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Great Estates Okanagan
June 5, 2018 | Great Estates Okanagan

What is the Perfect Wine for Father's Day?


fathers day gift ideas

Matching Your Dad's Style to a Type of Wine

Looking for a last minute Father's Day gift? We've got you covered. Here's your guide to finding the perfect Father's Day wine gift - depending on the kind of Dad he is.

Grill Master

If your dad lights up inside every time he lights up the barbecue then turn to a red wine. If his go to is a big, juicy steak or a Flintstone-sized rack of ribs then you'll want to reach for one of the Okanagan's sumptuous Shiraz options. These will pair beautifully with pretty much any red meat he wants to throw on the BBQ. He'll be in grill-master heaven.

Old-School Dad

Nothing says classic vino like Chardonnay. But, guess what? Chardonnay is no longer old-school. It's one of the hippest new choices in wine now that it's overcome the bad rap it got back in the 90's.  But, you don't need to tell Dad that - to him, a bottle of the Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Chardonnay or the Inniskillin Dark Horse Vineyard Chardonnay will simply represent a trusty bottle of white that he can enjoy with dinner or watching TV. And, if you happen to be joining him - you can enjoy it too. Not sure which one he'll like - check out this virtual tasting to help you decide.


If your Dad is the thinking type, then give him the Steller's Jay Mountain Jay Brut. This wine has two great stories for your dad to nerd-out on. The first is the way they riddle the sparkling wine in the traditional Champagne style. This involves some pretty interesting science as the wine goes through the 'en tirage', 'riddling' and 'disgorging' stages.

The second nerdy fact about this wine is that the BC Wine Authority required Steller's Jay to change the name of the wine. If your dad loves a good semantics conversation, then he'll want to check out the reason for the name change.

Fit Father

If health is top of mind for you paternal leader, slip him a nice bottle of Pinot Noir this Father's Day. Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that some studies found may help heart health when consumed in moderation. And that's the other reason that this is the perfect wine for your health-conscious Dad - it's a real sipper. A wine like the Nk'Mip Cellars Winemaker's Pinot Noir is perfect to pour into a big, round glass and enjoy slowly over the course of a relaxing evening.


If your dad loves to fish, and more importantly, loves to eat what he catches then a bottle of Jimmy My Pal from See Ya Later Ranch is going to make him very happy. It's a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris that is light and fresh. Plus, it's got hints of citrus and lychee that are sure to make his catch of the day sing.


If your father wears his heart on his sleeve then you've got to go with a Rosé - try the Nk'Mip Cellars Winemaker's Rosé or for a romantic morning of breakfast in bed, he might like the Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz for a unique take on the classic mimosa. Either way, he'll be feeling the love on Father's Day.

Adventure Dad

If your father loves to get out and have adventures, then don't give him a bottle of wine - give him a wine experience! Our wineries have a variety of great food and wine experiences like Bubbles and Bites at Steller's Jay, lunch on the patio at See Ya Later Ranch, The Land to Legacy Tour at Nk'Mip Cellars (perfect if your dad is into history and culture) and the food and wine pairing experiences at Inniskillin. You can reserve an experience for the two of you to enjoy together or give him a gift certificate that he can take advantage of another time.

Whether it’s your Dad or the Dad in your life, no matter what kind of wine-style he has, we hope he has a Happy Father's Day.

Time Posted: Jun 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM Permalink to What is the Perfect Wine for Father's Day? Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
May 23, 2018 | Great Estates Okanagan

If You Abandoned Chardonnay, It's Time to Love it Again

Chardonnay pairs with popcorn and a movie

How the New Chardonnay is Converting the ABC Club

If you were a wine drinker in the 90’s, you probably think you know what Chardonnay is all about. Afterall, it was the unofficial white wine of the decade. If you ordered a glass of white at a restaurant, it was inevitably a Chardonnay. It was the bottle you brought to every dinner party because everyone (who knew anything about wine) loved Chardonnay. Showing up with a Chardonnay earned you lots of Brownie points.

And then the tides turned. 

