Canada Day Extravaganza!!

Is it tacky to make multiple posts back to back and call them all extravaganzas? Maybe! But I'll do it anyway because I'm a huge fan of the extravaganza! When we last left off, I had finally finished up the birthday celebrations! The following celebration that hit and involved visiting wineries was Canada Day! Joining me today were special guest stars Tim, Linda, Rachel, and (on his very first wine tasting) Matt! We stuck around in Summerland and Naramata and visited two new wineries, as well as a revisit to the Legend Distillery! As I've mentioned in previous posts, since I've covered Legend Distillery I won't be talking about it here and will instead be focusing on the new wineries visited: 8th Generation and Elephant Island Orchard.

Winery #1: 8th Generation

As you can probably infer from the name, 8th Generation got it's name from the fact that the owners come from a long line of winemakers and grape growers, dating all the way back to 1783! Their goal is to create wines that reflect the unique terroir and agricultural land of the Okanagan and they happen to do just that as well as making pretty good wine! I loved the tasting room for 8th Generation because it's actually classified as a Heritage Home and the way it was laid out and decorated felt like you were in a cozy little mountain home.

1. 2018 Chardonnay

This Chardonnay was done in 60% neutral oak and 40% stainless steel, making for a nice subtle oaky/buttery profile on the nose. Also on the nose it was super tropical! Some slight peach, mango and pineapple mixed in with the oaky notes. On the palate it was a total mix of things, almost like it was sweet and sour at the same time. This was a lot higher in acidity than I'm used to with a Chardonnay but it was still well balanced! 

2. 2019 Riesling

Riesling is the flagship wine for 8th Generation and this particular one was done in an off-dry style. On the nose I got a lot of stone fruit and lemon, as well as a nice minerality. This wine was also high in acidity but it really worked here for the Riesling. Everything on the nose was in the palate, with some nice green apple in there as well. This is a very approachable Riesling and I would definitely have it again.

3. Confidence 2019

This Frizzante-style sparkling wine had the most beautiful deep pink colour to it! This was a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and I got just straight up strawberry and raspberry on the nose. In the mouth the bubbles from this wine are very small and soft and, true to it's name, just fizzes up in the mouth. On the palate I got a lot of strawberry and pink grapefruit. This ended up being the fan favourite of this winery! Each one of us left with at least one bottle of this wine!

4. 2020 RedOne

This unique wine is a Beaujolais-style Merlot. Beaujolais is an AOC in France that typically makes fruit-forward Gamay (which you all know is one of my favourites) and this red wine took a lot of inspiration from that. It only spent 7 days on the skins so it was a lighter red colour than your typical Merlot. When our taster brought this one out we all thought it was a Rose! On the nose and in the mouth it was just full of pomegranate and red cherry and I particularly like that this red wine can be served chilled. This was the other fan favourite, we all left with a bottle of this guy as well!

5. 2018 Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon

This red blend was 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and spent 12 months in neutral oak. This one had a beautiful scent to it, like chocolate covered cherry. I loved this blend because the Merlot comes in and softens out the Cab Sauv just enough so that the wine is still full-bodied, but isn't too tannic. It was very smooth in the mouth with some jammy fruit from the Merlot and some spiciness coming from the Cab. I think this would be an excellent food pairing wine!

A very successful first stop, I really liked the vibe at 8th Generation. The tasting room is a bit small if you're not in the main part where we are, but it's very cozy and as I mentioned already, the decor of the house is very mountain-esque. Matt thoroughly enjoyed his first ever wine tasting and all of us left 8th Generation with at least two bottles of their wine!



Winery #2: Elephant Island Winery

This is a winery I was very curious about and had been waiting specifically for Rachel to go visit. What makes this winery so unique is that, on top of making regular grape wine, they also make different fruit-based wines! Rachel can't have too much grape wine but she absolutely loves fruit wine and so I knew I had to take her to this spot! At Elephant Island you have a choice between doing the grape wine flight or the fruit wine flight and I went with the grape one, so unfortunately I won't be able to talk about any of the fruit wine. But I can say that from Rachel's comments, the Cassis and Framboise Fortified Wine were both incredibly good! 


1. 2020 Told You So Viognier

I love when a winery puts Viognier on their tasting menu. This particular version was actually finished with some Sauvignon Blanc and you can definitely taste that in the finish with it's high acidity. The smell of this wine was gorgeous! Just full of peach, apricot and different flowers. I really enjoyed this wine, I just wish it had been served at a bit of a cooler temperature.


2. 2020 The Other Way Chardonnay

This was their version of an Unoaked Chardonnay and it was nice! It smells very creamy and fruity and some tropical notes. For a Chardonnay it was a bit too acidic, but that's what comes from an Unoaked Chardonnay! It still had very nice fruit flavours on the palate. 

3. 2020 Reserve Chardonnay

Now THIS is what I want in a Chardonnay. This wine spent 12 months in French oak and had a lot of that classic buttery/oaky scent on the nose. It was very smooth and round in the mouth, with some nice green apple flavours in there as well. This would be a gorgeous pairing with something like crab or lobster dipped in hot butter.

4. 2016 Naysayer Cabernet Franc

Have I mentioned yet how much I enjoy the names of all of these wines? I love when wineries have quirky names for all of their wines. For a Cabernet Franc, this was not as spicy on the nose as I'm used to! This had lovely flavours in the mouth, with some nice raspberry and plum coming forward. At this point in the tasting I began to suspect that the heat outside was affecting our tasting, as the wines were a bit warmer than I would normally like them. If this had been served at a normal temperature, I'm fairly confident I would have really enjoyed it!

5. 2017 Think Again Merlot

This was a very lovely Merlot! It spent a grand 18 months in French oak and smelled absolutely gorgeous like chocolate and cherries. This wine was very nice in the mouth, not too tannic even with the heat we were sitting in. This was very well-balanced and would be an excellent food pairing wine. This is the kind of wine I wish I were drinking in the winter time by the fireplace. 

The tasting patio for Elephant Island is probably one of my favourites I've been to. It feels so quaint and so secluded and there are fountains spraying mist so if you feel too hot you can just stand by one to cool down! The winery is surrounded by cherry trees and it even has a BNB you can rent above the winery!

All in all, it was a wonderful Canada Day! We tried some very unique wines in some unique locations, we all liked the same wines, and Matt got to experience his first wine tasting! Tune in next time for a new edition of Walk In Wineries, this time featuring both a new and an old favourite of mine!

Whine of the day:  I wish every wine tasting involved a Viognier 

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