually the only wine they age in American oak, which I find interesting. If you want to know the difference between aging wine in French vs American oak drop a comment and I'll expand on it a bit! This wine was very fruity but actually had a lot of smoke in it! There was a lot of blackberry and cherry, but more on the jammy side of the fruit. For being such a dark wine it was surprising to me when it was only medium-bodied!

Shout out to my wine taster Jake for recommending some excellent wines to me that I'd never tried before!

This was such a fun day getting to revisit two wineries in West Kelowna that have a dear space in my heart. Both Mt Boucherie and Quail's Gate have restaurants that I've never been to but I've heard amazing things about so I may need to check them out one day...

Tune in next time for my first visit to the Naramata Bench! Joining me at one of the wineries are two very special guest stars and I'll be sure to point out their input for the day!


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