Chardonnay became the victim of its own immense popularity. A lot of wineries started producing Chardonnay and playing up the attributes that people loved the most - sweetness and oakiness - until it became a caricature of itself. 

In an effort to be soft and sweet, the winemakers were doing 100% malolactic fermentation. The wine became cloying and lacked acidity. These mass producers also used wood chips to capture that oak flavour but they overdid it so that oak became the dominant flavour. There was no sense of balance in these ‘Big Chards’ - all the nuance was gone.

First, the wine aficionados noticed and the public wasn’t far behind. Noses were turning up at dinner parties and restaurants. Wine lovers were joining the ABC club, as in, “Pour me Anything But Chardonnay!” You wouldn’t dream of bringing a Chardonnay to a dinner party lest people think you were either trying to pawn the bottle off on those who you presumed didn’t know better or, gasp, you didn’t know better. 

Great winemakers were dismayed. The chardonnay grape had so much potential and their beautifully balanced wines were being snubbed; caught up in the maligning of Chardonnay.

Big wine producers moved on, leaving Chardonnay with a bad reputation. 

Flash forward a couple of decades and wine aficionados are encouraging wine lovers to give Chardonnay another shot. Winemakers have spent the last decade creating magic with the varietal. Take, for example, the Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay. It won a gold medal the Chardonnay du Monde competition in France. 

World-class Chardonnays are being produced in the Okanagan and changing people’s minds.

Nk’Mip Senior Winemaker, Randy Picton is happy to see that people are rediscovering Chardonnay and finally letting go of their bias against it. “The difference now is that the use of oak is more restrained,” he explains, “The fruit comes through more and the structure is more  pleasing.” 

Beyond that, designing an award-winning Chardonnay demands attention to the subtleties of the variety and terroir, as Randy explains, “It requires an appropriate amount of oak for the type of fruit that you have. Retaining a little bit of acidity in the wine so you have some nice length in the wine; through the structure of the wine. I think also, it’s nice if you can get some strength to the mid-palate too which you can from some nice French oak. It’s having everything in balance and making sure that the wine has some character from the vineyard; from the place that the grapes were grown.”

That sense of place is something that shows up in all of the Great Estates Okanagan Chardonnays. As a result, our tasting room staff have been witnessing these wines convert ABC club members back to Chardonnay-lovers, one by one. 

So, don’t be surprised if you start to see more Chardonnays showing up at dinner parties and picnics this year. And, definitely don’t be shy about trying them yourself. You might just discover that it’s a perfect pairing for a night in with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn. 

Time Posted: May 23, 2018 at 2:16 PM Permalink to If You Abandoned Chardonnay, It's Time to Love it Again Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
May 15, 2018 | Great Estates Okanagan

Master Your Senses at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

learning how to smell wine

Does your nose know wine? 

Develop your sense of smell while having fun!

Attempt to identify selected aromas which are the key elements of wine.  This interactive experience includes a mystery wine game and ultimately guides guests to develop a personal sensory memory to help recognize aromas.

Enjoy 4 estate grown wines in our private vineyard room, followed by a delicious charcuterie platter.

This is a great event to do with friends or on your own to develop a deeper understanding of the nuances of wine tasting. 

Join us at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery for Master Your Senses. Select your date and book now. 

Master Your Senses

Venue: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

Price: $35 plus tax
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Dates: March 24, April 21 & May 19

Time Posted: May 15, 2018 at 2:52 PM Permalink to Master Your Senses at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan

Mimosa Recipes That Will Make You Swoon

Great Estates Okanagan recipe for pomosa pomegranate mimosa

Taking Sparkling Brunch Cocktails Up a Notch

What could be better than sleeping in on a weekend and then enjoying brunch with a refreshing Mimosa? There’s something perfect about the combination of fresh juice and sparkling wine that makes that mid-morning meal feel like a luxury.

Did you know that the Mimosa has been around since the 1920’s?

The creation of the Mimosa is most commonly attributed to a Parisien bartender named Frank Meier. He started pouring them for guests at the Ritz in Paris around 1925. Some say he may have gotten his inspiration for the fresh and lively cocktail from a bartender in London.

