November 7th is International Merlot Day and here in Okanagan wine country, we can celebrate in style with our very own world class Merlot in hand.
Did you know that Merlot is the number one most plated grape in B.C.? And for good reason. Because of our amazing climate, we can grow exceptional Merlot here. Wine BC’s website shares: “In most parts of the world, Merlot is renowned as having soft tannins and a lush, rich texture. In BC, for reasons linked to the unique climate, the structure of Merlot is completely different. It naturally produces more structured, higher tannin wines than in most parts of the world. BC Merlot will typically have a medium to full body, medium to high tannins and flavours that include black cherry, black plum, chocolate and floral violet notes.” Yay for us!
Here are a few local Merlot wines to try:
CedarCreek Estate Collection Merlot
The CedarCreek wine brand remains solidly known as creators of fine wines. But did you know that over the past couple of years it has been converting all of its vineyards to organic? This makes us love them even more. This gorgeous Kelowna winery also has a five star winery restaurant experience and sits near the end of Lakeshore Road with soaring views of Okanagan Lake.
2018 Vintage Tasting notes: Plum and dried fruits dominate the nose. Elegant on the palate with cranberries, plums and earthy characters leading into a soft and generous finish.
Sandhill Winery is Kelowna’s first urban winery located in the industrial area/now brewery district of Kelowna. Sandhill’s tasting room is also BC's oldest winery location and the shop also offers wine education, housewares, home decor, cookbooks, and local artisan treats.
2018 Vintage Tasting Notes: Bright garnet colour with a bouquet of dark plum, cherry, smoke, oak, spice and cedar chest. This medium to full-bodied Merlot has soft yet drying tannins, great structure and moderate acidity. The extra-dry, lingering finish shows notes of black tea, dark plum, cherry and spice.
Quails’ Gate Winery Merlot
Beautiful Quails’ Gate Winery in West Kelowna offers visitors the quintessential Okanagan winery experience. Pioneers in our wine industry, the estate has a heritage building and a huge wine shop plus gorgeous lake views and an amazing restaurant to experience.
2019 Vintage Tasting Notes: Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, cassis, cedar, nutmeg, Bakers chocolate and burnt toffee. A smooth entry on the palate with a rich and silky mouthfeel abundant in opulent tannins. A long-structured finish with flavours of dark fruit, black pepper, and black cherry.
Family owned and operated; Intrigue Wines is in beautiful Lake Country. Guests will enjoy the beautiful lake views as well as a fun shopping experience in the wine shop.
2019 Vintage Tasting notes: This richly coloured wine has elegant aromas of black cherries, plums, and chocolate. An opulent palate with warm spices leads to a smooth white pepper finish.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery Organic Merlot
Summerhill Pyramid Winery is Canada's largest organic winery, BC's first Demeter biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine. This is a destination winery experience in Kelowna that offers an exciting array of experiences from visiting the pyramid to dining at their organic lake view bistro.
2019 Vintage Tasting Notes: Fresh and stylish! Dominant notes of red plum, raspberry, liquorice and sage with a hint of strawberry.
Volcanic Hills Merlot
Family owned and operated by the Gidda family, Volcanic Hills is named for its location on the SE slope of Mount Boucherie, a 60 million year old dormant volcano. Located on West Kelowna’s now premier winery row, they produce a wide range of award winning wines.
2015 Vintage Tasting Notes: The palate shows plum complemented with a blend of savoury dark berries and mocha/chocolate. It’s medium-bodied with velvety/dusty tannins, good acidity with well-integrated oak and medium finish.
Gray Monk Merlot
One of the Okanagan’s pioneer wineries, Gray Monk Winery sits majestically above Okanagan Lake in Lake Country. The original vineyard was planted in 1972 and is known for its crisp white wines, the winery also produces an array of reds.
2018 Vintage Tasting Notes: This medium-bodied wine has soft drying tannins, and flavours of ripe cherry and plum fruit accented by notes of cocoa and spice. Lovely notes of black tea, red berry, cocoa and spicy oak linger on the finish.
Are you a Merlot lover and would like to try all of the Merlots in Kelowna? See below to view all of the wineries in the Kelowna area that produce Merlot wine.