It has been a few years since we first laid eyes on this spectacular property, and we had every intention of going back, but just never found a way to get there….until this year!
They had a ton of stuff for us to try, so let’s get right to the wine!
So there you have it, lots of great stuff from them as I expected! We will certainly be back, and hopefully it’s not several years in between visits this time!
Next up: A short interruption to the Okanagan trip report as I review the five wines from a recent video. After that, we are up to Lake Country for a spectacular lunch and tastings at several wineries. Stay tuned!
You know, the wife and I were talking just last night about how many really great wineries there are in the Okanagan, and how many of them consistently produce wines that I give good scores to over and over again. It occurred to us that although many wineries produce a lot of good wines and occasionally some great ones, Painted Rock might be the only one (or one of very few) that consistently produces GREAT wines. I was trying to think of the last Painted Rock wine to which I gave a score of less than 90 points and I honestly can’t think of one. I would probably have to go back years, and not sure I would even find one then.
Are they the “BEST” winery in the Okanagan? That’s a pretty subjective thing, but depending on the criteria, they’d have to be pretty close to the top of the list, in this writer’s opinion.
We arrive at Painted Rock and are promptly greeted and seated at a table outside overlooking their spectacular view.
Owner and Proprietor John Skinner happens to be there today and he shows us just how close the wildfires of 2020 came to their property, taking us out to about where my wife is standing in this picture and pointing up to the hills just behind the winery. It’s a breathtaking sight, as the fires came so close to engulfing this entire area. Let’s hope they never get that close again.
Our picnic food is delivered, and let me tell you the same thing I told you when we did this last year, these are some of the best sandwiches I have EVER had. Painted Rock doesn’t make them themselves, of course, but it’s just another hallmark of quality: if you are going to bring in food to give to your guests while they enjoy your wines and the view, make it the best you can find. Their picnic food comes from The Bench Market, and it’s so good I am going to make it a point to visit them the next time I am in Penticton.
So there we have it, another spectacular visit to Painted Rock. If you aren’t familiar with this winery, make it a point to check them out on your next Okanagan wine trip. You won’t be disappointed!
Next up: A short interruption in the Okanagan trip report to give you reviews of some wine I’ve talked about in a recent video, and the next stop on the Okanagan trip report takes us to our first spot in Kelowna, Kitsch wines! Stay tuned!
We discovered this winery about 4 years ago and they immediately made us feel like family. The owners, the Coulombe family, could not be friendlier. Ray and Wendy Coulombe are the founders, and they brought their daughters Catherine and Nathalie into the fold. Nathalie is an artist who’s paintings you will see hanging in the tasting shop. Catherine is, well, basically everything……owner, Manager and Winemaker. I would imagine she finds time to sleep 15 minutes a day or so.
Catherine has been our contact there since we first encountered this little gem of a winery (we had never heard of them until one of our servers at Black Hills insisted we check them out, and we are sure glad we did), and it would be difficult to explain how fantastic she is. Yeah, she knows I write a wine blog and there are times that I feel like I might be getting special treatment because of that, but not in this case. She was just as wonderful on our very first visit as on our visit this year (and all visits in between), and she did not know about the blog at that point. She is just a fantastic ambassador for her product.
All of this wouldn’t mean a whole lot if the wines were lousy, let’s face it…..but they certainly are not. Let’s get to it!
We also got to taste a barrel sample of the 7-year Ouest that will be released tomorrow. It was delicious! Looking forward to trying it when it’s officially released next year.
That’s it for today! Another wonderful experience at this winery as always!
Next up: As we transition from Osoyoos to West Kelowna, it’s time for a picnic on the patio at Painted Rock! Stay tuned!
If you missed my latest vlog where I taste through all six of these big reds, you can see it here. There is context into my relationship with this winery, and how I got these wines, that you can only get from the video.
To the wine!
That’s it for today! Next up, the Okanagan trip report continues at Vin Amité!
Right next door to Le Vieux Pin lives French Door Estate Winery. This used to be Montkairn Winery, one which we never visited (and never heard good things about). French Door’s winemaker is Pascal Madevon, one of the most famous Okanagan winemakers. In addition to making these wines, he consults for (seemingly) just about every other winery out there!
They had only four wines for us to taste, so let’s get to it!
Judging by the fact that the Heritage was by far the best wine we got to taste, I feel like we didn’t get to taste their best stuff. Not to mention, I’ve heard great things about their Rosé, which was already sold out by the time we got there.
