Garagiste North – Sperling Vineyard Kelowna

It was with a touch of nostalgia that I participated in Garagiste North this year.  The first time I attended this wine festival was at Kelowna’s Laurel Packinghouse in 2015, just as I was starting the BC Wine Trends blog.  That weekend I started friendships with some passionate BC winemakers that actively support my blogging efforts.  To name just a few, Rob Hammersley, Rob Westbury, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Schell, Daniel Bibby, Jay Drysdale and Mark Simpson.

This year’s event had strong participation from the Garagiste North winemakers.  As always the event was planned and executed perfectly by Jennifer and Terry at Wine Party.

20+ wineries! Anarchist Mountain Vineyard | Anthony Buchanan Wines | BC Wine Studio | Black Cloud Winery | Black Market Wine Co. | Bottega Wine Studio | Coolshanagh Winery | Dames Wine | Forgotten Hill Wine Co. | Giant Head Estate Winery | Lariana Cellars | Marionette Winery | MOCOJO Winery | Nagging Doubt Wines | Schell Wines | SKAHA Vineyard | Tall Tale Wines |vinAmité Cellars | Winemakers Cut…AND Kelowna’s hottest new beer & cider makers: Vice & Virtue Brewing and Truck ’59 Cidery!

Now to the Garagistes and their wines.

Anarchist Mountain Vineyard

Garagiste North


Andrew Stone was pouring 2016 Elevation Chardonnay and 2016 Mayhem.  The Chardonnay is lightly oaked with tropical fruit notes and crisp acidity.  Mayhem is a Merlot/ Cabernet Franc (33% Cabernet Franc) blend. Lush red fruit with flavours of tobacco, pepper and leather.  Smooth tannins and a long finish.  Visit their website for more details.

Anthony Buchanan Wines


The wines being poured by Anthony included 2017 Wild Ferment Brut, 2017 Pinot Blanc Lawson and 2016 Pinot Noir Ashlyn.  Anthony crafts his wines at the Dessert Hills Winey.  The sparkling wine was 100% Pinot Blanc made in the frizzante style.  A really crisp quaffer.  The still Pinot Blanc was one of my favourite whites.   Subtle aromas of apple blossom and citrus with a full mouthfeel of green apples, a hint of minerality and a pleasant crisp acidic finish.  The Pinot Noir has classic aromas of cherry and violets.  On the palate, luscious raspberries, blackberries, red plum and earthy forest floor notes.  Check out the winery website for more details.

BC Wine Studio

Garagiste North


Mark Simpson was in fine form pouring a great selection of his Siren’s Call brand.  I only had time to taste the newly released 2016 Syrah.   The Syrah is co-fermented with Viognier.  It is a big and bold red with aromas of black cherry, oak and spices. On the palate black cherry and plum with classic notes of white and black pepper.  Please check out Mark’s website for details on the other wines.

Black Cloud Winery


Great to see Bradley Cooper and Audralee Daum with their fabulous Pinot Noirs again.  Bradley and I may be on different ends of the political spectrum but that doesn’t stop on me from enjoying his fine pinots.  It was disappointing to hear that sourcing Pinot Noir for Black Cloud has become a problem and Bradley is concentrating on his wine consulting business going forward.  The 2015 Altostratus Pinot Noir is starting to hit its stride now.  Beautiful wine with nice concentration, my preferred pinot noir style.  Black fruit notes, flint, slight forest floor on the nose. Showing minerality and great balance on the palate. Even discernible tannin. Rich dark colour.

Black Market Wine Co.


Rob and Michelle were pouring a large selection of Black Market Wine Co. wines. I will be visiting with them at their new winery site later in the week and will provide details on their new wines then.  In the meantime, you can visit an earlier post for Black Market Wines previous releases.

Bottega Wine Studio


Daniel Bontorin was pouring his 2016 Viognier and 2015 Merlot.  I was fortunate enough to try both wines just as they were released earlier this year.  Please see my earlier post for details.  I was glad to hear that Daniel was close to leasing space for a wine shop next year.

Giant Head Estate Winery


Another excellent selection of wines from Giant Head Estate Winery – bubbly, two Pinot Noirs and Merlot.  All wines are made from their 100% Summerland estate grapes.  The 2015 Blanc de Noir is made with Pinot Noir grapes.  This dry, crisp sparkler shows a finesse of texture wrapped in green apple, preserved lemon and vanilla. It’s light and bright.  The 2015 Pinot Noir has classic flavours and aromas of cherry and spice with a hint of violets.  The 2014 Merlot is full-bodied with flavours of black fruit, tobacco, vanilla with a smoky finish.

Lariana Cellars


Dan & Carol Scott were pouring four wines – Viognier, Carmenere, Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon.  2017 Viognier – the fruit is sourced from Shady Lagoon Estate vineyard with the remainder from Red Brick vineyard on the east side of Osoyoos Lake.  White peach and red grapefruit aromas. with flavours citrus, apple and ripe peach.  2015 Carménère is from 100% estate fruit aged in oak for 15 months. The nose is a peppery mix of blackcurrant and blackberries with a vibrant herbaceous, grilled pepper undercurrent. The finish is rich, smoky and long.  This is a unique Okanagan wine.

Marionette Winery

Garagiste North


Marionette Winery had 4 reds and a white available for tasting. The 2017 Riesling grapes are from the Ladyhawke Vineyards in Keremeos, BC.  Tart green apple, lime, pear and lemon with riesling’s characteristic zippiness.  Pulcinella 2014 named for the infamous Italian trickster marionette, Pulcinella is full of surprises. The grape Zweigelt, although Austrian by origin it achieves the fullness of a warmer climate red in a cool climate region. Black fruit with nuances of chocolate and plenty of spice.  Please see my earlier post for more details on Marionette Winery.

Nagging Doubt


Good to see Rob Westbury again pouring his fine wines.  I was looking forward to trying his first 100% estate wine.  The 2017 Siegerrebe was just released on Friday.  Siegerrebe is a cross between Gewürztraminer and Madeleine Angevine.  Ripe peach, honeysuckle, apricot, with citrus notes. The reds were as BIG as ever!   For more details on the reds see my earlier post here.

Schell Wines

Our gracious host was tasting her new red blend.

Winemaker’s Cut

Garagiste North


Michal Mosny, the owner of Winemaker’s Cut, had two wines to try.   He was hoping to also have a Rosé, maybe next year!  The event was absent Rosé, as those Garagiste that make the lovely summer pink wine had SOLD OUT.  Again I was fortunate to already try these wines in the spring and you can find my review here.

My apologies to the Garagiste’s I was unable to visit.  So much wine,  so little time, but then there is always next year!

Thanks to Guest Blogger Julian of BC Wine Trends for this article originally published on

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