Last year at about this very time I tried to get in a visit to Lariana only to find they had just recently closed for the season. It would be all the way until August before I managed to fit in a visit to probably the most southerly of BC wineries. Following an introduction while attending the Garagiste North – small guys wine festival we made a point of getting out to Lariana for a tasting of their wines.
This is a small, specialty winery with a casual tasting room. Their tasting room season is shorter than many and they are open on limited days and slightly less hours than many wineries in the Oliver and Osoyoos wine region. That means it take a bit more careful planning for your visit. I suggest you jot it down on your calendar for Spring, you will be glad you did.
The wines are highly rated by some of the most influential wine reviewers. Speaking from the perspective of a BC wine lover, whose only knowledge is knowing I like BC wine, the Lariana wines are pretty fantastic.
On our visit I was so impressed with their practices and values. This is a small lot winery that is satisfied with what they are producing in terms of quantities and quality. Great care is taken throughout the growing season and they are extremely selective, brutal almost, in terms of making sure the vines are stressed just enough to produce the best quality grapes. They are careful to reduce the fruit as necessary which plays a big part in the finished product. This type of farming is commendable and results in a top drawer product. Based on the marketplace these wines are very good value.
Here are the wines I tasted during my visit. Tasting notes and bottle shots courtesy of the winery.
fermented in concrete
As in previous vintages the fruit is sourced from Red Brick vineyard (east side of Osoyoos Lake) and the estate vineyard Shady Lagoon. 75% of the fermentation and aging happens in concrete with the remainder split between one French oak barrel and stainless. Upon the first few swirls, whiffs of tangerine, honeysuckle and soft fruits waft out of the glass. The juicy core is further enhanced by lemony shortbread and honeyed peach cream with a dusting of ginger. Weighty, without being rich and fat, persists to the finish. Paired with curry chicken thighs and Moroccan-spiced blood orange couscous.
~ Senka Tennant, winemaker
My thoughts, floral scents with aromas of light and stone fruits. Light, refreshing, medium taste, smooth with perfect acidity, easy drinking.
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 17% Carménère
The blend is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 17% Carménère. The wine was aged 18 months in French oak (35% new). This is a bold and generous wine. Aromas and flavours of dark fruit mingle with spice, fig, dark chocolate and tobacco. The wine has long, ripe and polished tannins. 94.
~ John Schreiner, author & wine critic
To me I sensed aromas of cherries, plumbs, cranberries, blackberries and dark fruit with some syrupy scents. Peppery, sweet, dense rich, flavours of cherries. Absolutely delicious. This one will keep well for up to 10 years we were told.
63% Cabernet Sauvingon, 26% Merlot, 11% Carménère
Year 3 of the Lariana Blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvingon 63%, Carménère 11%, (all estate grown) with additional Merlot 26% from the Naramata Bench. Yielding aromas of ripe crushed blackberries and black currants, the structure is further supported by their same silken richness. Dark plums laced with a chocolate licorice note continue to the intensely generous flavourful finish.
~ Senka Tennant, winemaker
I picked up scents of sweet, dar cherries, stewed plums, apricot, raspberries and cranberries. Fairly acidic with heavier tannins than the 2015 Fifteen. Would be a great pairing wine. Leave it awhile and it becomes richer with slight flavours of port. Delicious.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Lariana Cab Sauvignon in 2016 achieved balance, as the vintage allowed all the blocks to be picked at their optimum ripeness. Aromas are layered with dark plums, dried Mediterranean mulberries with hints of licorice and cedar. Plump and delicious, it fills the mouth with flavours of juicy black cherries, espresso-scented chocolate with an underlying streak of cassis. All this explosive richness transforms into a silken graceful finish. Pairing alongside simply grilled thick lamb chops comes to mind.
~ Senka Tennant, winemaker
Heavenly aromas of cherries, blackberries. Deep, sweet, dense, delicious and fruity. Lightest of tannins.
Lucky the members of the Lariana wine club. In addition to receiving two shipments of wine each year you have access to library wines that others can only dream about. Here is what our intrepid wine reviewer Sam Hauck had to say at one of his first tastings of a Lariana wine. “2013 Lariana from Osoyoos, $45. This wine was my favourite of the evening with a well-integrated nose, well balanced, complex on the palate followed by a lingering finish with a touch of smokiness.” and from September, 2015 ” This is Dan and Carol Scott’s first red release. Only 480 cases were produced. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Carmenere. Garnet red with medium deep intensity. Ripe black fruit, black berry, black pepper, and sweet spice on the nose. Good balance with a slightly sweet entry. Dark fruit, plums and sweet spice on the palate with a medium-long finish.”
Where to buy Lariana wines at select private wine shops and which restaurants have Lariana wines on their wine list, see here. Fortunately Lariana wines are quite widely available.
We’re excited to announce we will be offering membership to our first ever wine club. There will be a limited number of members due to our very small annual production.
3 bottles Viognier
3 bottles Carménère
3 bottles Vintage Red Blend
3 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
- First to know
- First access to new releases
- First access to library wines
- Complimentary tasting for members and friends
- Free shipping for BC residents on wine club shipments
- Residents outside of BC receive $20 credit towards shipping
*All other requests based on availability
Your wine is available for pick up directly at the winery or shipping costs are as follows:
- British Columbia – no charge
- AB/SK/MB – $10
- Ontario and Quebec – $20
- Northwest Territories/Yukon/Nunavut – $30
- Maritimes Provinces – $30
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our story began decades ago with 10 acres of property on Osoyoos Lake, located at the southern most tip of the Okanagan Valley. Originally known as Shady Lagoon Campsite, the lakeside remains an RV Park while the upper portion has changed from orchard to vineyard.
Our garage-style winery is located alongside our 5 acre vineyard and we are very much involved in every aspect of the winemaking process. With the help of a professional winemaker and friend, Senka Tennant, we love combining classic vinification practices with innovative new methods to produce wines that are sure to leave you wanting more. We specialize in single varietal Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménère wines as well as our red blends that we name after each vintage year.
All copy in italics courtesy of the winery. We received two complimentary tastings and one bottle of wine in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. Images, except as noted, MyVanCity.