Birthday Extravaganza!!! Part 2!!

Welcome back to Birthday Extravaganza!! When we last left off we had finished up with West Kelowna and were making our way to East Kelowna. Three more wineries on this side: Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Cedar Creek Estate Winery, and Tantalus Vineyards! Since Tantalus was actually the first winery I wrote about, I'm just sticking to the two new wineries this time around! 

Winery #1: Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill is one of the oldest fully organic wineries in Kelowna, and has been organic since it was purchased in 1986. Summerhill actually has a pyramid at their winery and they age some of their wine in it! This is also a great winery for all the vegetarians/vegans out there. All of the wine is fully vegan and they also have a very vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant! I've never eaten there myself, but I've heard good things about it and would love to go sometime. Something else I love about Summerhill is that you get to try any 4 wines you want from their menu! 

1. Cipes Brut NV

The welcome wine! This was not included in the Pick 4 and I'm very glad we got to try it! Summerhill's sparkling wine is super popular and I can see why! This Traditional-method sparkling is a blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. Fun fact: They've been making this sparkling wine since 1992! On the nose I got a ton of toasted brioche and green apple. In the mouth it's just full on green apple and lemon zest with the wine just bubbling right up in your mouth. A perfect welcome wine!

2. 2018 Organic Viognier

You know I love my Viognier and this one was very unique! A bit of a drier Viognier than I'm used to, but still nice. I got a lot of apricot and honey on the nose, as well as some orange blossom. This wine is very light-bodied and those notes of apricot and orange blossom appeared on the palate as well. This was my first choice to try and I am very happy I chose it!

3. 2019 Ehrenfelser

Not enough people make Ehrenfelser!! This is such an easy-drinking type of wine and can be made sweet or dry. For all my sweet wine lovers out there, take a chance on some Ehrenfelser! You won't be disappointed! This one was very delicate on the nose, but I could make out some peach and apricot in there. Not as sweet on the palate as on the nose and totally different flavours pop out! In the mouth I actually got a ton of pineapple and gooseberry. Again, if you're a sweet-wine lover then definitely give the Ehrenfelser a chance.

4. 2017 Organic Marechal Foch

So few wineries make Foch that when I see it on the menu I have to try it! This was another one of those gorgeous candle-worthy wines. Just so much black cherry, chocolate and licorice on the nose. This is a full-bodied wine with some well-structured tannins! So complex on the palate with lots of black cherry, vanilla and tobacco. 

5. 2016 Zweigelt Icewine

How can I not end on something sweet? My mom participated in this tasting and got literally just the different Late Harvest and Icewine options. Finally a winery for her! On the nose of this one I got a lot of cherry and caramel and in the mouth I actually got lots of strawberry and even a bit of something peppery. This Icewine can cellar for up to 15 years! Birthday Extravaganza was the first time Chris had ever tried Icewine and he quickly became a fan.

I went to Summerhill last summer and enjoyed myself and I can say the same for my visit this year! I love that you get to choose the wines you try, I love that they let you try their most expensive wine at no additional cost, and I love that they have specials at their restaurant each week! On Thursday's they have a family-style BBQ night and on weekends they offer Sparkling High Tea! I definitely have plans to attend the high tea with my mom one of these weekends.

Winery #2: CedarCreek Estate Winery

CedarCreek is in the same family as Mission Hill so I was expecting big things! I was not disappointed. I had previously visited last summer but only for dinner, I'd never done a tasting before. I had booked the Farm to Glass tasting and it was really cool because when we arrived, you actually get to have your choice between two menus! One option featured wines made from their more Northern vineyards and the other feature wines made from their more Southern vineyards. We each chose our own and then some of us shared, but my main tasting was the one from the Northern vineyards!

1. 2018 Gewurztraminer

Hello, a big fan of Gewurztraminer over here. I believe I've said this before, but Gewurzt is a very polarizing grape! People either love it or hate it. This particular version of Gewurzt was so spicy! There was a ton of green apple and baking spices, specifically cardamom on the nose and in the mouth. This was a very light bodied wine and I have to say, not my favourite Gewurztraminer but I definitely still appreciated it. 

2. 2020 Simes Vineyard Pinot Gris

This Pinot Gris was so interesting, it almost reminded me of a Riesling. On the nose I got a ton of petrol, which is why it reminded me of a Riesling. I got the petrol on the mouth as well, with lots of nice green apple and lemon notes. It also had a nice minerality to it and would be an excellent wine to drink on a hot day.

3. 2020 Estate Riesling

This Riesling was very nice, a bit light on the nose but could pick out some nice stone fruit in there! In the mouth it had a very high minerality to it with a slight touch of sweetness. The wine was bursting with white peach, lemon and some floral notes as well. It had a nice acidity to balance all the flavours, verigng on a bit too much acidity, but I still enjoyed it. 

4. 2019 Platinum Block 3 Riesling

Now this is the kind of Riesling I absolutely love. Just everything perfectly balanced, the perfect amount of sweet to it. This is one of CedarCreek's single vineyard wines and the vines for this Riesling are actually 22 years old. This Riesling was more fruit forward than the Estate version, with a nice high acidity to it. There was a lot of citrus and stone fruit in this wine and I enjoyed every sip of it.

5. 2019 Platinum Home Block Pinot Noir

Ah yes, my favroutie grape! I have heard excellent things about the Pinot Noir at CedarCreek and I was not disappointed in the least! On the nose this wine was full of cherry and raspberry, with a bit of spice in there as well. This was honestly more of a full bodied Pinot Noir with more tannin than you usually get! On the palate again I got those nice red fruits and also a little bit of licorice! With a nice earthy finish, this was an excellent wine. 

6. 2017 Platinum Riesling Icewine

This Icewine smelled like lemon merengue pie, I'm not even kidding. On the nose and on the palate it was just full of Meyer lemon, apricot and honey. It was the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity and in my notes I literally just wrote: "Mouth wateringly good" and I couldn't describe it any better than that.

One thing we didn't do at CedarCreek is the optional food pairing. Each of the wines has a bite of food to pair with it and if I ever go again I will definitely choose that option. I also have to say that if you go to CedarCreek for dinner ever, you HAVE to get the sticky toffee pudding!! I can't recommend it enough. It's delicious and everyone who goes there gets it and loves it.

That's a wrap for Birthday Extravaganza Part 2! Next up we head south to Summerland and Oliver for Part 3 so make sure you stay tuned for that!

Whine of the day: I wish every winery let you choose which wines to try from their whole menu. 

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