A few years before the Mimosa made its debut at the Ritz, a bartender named Pat McGarry was slinging a morning cocktail called a Buck’s Fizz at the famous London Buck’s Club.

While both cocktails are a mixture of fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, there is a slight difference. The Mimosa is a 2 parts orange juice to 1 part wine while Buck’s Fizz is the opposite - an eye-opening 2 parts sparkling to 1 part orange juice.

Despite being the first, it would seem that Buck’s Fizz lost out to the Mimosa in the popularity contest. These days, we usually refer to any combination of juice and sparkling as a Mimosa. Perhaps it sounds just a bit more sophisticated. Sorry, Buck.

The Mimosa has come a long way since the roaring 20’s. And, it’s not just the juice to sparkling wine ratio that’s changing. We love to get creative and play around with fresh combinations of Mimosa cocktails.

Here are three that are sure to liven up your next brunch.

Okanagan Mimosa

This is the quintessential Valley Mimosa - vineyards and orchards in a glass.

½ part fresh apple juice

½ part fresh pear juice

1 part Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Methode Classique Brut

Rim flute with cinnamon sugar. (optional)
Pour chilled juices into the flute and gently stir.
Top with chilled Jackson-Triggs Reserve Series Methode Classique Brut.


This cheery, light red mimosa is perfect for the sunrise you missed while you were sleeping in.

1 part pomegranate juice

1 part Steller’s Jay Sparkling Gewurztraminer

¼  part Okanagan Spirits Raspberry Liqueur

Pour chilled juice and liqueur into a coupe glass and stir.
Top with the chilled Steller’s Jay Sparkling Gewurztraminer.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Deep Dark Fizz

This one follows the ratio of a Buck’s Fizz but with a dark side. Who says you can’t have sparkling red wine for brunch?

1 part tart cherry juice

2 parts Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz

Pour chilled tart cherry juice into a flute.
Top with Steller's Jay Sparkling Shiraz.
Garnish with a lime twist or a dark cherry.

Any of these Mimosas are sure to make your next brunch a big hit but they’re so tasty, why limit them to the morning? We’re picturing afternoon patios, sunsets, and late night celebrations - so many potential Mimosa moments!



Time Posted: May 9, 2018 at 1:30 PM Permalink to Mimosa Recipes That Will Make You Swoon Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan

Mother's Day Bunch at See Ya Later Ranch

see ya later ranch patio salad

Treat Mom to Delicious Food, Great Wine, and Breathtaking Views

This Mother's Day, See Ya Later Ranch is hosting a brunch that's sure to make Mom happy. Chef Ben has crafted a special menu featuring classic eggs benny, salads, nibbles, and heartier plates like the mouth-watering braised beef sandwich. 

But, we know that brunch is all about the refreshments! Enjoy a perfectly paired glass of SYL wine with your meal or celebrate Mom with a mimosa or sparkling cocktail. 

The SYL brunch is served on the gorgeous patio where you can relax, take in the amazing view and enjoy your day with Mom. 

This event is in the past.


Time Posted: May 8, 2018 at 12:58 PM Permalink to Mother's Day Bunch at See Ya Later Ranch Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan

In the Cellar Series - Spring Wine and Food Pairing Lunch - Nk'Mip Cellars


nkmip cellars spring wine and food pairing event

Join us for an amazing afternoon of food and wine tasting in Osoyoos, BC

Discover the legacy of our land in a progressive wine and food experience, celebrating our spring releases.

On May 12th, we invite you to enjoy a guided tour and five-course lunch set in several stations throughout the winery. You'll get a glimpse behind the scenes as we make our way through the winery and cellar. We'll stop to discuss the wine, taste it and indulge in perfect pairings prepared by our chef. 

Plus, you'll be one of the first to experience our new spring releases. 



Wine tasting in the NkMip cellar in Osoyoos

Nk'Mip Cellars' Spring Food & Wine Pairing Lunch - In the Cellar Series

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

12:30 pm

This event is in the past.


Time Posted: May 3, 2018 at 7:00 AM Permalink to In the Cellar Series - Spring Wine and Food Pairing Lunch - Nk'Mip Cellars Permalink