Sparkling wine done in the Champagne style. There’s a lot of that here in the Okanagan. Of course, we cannot call it Champagne because only sparkling wine made in the Champagne region can be called that. You either agree with it or you scoff at the elitism. Despite the fact that we can’t exactly call our Okanagan sparkling wines, done in the Champagne method, Champagne we do have our own caves. Annnndddd…a few of us might call it Champagne behind the French region’s back for the sake of convenience and brevity.
The Okanagan, in my humble opinion, has risen to the challenge in terms of demonstrating that the sparkling wine, and wine in general, produced here can compete with the world’s best. What I love about this is that I don’t have to pay those Champagne prices for quality sparkling wines.
I also love the fact that visitors and locals alike can enjoy wine caves. From the grandiose Mission Hill Estate volcanic rock cave to the rural Seven Stones man made cave you can now add Sumac Ridge to the list.
The newly renovated wine shop is open for business with an added visit to the wine cave built underground. So underground that when it rains the walls turn into trickling waterfalls and the water is then emptied into the surrounding drains.
The Sumac Ridge tasting room is a collaboration of sorts with three wineries being represented in one tasting room: Sumac serves it’s own wine but also red wines made by Black Sage Winery using grapes from the Black Sage Bench and Steller’s Jay sparkling wines. One favourite of mine is the Stellar’s Jay Brut which you’ll most likely find served at many restaurants in the valley including the #1 Okanagan restaurant, Waterfront Wines. Another is the 5 year aged Pinnacle Stellar’s Jay made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.
Both are staples to bring to any Okanagan dinner party if you want to impress your host. Otherwise, it’s one of the best ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank.
I was invited (don’t ask me how) into the Sumac Ridge grand unveiling event May 2nd where I was taken for a tour of the caves and was able to sample more wines from all three represented wineries (Sumac Ridge, Black Sage & Steller’s Jay). The event was catered by Okanagan’s favourite freelance chefs, Joy Road Catering. The event was a great kick off to the new Sumac Ridge tasting room and I look forward to drinking more of what they have to offer!
Sumac Ridge is located in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. You can take a tour of the wine cave by reserving your spot on a tour or take their Unearth foodie and wine experience.