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Road 13 Vineyards
The property and much of the area was cultivated by Premier Honest John Oliver in the 1920s. But from its beginning as a vineyard Road 13 Vineyards has been family owned. First from the Serwo family who, being German and following the tradition of vineyard castles, erected a small castle where tastings are offered. During the ownership of the Serwo family the winery was called Golden Mile Cellars.
In 2003 the property was then purchased by the Luckhurst family and just as the vintners of the area were attempting to establish the region as its own sub-GI (Geographical Indications) as the Golden Mile Wine Bench. But because this was a conflict with the winery name Golden Mile Cellars, the Luckhursts decided to release the name and changed it to Road 13 in 2008.
In doing so the unique terroir that is Oliver and Osoyoos was able to establish itself as the Golden Mile Bench in 2015 as the first sub-GI, or sunb-appellation, created in the Okanagan wine valley. There are now many sub-GIs including Naramata, Okanagan Falls and Skaha Bench.
“As Golden Mile Cellars [we] would never be able to present the region to the world by ourselves. Thus it is important that all of our wineries in this area own the term, to be able to make and market its wines and to be able to tell the story of them. So now ‘Golden Mile’ belongs to the area rather than to one winery.” – Michael Bartier, Road 13’s previous Wine Maker, Straight.com
In the southern Okanagan more red varietals are grown, unlike the central and northern Okanagan where it is substantially cooler in the summer months. The southern Okanagan is considered part of Canada’s only desert and thus provides the necessary temperatures to grow varietals like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and many more. It is also home to the only 100 pt Chardonnay in the Okanagan, by Checkmate Winery.
Indeed, the southern Okanagan is considered prime land and it feels very different than the rest of the Okanagan in terms of pricing and wine tasting style. Typically, a tasting can run you $15-$30 and could take 45-60 minutes.
Road 13, however, is a bit more laid back. At $5 per tasting or $15 for premium, it is the more affordable end of tastings in the Golden Mile area.
As for The Lounge where we were able to do our tastings, you can only get dinner when there is a dinner event and this requires a ticket.