Undoubtedly, the first thing you'll notice about Gemma di Luna's wines are the striking teal bottles.

Certainly, the hue, combined with glittering laser foil labels, are meant to catch the eye and convince you to buy.

It's a stroke of marketing genius aimed primarily at Millennial drinkers who also like the Italian Luxury Collection tag line and Gemma Moments opportunities to post photos of them enjoying the wines on social media.

However, people of all ages need to know the wine inside the bottles are seriously good.

Gemma di Luna, which translated from Italian is gem of the moon, positions the brand as elevating Italy's most loved varieties from the ordinary to the extraordinary and turn everyday experiences into moments of luxury.

As such, the Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and sparkling Moscato are all winners.

The Gemma di Luna Prosecco ($16) is made from grapes grown in the hilly vineyards of the Prosecco DOC (Designation of Origin) outside of Venice.

This dry sparkling wine has a peach-lemon-and-honey profile lifted by fine, lasting bubbles.

The Gemma di Luna Moscato ($14.50) is also sparkling, but sweet in the spumante style.

Expect aromas and flavours of toffee apple, gummie bear candy and fresh grapes.

It's the kind of fun bubbles to be served at a baby shower, brunch or informal wedding.

The Gemma di Luna Pinot Grigio ($14.50) is made from Italy's most famous grape in the Delle Venezie DOC.

It's classic Italian Grigio with aromas and flavours of peach and mango and even a bit of lime yogurt.

Gemma di Luna wines are imported by Renaissance Wine Merchants and are available at some private liquor stores in the Okanagan, such as Mission Liquor on Kelowna's Lakeshore Road.


Cornucopia by definition is a symbol of plenty, usually depicted by a hollow goat's horn, or similarly-shaped basket, overflowing with fall produce.

Cornucopia is also the name of the annual celebration of food and drink in Whistler that runs this year Nov. 7-17 and is expected to attract almost 8,000 people who will feast and imbibe at more than 130 events.

While the party may be in Whistler, there's always a strong Okanagan tie-in.

The much-watched Cornucopia top 20 wines list inevitably includes B.C. bottles.

The top wines are served at the big Crush and Poured tasting events as well as other soirees, such as wine-paired dinners.

The top bubbles on the list is Haywire Vintage Bub 2013 ($45) from Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland.

Its six-year age is reflected in its apple-grapefruit-hazelnut-and-biscuit profile.

Judges picked Fort Berens 2018 Chardonnay ($20) as the top white for its oak-kissed peach-grapefruit-and-pear perfection.

Fort Berens is Lillooet's first winery in the Fraser Canyon.

Judges went with a bottle from outside B.C. for best red – the Tenuta Di Fessina Etna Rosso Erse 2015 ($25).

It's a wine made from grapes grown in the volcanic soils on the slopes of Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily.

It features aromas and flavours of plum and raspberry with pleasing minerality.

The other 17 wines on the list are:

– Antinori Guado Al tasso il Bruciato Bolgheri 2016 (Italy)

– Barossa Valley Estate GSM (Grenache, Syrah Mourvedre) (Australia)

– C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2016 (Oliver)

– Lelarge-Pugeot Extra Brut non-vintage Champagne (France)

– Covert Farms Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Oliver)

– Echo Bay Cabernet Franc 2016 (Okanagan Falls)

– Fontanafredda Gavi de Gavi 2017 (Italy)

– Harper's Trail Sparkling Chardonnay 2016 (Kamloops)

– Harper's Trail Silver Mane Block Riesling 2018 (Kamloops)

– Hope Family Treana Red 2015 (California)

– Howling Bluff Three Mile Creek Pinot Noir 2017 (Naramata Bench)

– Laughing Stock Portfolio 2016 (Naramata Bench)

– Piaggia Pietranera Carignano Toscana 2016 (Italy)

– Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (West Kelowna)

– Skaha Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2018 (Kaleden)

– Stag's Hollow Renaissance Merlot 2016 (Okanagan Falls)

– Urlar Select Parcels Pinot Noir 2014 (New Zealand)


Okanagan wines can stand up to the best in the world.

The Judgement of B.C. event in Penticton this week proved that by having judges blind taste an array of wines, some of them from the Okanagan, many from other countries.

"This is an experiment to see how B.C. wines are assessed in a global context," said head judge DK Kearney, a Vancouver-based wine expert.

"The results make me personally very proud. B.C. grapegrowers and winemakers have much to be proud of."

Top three Pinot Noir:

– Arrowleaf Archive Pinot Noir 2016 (Lake Country)

– La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2016 (California)

– Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills 2015 (Oregon)

Top three Riesling:

– Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2014 Mosel (Germany)

– CedarCreek Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2018 (Kelowna)

– St. Hubertus Reserve Riesling 2014 (Kelowna)

Top three Chardonnay:

– Meyer Family Tribute Series Donovan Tildesley Old Main Road Vineyard 2016 (Okanagan Falls)

– 50th Parallel 2016 Chardonnay (Lake Country)

– Craggy Range Kidnapper's Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 (New Zealand)

Top three Syrah:

– Tightrope Syrah 2016 (Naramata Bench)

– Le Vieux Pin Cuvee Vilotte Syrah 2016 (Oliver)

– Stag's Hollow Syrah Amalia Vineyard 2016 (Okanagan Falls)

Steven Spurrier is the English wine merchant who helped staged the 1976 Judgement of Paris in which California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were ranked above traditional favourites from France.

Spurrier came to the Okanagan in 2015 to help launch Judgement of B.C. and returned this year for the announcements.

Spurrier's bookend visit is seen as a good closing for Judgement of B.C. events.

As such, the B.C. Wine Institute will launch some sort of new benchmarking contest to compare Okanagan wines to world vintages.

For the full lists of Judgement of B.C. rankings check out WineBC.com.


The B.C. Wine Institute, Westside Wine Trail and Save-On Foods have partnered to present the Pair.ing Pass program today and tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. at the dozen wineries on the West Kelowna trail.

Save-On provides the Canadian cheeses to be paired with samples from the wineries.

Each Pair.ing Pass is good for experiences at six wineries.

The pass can be used used by an individual or shared.

Buy passes at WineBC.com.

Save-On is a big supporter of Okanagan wine because it sells bottles from the Valley in the wine sections of its grocery stores.


Steve MacNaull is a reporter at The Okanagan Weekend. Reach him at steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca. Also catch Steve's Okanagan Wine & Dine show exclusively on digital radio station OkanaganValleyRadio.com on Saturday's at 11:15 a.m. If you miss it then, it’s always available in the podcast vault.