Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, said "change is the only constant in life." How right was he..
Haywire, Garnet Valley, Solvero & More
When the sun rises over the eastern mountains of the Okanagan Valley, it showers warmth across the western shore and brings life to West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland and Kaleden. The sounds of bees, birds, babies and tractors signal the return of life and another growing season. The question on everyone's mind is “will there be grapes?’ Here in the heart of wine country the answer is yes. There will be grapes. There are also new wineries to visit and new styles of wine to taste. In Summerland, with it's recently established sub-appellations, the new winery beginnings include the re-visioned Haywire Vineyards and Winery, (previously Okanagan Crush Pad), Garnet Valley Ranch and Solvero Wines. Did you know that Bottleneck Drive touring routes include all of these? The excitement is real and tasting rooms are ready to welcome visitors.
Good-bye Crush Pad, Hello Haywire!
Haywire Winery is a beautiful new creation from Chris Coletta and Steve Lornie, formerly called the Okanagan Crush Pad. The tasting room features a teal blue color scheme, a bright open tasting bar, a spotless winery with tanks and eggs for viewing along with serving up tasty charcuterie boards and wines by the glass for those who care to linger. Here you’ll find diversity in the vineyards showcased in the bottlings of both Haywire and Free Form wines. Under the guidance of legendary winemaker Matt Dumayne, its an exciting and experimental adventure with natural yeasts, concrete, steel and oak from bubbles to white, roses and reds. You may recall the crowd favorite “Haywire Bub”. It’s still here and delicious as ever, but now a great deal more for your palate to explore. The view is spectacular. You might catch the lake still like a piece of glass in the morning or a reprieve from the heat in the tasting room in the late afternoon. With change comes new ways of doing things. Now reservations are recommended. This summer is sure to be a busy one.
If you go, don't miss my favorite sips which include the Haywire Pinot Gris 2022, a new release made from 100% estate fruit that brings freshness, flowers, apples and pears, stone fruit like green peaches and apricots with great balance and vibrancy. It’s vegan and at $28 a bottle in the winery, it’s an affordable sip.
For an adventure to continue, why not take the drive up to Garnet Valley Ranch, also part of the family? The back roads wind up into the hills to the highest vineyard in the valley. Once you enter the big gates, it’s a steep climb on the gravel road to the tasting room but well worth it. The panoramic views facing west of vineyard and garden are yours. The tasting room with its floor to ceiling glass windows and door impress. You'll want to wander down to the large garden and then stroll the gravel roads that snug up against the vines. While here, taste the very stylish Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Traditional method sparkling wine.
Still in Garnet Valley, the next stop is at the newest winery called Solvero built and run by the Sartor family with the leadership of Alison Moyes, winemaker. She’s a deeply experienced wine gal whose previous experience, not the least of which was at Liquidity, is brilliant. Under her tenure, Liquidity brought home the top award from Chardonnay du Monde in 2017. Now in this unique biodiverse eco-system, Solvero's vision for authentic, expressive wines fits Alison’s style of minimal intervention and tremendous attention to detail. Wines include small batch Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as summer’s pleasure - Rose. At almost 600 meters of elevation, like Garnet Valley Ranch, this is one of the highest vineyards in the valley.
Change it up. As the season warms up, wine lovers, it's time to take to the highways to find some new favorite wineries. With new beginnings along the road less traveled in Summerland, and the Bottleneck Drive why not change it up. If you haven’t visited yet, be sure to put a pin on the map for these new wineries. You don’t have to be a Greek god to navigate change. You just need good taste and curiosity. Safe travels.
I'm Good Wine Gal.
I blog about "good wine" and how to find it!
Join me on my adventures of finding beautiful wine loving places, people and those special bottles we all get excited about.