One more point, we were told they were dog-friendly, and they were, but only on a small part of their patio. They wouldn’t allow us to sit on the more comfortable furniture on the grass, we were restricted to a covered-yet-concrete area which wouldn’t have been spectacular for the dog if the weather was really hot. Other than that, the service was very good.
This concludes Day 2 of the trip. Up next! An early morning visit to Vin Amité! Stay tuned!
Ho-hum, another Okanagan trip, another fantastic visit to Le Vieux Pin. Alex Russo, their wine club concierge, is the best of the best, and he takes incredible care of us each time we visit….even though we are not actually club members anymore! He just celebrated his 10th Anniversary at the winery, and that is really saying something as turnover is generally very high at Okanagan wineries.
To the wine!
And, as a little bonus review, here is one of their wines that we enjoyed recently and have not yet reviewed:
That’s it for today! Next up: The Okanagan trip continues right next door with our first visit to French Door!
Also, a special tasting of six big reds from Blasted Church will be posted soon. The video should be up tomorrow and the blog post with full reviews will follow. Stay tuned!
Up and at ’em early for a 10:30 appointment at Synchromesh; our first ever visit here. We meet up with Andrew Melville, who longtime readers of my blog will recognize as one of the lunatics who made The Hatch such a fantastic place to hang out for the first few years of it’s existence. He’s moved over to Synchromesh now, the home of some serious Rieslings (and other stuff too!).
After a little tour of the vineyards and some history of the property and the winery, we settle in to the tasting room and Andrew takes us through a large portion of their portfolio. I was expecting to like the wines (I have had the occasional Synchromesh Riesling over the years). I was not expecting to LOVE them. Let’s check them out….
And they are not JUST a Riesling house! Some lovely reds as well.
These were so good that I actually placed an order for another half-case while typing up this post. If you are a Riesling fan, and you haven’t experienced these wines, you should get on it! And we didn’t even get to taste their high-end “Blue label” Rieslings as they were all sold out. The next release of those is in October and I’ll certainly do what I can to get some of those!
Next up: A perennial favorite as we visit Le Vieux Pin!
I have gone on record that I am very, very, very much in favor of Okanagan wineries continuing the practice of doing tastings by appointment. For the most part, that is all I am interested in doing. Don’t tell anyone, though, but I also really like having just one or two options to go to when we have a bit of extra time.
Rust Wine Co. is one of those options. They don’t take appointments, but we had time in the late afternoon to squeeze in one more winery, so here we are!
Warmly greeted as always, we are seated at a huge table with comfortable furniture, a very knowledgeable employee to guide us through the wines, and a big, friendly dog. And he wasn’t a winery dog, either, just a local dog that apparently comes down from a neighboring house and hangs out a lot.
So how were the wines? Let’s find out!
Another great tasting here, as always. This was a perfect way to end the first full day of our Okanagan trip.
Next up: We head up to OK Falls for an early morning visit, our first ever, at Synchromesh! Stay tuned!
Up next, we headed up the hill to the beautiful Burrowing Owl, which is always a good tasting. We had hoped to have dinner at their excellent restaurant as well but the timing just didn’t work out so we’ll have to tackle that next time.
This was the only winery we tasted at that didn’t have an outside option, but we knew that the tasting stations were very well spaced out, and our host would be behind a large piece of plexiglass, so we felt safe enough to stay inside for the 15-20 minutes that the tasting would take. The wines here, generally, are universally good, so let’s see what they had for us to taste on this trip!
That was it for this tasting, but here is a bonus review of a wine we enjoyed recently:
That’s it for today! As usual, great wines up and down the lineup from Burrowing Owl.
Next up, we drop in for a tasting at Rust Wine Co.! Stay tuned!
Ah, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Okanagan without a cabana tasting at Black Hills! As always, we are warmly greeted and escorted to our cabana, where our host brings us a tremendous amount of wine. Although their new Rosé isn’t part of the tasting, our host finds a bottle that they had opened the day before at a staff tasting and we get that included as well. After the 2019 Rosé disappointed us a little bit, we were anxious to taste the 2020 before committing to buying a bunch of it. Was the 2020 Rosé an improvement? How is the new Nota Bene??? Let’s find out!
That’s it for now! Another terrific experience at a “must-see” winery.
Next up! The trip report continues as we move up the hill to Burrowing Owl! Stay tuned!