I have been trying to get out wine touring this year and haven’t been overly successful yet. However, I have now promised myself that each week, on one of my days off, I will go out and visit at least a couple of wineries, particularly some of the new ones! Last week J and I decided to head up to Kelowna and made a couple of stops en route. The first one was at Evolve Cellars in Summerland.
For those of you not familiar with Evolve Cellars, it is in the former location of Bonitas Winery, at the north end of Summerland; but the location is where the similarities end. Evolve Cellars comes under the umbrella of Encore Vineyards (along with Time Estate Winery & McWatters Collection) from Harry McWatters and his daughter Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond, who have been involved in the BC wine industry for the past few decades. I was very happy to hear that they had taken over the building and the vineyards with the stunning views over Okanagan Lake and had been looking forward to visiting and trying the new wines (they did NOT purchase existing wines with the building). We met up with a friend of ours at the winery and were persuaded to stay for lunch on the patio after our tasting. I chose four wines to try: two whites, a rosé and a red. I started with the 2014 Pinot Blanc. It has aromas of apple, pear skin, peach and citrus. It’s dry, with medium-plus acidity, medium body and a round mouthfeel with flavours of apple peel, pear, melon, grapefruit and peach, with a medium finish. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has tropical aromas, along with some apricot and peach notes. It is dry, with medium acidity and body. If has flavours of melon, tropical fruit and nectarine, with a lingering finish – quite tasty. The 2014 Rosé is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Syrah and Merlot. It is slightly off-dry, with flavours and aromas of berries and candy apples. The 2013 Cabernet Merlot (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot) has aromas of dark cherry, berry, cassis, spice and caramel. It is dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins with medium body. It has flavours of rich ripe fruit, plum, cherry and berries with a medium-plus finish. This is a very easy-drinking red wine that I think I’ll enjoy come winter, but that day was too hot to really enjoy reds. The prices are very reasonable here too – all of the wines in their portfolio (six whites, a rosé and two reds) are in the $15-20 range.
I highly recommend lunch on the patio at Evolve Cellars. The views are fabulous and the food from Chef Telea Bremer is delicious. We shared the baked riblettes to start and the meat just melted off the bone. I had a salad with fresh greens, apple, blueberries and blue cheese and a lovely vinaigrette. (Note: the blue tinge in the photos comes from the umbrella providing lovely shade from the 38-degree heat!) I also had a couple of bites of the Buffalo Mozzarella with tomato & basil on baguette – yum! I think the best was the pulled pork sandwich that J ordered. It wasn’t your typical pulled pork with coleslaw. On one side of the bun was some provolone and the pulled pork, and on the other side was an olive tapenade, artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper.