The chandelier over the tasting bar is a regal touch.
And the tables on the crush pad set with dozens of glasses are an eye-catching enticement of the about-to-start wine tasting.
Lakeside Cellars, Osoyoos' newest winery, is definitely making the best of a temporary situation.
“We're building a permanent tasting room and restaurant on the waterfront,” says manager Ricky Dhaliwal pointing across the vineyard to the east shore of Osoyoos Lake.
“But in the meantime, we've dressed up the production facility and cellar room with a makeshift tasting bar with chandelier over it and tables on the crush pad right beside all the tanks and hoses.”
Dhaliwal's parents, Harbans and Harkesh, long-time Oliver-based orchardists and grape growers, bought the 14-acre Osoyoos property with vineyards in 2016 to create Lakeside.
The property was also the site of the 1882 homestead of the Haynes family, Osoyoos' earliest settlers.
The homestead, ruined by flooding and exposure, was torn down a few years ago, but lumber was salvaged to be used in construction of the winery and tasting bar.
Dhaliwal recently led my wife, Kerry, and I through a tasting of the 12 wines in Lakeside's portfolio at one of those aforementioned tables on the crush pad.
The grapes for the wines all came from Lakeside's own vineyards or Dhaliwal family vineyards in Oliver.
As such, all the wines reflect the South Okanagan terroir, which is known for producing smooth, fruit-forward wines with bright acidity.
The line up includes: 2019 Chardonnay Bubbles ($19), 2018 Chardonnay ($24), 2019 Sauvignon Blanc ($22), Portage Red 2016 ($21), 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir ($26), 2019 Pinot Gris ($18), 2019 Portage Whiet ($19), 2016 Cabernet Franc ($26), 2016 Provenier, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ($26), 2016 Syrah ($26) and 2019 Rose ($23).
Jason Parkes is the consulting winemaker on all the vintages.
Parkes also heads up the winemaking teams at West Kelowna wineries Indigenous World, The Hatch, Black Swift and Screaming Frenzy.
Lakeside is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Reservations are recommended for tastings at LakesideCellars.ca, but the winery will also accommodate walk-ins on a first come-first served basis if there's room.
Hope aboard a 1952 Mercury truck to meet cattle, check out the vines and sip wine.
Covert Farm Winery in Oliver revves up the glossy-red vintage vehicle as part of its post-COVID opening with social distancing and fun at the forefront.
The Wine Enthusiast Harvest Tour ($99 per person) includes sightseeing on the 650-acre farm discussing regenerative farming and winemaking and stopping to sip wines in the vineyard.
The tour wraps up with more tastings and charcuterie on the winery's patio.
While you indulge, your kids can do a Mini Farm Tour ($15 per family) to meet and feed the chickens, ducks, sheep, llamas and pigs and do some colouring.
Youngsters can also do a Kid-Approved Tasting starting from $2 to sample an array of juices from nearby Harker's Organics along with more colouring.
Both adults and children can enjoy the Hands on Harvest Tour ($79 for adults, $20 for kids) for a jaunt around the farm to taste strawberries and wine grapes you pick yourself and finishing up with an outdoor wine tasting with charcuterie.
Covert is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reservations at CovertFarms.ca.
Argentina is not a one-trick pony when it comes to wine.
In the past, the South American country tended to be synonymous with Malbec, the French red varietal Argentina has made its own.
But Argentina also has a signature white wine grape, Torrontes, which makes an aromatic drink with aromas and flavours of peaches, orange peel and jasmine.
A great example is Cuma 2019 Torrontes ($12.50).
Argentina is also making quality Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Graffigna Pinot Grigio 2019 ($11.50) is an affordable summer sipper with a profile of fresh apple, melon, lime and honey.
However, Malbec is still king when it comes to Argentinian wine, particularly exports to virtually every country on Earth.
Traditionally, Malbec is used in France as one of five components in Bordeaux red blends led by Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Argentina puts its own stamp on Malbec by generally growing it in higher-elevation vineyards to produce grapes made into smooth wines featuring blackberry, plum, violet and spice.
Six fine specimens are Toso Malbec 2018 ($15.50), Felino Malbec 2018 ($24), Dona Paula Malbec 2018 ($19), Catena 2017 Malbec ($25), Catena 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24) and Caro 2016 Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon.
To celebrate all this amazing wine, B.C. government liquor stores have proclaimed August 'Wines of Argentina Month.'
All the wines mentioned here are featured in stores with special displays and sale prices.
Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover. Reach him at email@example.com.