Naramata's Township 7 Winery has released three whites perfect for end-of-summer sipping.

While Labour Day often marks the psychological end of the season for many, the reality is it's summer on the calendar until Sept. 23 and Okanagan warmth and sunshine could extend well into October.

It's my round-about way of saying continue to drink refreshing white wines on the Labour Day weekend and beyond.

As such, Township 7 2018 7 Blanc ($19), billed by winemaker Mary McDermott as "summer in a glass," is apropos.

The off-dry 7 flaunts its 56% Gewurztraminer base with an exotic waft of lychee, ginger and rose petal before expanding into a mango-peach-and-pear profile.

The rest of the blend is 22% Pinot Gris, 9% Viognier, 9% Riesling and 4% Muscat, to add some apple and lemon notes.

It's classic Sauv Blanc all the way with Township 7 Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($19) serving up the gooseberry and lime aromas and flavours expected of the varietal.

Most of the wine was fermented in stainless-steel tanks to retain freshness and crispness.

But a small portion was fermented in used oak barrels, not to impart any oak aromas or flavours, but to add texture to make the wine lushier.

My wife, Kerry, roasted one of her famous one-pan dinners of chicken breast, chorizo sausage, baby red potatoes, cauliflower and onion to pair with the Sauv Blanc.

Used oak, which is also called neutral oak because it leaves no woody smell or taste, was again put to good use for the 2018 Reserve Pinot Gris ($27).

The result is a crisp, yet full-bodied Gris with a pear-tangerine-and-mineral backbone.

Township 7 has a new assistant winemaker and vineyard manager in Ryan McKibbon.

After graduating from Niagara College's winery and viticulture program, he's worked around the world at Felton Road Wines in New Zealand, Crystallum Wines in South Africa, Hidden Bench in Niagara and Phantom Creek in Oliver.


They are lawn mowers, leaf thinners and fertilizers, all in one.

They are the 11 sheep who are helping out in the vineyards at Corcelettes Estate Winery in Keremoes.

Corcelettes flock was bolstered this spring when four ewes gave birth to seven lambs, all of which took quickly to vineyard maintenance and depositing manure to enrich the soil.

If you're planning a visit to this winery in the Similkameen, just let them know in advance and someone will take you on a short hike to the meet the sheep.

Depending on what time of day it is, you might even be asked to help herd the woolly wonders through the vineyard.

While there, be sure to taste the new Corcelettes Sante 2018, a pineapple-and-orange sparkling wine made of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.

The tasting room and wine shop is open 10:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily at 2582 Upper Bench Rd.


The long-awaited new tasting room is now open at Kelowna's CedarCreek Winery.

And it was worth the wait.

Calling it a tasting room is a bit of a misnomer.

It's more of a like a gallery space, a glassed-in square with vaulted ceiling and massive windows and doors to the view of Okanagan Lake, two courtyards and the main entrance.

The oval-shaped bar in the middle is a curved, wood piece of functional art.

It's where standing tastings generally start with Home Block Sparkling Brut, moving on to 2018 Block 1 Platinum Rose before encompassing some whites (Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay are all with a try) and finishing with reds, such as the flagship Platinum Block 2 and 4 Pinot Noirs.

There's also the option for a sit-down tasting at the couches facing the view or at the long table in the courtyard in front of the outdoor fireplace.

CedarCreek was without a tasting room and wine shop for a year while the new gallery was built.

It's part of an extensive rebuild and renovation at the winery that included the opening of the new Home Block restaurant in the spring.

The resto features farmhouse modern architecture and has a giant, disappearing glass wall that opens to the patio and lake views.

Home Block was named one of the top 35 new restaurants in the country by Air Canada's in-flight magazine EnRoute earlier this month.


Steve MacNaull is a reporter at The Okanagan Weekend. Reach him at Listen to his Okanagan Wine & Dine podcast exclusively on every Saturday at 11:15 a.m. If you miss it then, the shows are always available in the podcast archives on the website.