Sandhill Wines' 2018 Rose ($20) is my new favourite pink.

Before the bottle was even open, it teased my wife, Kerry, and my tastebuds with a new, clear and seductively curved bottle shape that showed off the wine's delicate pink grapefruit colour.

Fresh out of the fridge, the chilled bottle takes on a sheen of condensation, further enhancing its peachy hue.

We first sipped it, at home, in the sunshine on the deck and we're immediately blown away by the juicy, and just slightly off-dry, blast of strawberry, crab apple, peach, cherry and, of course, pink grapefruit, aromas and flavours.

More glasses follow, paired perfectly with the salmon in Japanese miso marinate we have for dinner.

We imagine it would also be a marvelous match with Greek salad, pizza, crab cakes, grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, charcuterie and mild cheeses.

Or, simply drink it on its own at the kitchen island, the deck, patio, boat or in front of a campfire.

This is new winemaker Sandy Leier's first Rose for Sandhill and it's a winner.

She set out to create a crisp, medium-bodied, easy-drinking Rose with notes of pomegranate, white currant and a touch of earthiness, and she achieved it with aplomb.

Leier chose only Gamay Noir and Merlot grapes harvested from Sandhill Estate Vineyard just south of Oliver.

Upon arrival at the winery in Kelowna, the grapes were gently pressed in two batches.

One batch separated the juice from the skins right away and the juice was pumped directly into stainless-steel tanks.

The other batch was given just enough skin contact to extract enough alluring colour to create the pink grapefruit tinge when blended with the first juice for fermentation.


We did a bit of a trip around the globe with wines when our son, Alex, and his girlfriend, Kailee, came over for dinner to celebrate his 27th birthday.

As my family always does on special occasions, a bottle of bubbly was sabered.

Alex did the honours by lopping off the top of a bottle of Township 7 Seven Starts 2016 Eclipse ($33) from Naramata with a sharp knife.

We enjoyed the sparkling on the patio while the filet mignon steaks were barbecued and the 2016 Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz ($34) from Barossa, Australia decanted.

The plum-raspberry-cedar-pepper-vanilla-and-chocolate profile of the full-bodied red was the perfect foil for grilled meat.

The wine ran out before the meal did, so a bottle of 2016 Tinhorn Creek Merlot ($24) from Oliver was opened.

The full-bodied red wine ride of plum, strawberry jam and spice continued.

By the way, Alex's birthday presents included a carry-on suitcase and a stack of Euros.

Next month he and Kailee are visiting Italy, Spain and Portugal, where I'm sure there will be amazing wines to sip on piazzas.


Things have changed, but they will also stay the same.

Penticton-based Joy Road Catering has been sold to Cocktails and Canapes Catering of Vancouver.

However, Joy Road's former owners, Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith, will continue to operate the company for at least the next year.

All staffing, menu items and services remains the same and the Joy Road name will live on.

"We made the decision to sell to Brett Turner and Olivia Fobert of Cocktails and Canapes because their fundamental values align with ours," said Smith.

"Upon thoughtful review of several great options, we felt Brett and Olivia were the perfect fit to continue delivering the locally-sourced, community-minded, high-quality catering experience the Okanagvan has to offer."

Joy Road will continue to feature Okanagan meats, produce and wines in all its menus and events.

"Olivia and I are working side-by-side with Cameron and Dana to master every nuance, every detail, every piece that makes Joy Road, Joy Road and we look forward to growing with the community," said Turner.

"We feel this is a win-win-win. A win for Cameron and Dana, a win for the Okanagan and a win for us."


A mystery person has purchased Okanagan Falls' Stag's Hollow Winery & Vineyard for an undisclosed amount.

Stag's Hollow made the announcement this week that an unnamed local, private investor had acquired the property, founded by Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger in 1995.

The same investor owns vineyards in Summerland and the Similkameen and Bench 1775 Winery in Naramata.

Stag's Hollow will continue to operate as a separate entity and make wines under the new Okanagan Falls sub-geographic indicator status.

Stag's Hollow has become known for crafting wines from grapes that are little grown in the Okanagan, such as Tempranillo and Albarino, which originate from Spain, and Dolcetto and Teroldego, native to Italy.


The over-the-water Hooded Merganser Bar+Grill at the Penticton Lakeside Resort is joining the plant-based craze with 10 vegan options on its new menu.

Options range from pulled jackfruit pizza, pad Thai with smoked tofu, taco bowl with spiced jackfruit, red Thai curry and Beyond tacos to poke bowl with tofu instead of fish, vegan cheese fondue, Beyond burger, Dutch baby pancakes and chickpea and potato curry.

The menu claims to be saving the earth, one dish at a time.


There might be some last-minute $50 tickets available for tonight's Sip and Savour Wine Festival at the Peachland Community Centre.

Check out

Twenty wineries and cideries from Peachland, West Kelowna and Summerland will be pouring samples and local restaurants will be serving appetizers.

Rotary Club of Peachland is organizing the 6-9 p.m. party and all money raised will go to local Rotary projects.


The silver anniversary edition of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival starts Wednesday.

There are 90 events to choose from over 12 days, including first-day of the fest lunch at West Kelowna's Quails' Gate Winery, a Vinstitue escape room game at Intersection Winery in Oliver, dinner at Burrowing Owl in Oliver and tours and tastings at numerous other wineries.

Check out for a full schedule.


Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend's business and wine reporter and columnist. Reach him at

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