Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $20

The story begins with the sandy soils that make up Tinhorn Creek’s estate Diamondback Vineyard on British Columbia’s Black Sage Bench, but harvest spanned a month to create four separate lots. There were hand-picked lots that were split up between steel and wood fermentations. There also were machine-harvested lots that…

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Bella Wines 2012 Oliver Westside Reserve Brut Natural, Okanagan Valley, $55

Naramata Bench sparkling wine producer Jay Drysdale used Chardonnay from Secrest Mountain Vineyards on the west bench north of Oliver, British Columbia, for the other half of his small-lot reserve project. The fruit from near McIntyre Bluff allows for classic aromas of light toast, brioche, Gala apple and dried pear.…

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Tightrope Winery 2014 Vertigo Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $40

Naramata Bench winemaker Lyndsay O’Rourke produces brilliant whites and bright reds that earn high marks in U.S. competition, and this latest version of her proprietary blend with a focus on Merlot (58%), Barbera (27%) and Cabernet Franc. All three varieties are grown on their vineyard near Fleet Road, this carries…

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Bella Wines 2012 Oliver Eastside Reserve Brut Natural, Okanagan Valley, $55

As part of his second commercial vintage, Naramata Bench sparkling wine producer Jay Drysdale produced 50-case, single-vineyard reserve sparkling Chardonnay lots from two blocks near Oliver, British Columbia – not far from the border crossing at Oroville, Wash. Each lot was developed for a delayed release, and Drysdale chose to…

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Bella Wines 2015 Cavada Sparkling Rosé Brut Natural, Okanagan Valley, $26

Renaissance man Jay Drysdale continues his quest to raise the appreciation for sparkling wine in British Columbia and beyond, yet the laser-focus of his expanding program remains on small vineyards. He released a trio of sparkling Gamay Noir wines from the 2015 vintage, and two of them grown not far…

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Tantalus Wines 2013 Old Vines Riesling, Okanagan Valley, $30

Its roots stretch back to 1978, and New Zealand native/Aussie-trained David Peterson’s scintillating work with these old vines in the hills just east of Kelowna, British Columbia, have turned this Riesling into one of Canada’s most famous wines. International acclaim continues to grow for Tantalus because of this Riesling, which…

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Tightrope Winery 2015 Tip-Toe, Okanagan Valley, $22

The Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and the Alsace seem to share enough climatic conditions to make them both ideal for Germanic white wines. Tightrope Winery near Penticton exploits that, then draws on traditional French grapes as well, combining Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay into its 2015 Tip-Toe blend. The…

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Garry Oaks 2014 Zweigelt, Salt Spring Island, $16

British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island is worth a summer visit via B.C. Ferries simply for its innate beauty. But it’s also home to some capable wineries, chief among them Garry Oaks Estate, which crafts several varieties of wines and consistently makes excellent Zweigelt, an Austrian grape created only in 1922…

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Moon Curser Vineyards 2014 Contraband Series Arneis, Okanagan Valley, $26

This Italian white grape rarely is seen in the Pacific Northwest, but one would hope the work in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley by Chris and Beata Tolley along the U.S./Canada border will prove to be inspiring. Its gorgeous nose is reminiscent of ambrosia salad, divinity and Red Haven peach. The…

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JoieFarm Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $24

JoieFarm drew on vineyards on the Okanagan region’s Naramata Bench and in Summerland for this Pinot Noir. The result is a cool-climate, elegant drink featuring red cherries, cranberries and refined oak and light spice. On the palate, it is seductively smooth instead of aggressively edgy like some of its southern…

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