Return to Lake Country

Welcome back! On this edition of Wining My Way, I return to Lake Country to visit two different wineries, both of which have incredibly different styles but have their own individual charms. Let's get to it!

Winery #1: 50th Parallel

I'm honestly obsessed with the story of how 50th Parallel came to be. It's a husband and wife team who met on a houseboat trip with mutual friends. They were the only ones who drank wine so they started chatting and the guy revealed that he'd always wanted to open a winery. The girl asked if he was going to do all of these other things like open a restaurant and have rooms for rent to earn extra income and he said he didn't know because literally all he had thought of was that he wanted to open a winery. That was the beginning of their relationship and also of the winery! I could go into a lot more detail because more cool things happened so if you want to know more of the story, drop a comment! In the meantime, the wine!

1. 2019 Pinot Gris

This Pinot Gris was done in 20% neutral oak and 80% stainless steel tanks. It was very light on the nose but had a really nice floral aspect to it! This wine had the perfect balance of acidity with good citrus and slight tropical notes as well. As far as Pinot Gris goes it's not a typical one! It was a perfect wine to start the tour off with and gives a good idea of what to expect.

2. 2020 Riesling

This wine was gorgeous on the nose, you can absolutely smell the sweetness of it. It smells very tropical and floral with some nice pineapple and white blossom. On the palate, it has a beautifully balanced sweetness and acidity. You get a lot of citrus and apple, with a bit of that pineapple from the smell. A very nice Riesling, one that is made to age a couple of years!

3. 2020 Pinot Noir Rose

The colour of this wine was a vibrant candy apple red that I couldn't take my eyes off of! On the nose it's very sweet, with notes of strawberry, vanilla and cherry. It was more tart in the mouth but still reflected those red fruits and some watermelon as well. This was a very refreshing Rose and would be perfect for a hot summer's day.

4. 2019 Chardonnay 

This was probably one of my favourite Chardonnay's I've had in the Okanagan so far. It's a very nice pale lemon colour and on the nose is just full of tropical and cream notes. In the mouth it's just full of pineapple and cream, with some peach notes in there as well. It's very well balanced and while the flavours in it may sound like the wine might be sweet, I can assure you that it's not! It's well-rounded in the mouth and the texture is very smooth. Again, this was an excellent Chardonnay and one of the best I've had so far.

5. 2018 Pinot Noir Profile

The next three wines are their three different Pinot Noirs that they produce. As a fiend for Pinot Noir, I was quite excited about this! First up was the Profile, this is their more accessible Pinot Noir but still delicious! This one spent 12 months in French oak had a nice colour to it, a bit rusty around the edges. On the palate it was nice and peppery with red cherry and raspberry. 

6. 2018 Pinot Noir Estate

Next up in the Pinot Noir tasting is their Estate version! This is a bit more pricy than the last and it was made with the intention to age it a few years. This one was a bit more purple in colour and was more fruity forward on the nose than the Profile. On the palate I would also say it was more fruit forward, definitely less of the spiciness but still gorgeous. I would say this one also had a bit more firmness to the tannins!

7. 2018 Unparalleled Pinot Noir

Normally this one isn't open for tastings because it's Wine Club exclusive, but my taster was the absolute best and let me try it anyway! There were actually only 1056 bottles of this beautiful wine produced! It has a nice dark purple/red colour to it and it's stunning on the nose. Lots of cassis and black currant with some baking spices as well. In the mouth you get all of that and more with delicate tannins and a very long finish. A stunning Pinot Noir, I'm sad it's not available for purchase!

I have to give a shoutout to Travis, my tour guide for the morning! I chose to do the Grape to Glass experience so he showed me all around the property while telling me about it's history and the wine. If you have a chance to visit 50th Parallel you should do the Grape to Glass and absolutely request Travis! 50th Parallel also has a restaurant that I've heard is incredible but I haven't been fortunate enough to be able to eat there yet.

Winery #2: Blind Tiger Vineyard

Another first time visit for me! This small, organic winery is family-run and has such a charm to it! I was sitting in their picnic area tasting wine, and suddenly there were chickens right next to me! Blind Tiger got their name from the prohibition era, when establishments that served alcohol illegally were predominantly know as Speakeasies, but other names emerged like "Blind Pig" and "Blind Tiger." Some of these establishments would have a statue of a tiger out front and if there was a blindfold on him then you were safe to enter, but if the blindfold was off then the place was being watched! And now, on to the wine:

1. 2017 Blind Blend

This white wine is a blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling, but they call it the Blind Blend because they don't know the proportions! Or maybe that's just what they say to have a good story...regardless, this was a lovely patio wine! It's very nice on the nose, extremely aromatic with lots of green apple and apple blossom. In the mouth it has that nice spiciness that a Gewurzt often brings to a wine blend. Would be perfect for a hot day on the beach!

2. 2016 Riesling

The Riesling at Blind Tiger is done in more of a dry style and had that classic petrol just fill my nose on the first sniff. You also get some subtle tropical notes like mango and pineapple. It's quite light in the mouth with a bit more citrus popping out on the palate. This would be an excellent wine to go with some nice seafood, like eating fish and chips on the beach!

3. 2018 Hush Up Blush

This Rose was 100% Pinot Noir and done in the classic French style, so it was very dry. It's almost bready on the nose, with some nice floral notes as well. On the mouth there were nice raspberry notes and almost like a pink lady apple scent to it. There was something bitter in the back of my throat that I couldn't put my finger on, but then my taster mentioned that there were notes of cranberry in there and it clicked! I've never loved cranberry so it made sense why it felt like it was getting caught in my throat!

4. 2014 Speakeasy Red

So before they give you this big bold red blend, they give you a palate cleanser! They give you a cute tiny piece of milk chocolate and it was so tasty I wanted more of that! Anyways back to the wine, this was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot. This wine had a nice deep tawny colour to it. On the nose it was full of cassis and currant, with some subtle anise in there as well. This is a super tannic wine! They just fill out your mouth until they make way for more flavour to come out. The anise really sticks out in the mouth and there was a bit of a syrupy flavour in there too. 

Blind Tiger was a very cute winery and I would definitely go back there! They also serve pizza in their picnic area and I want to try some so bad because the pizzas I saw that were coming out of their outdoor kitchen looked fantastic.

Up next we've got another edition of Walk-In Wineries dedicated to a single winery, Rust! I got to try so many fantastic wines there that I didn't want to rush through them all to cram in notes from another winery as well. So keep an eye out for that! 

Whine of the day: I wish tasting bars that you stand at would install hooks for you to hang your purse or coat if you have one.


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