It's easy to celebrate Canada Day with wine.

Simply drink a Canadian vintage and you're automatically patriotic.

Go hyper-local and choose a B.C., Okanagan or Similkameen bottle and you'll be hailed as nationalistic with a parochial flair.

And the great thing about July 1 this year is it falls on a Monday, making for a Canada Day long weekend.

That means it will be prime with extra time for barbecues, camping, boating, picnicing, visiting with friends and family and lounging on decks, patios and beaches.

Better yet, all are activities you can enjoy with a glass of red, white, rose or bubbly in hand.

So, wave the flag and enjoy one, two, three or more of the wines below.

Happy Canada Day long weekend.


Nothing's more celebratory than sparkling wine.

If your Canada Day festivities call for the best of the best then Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards in Peachland has the bottle for you.

As the name suggests, the Fitz 2014 Blanc de Blancs ($42.50) is a white method-champagnoise sparkler made with 100 per cent white grapes, in his case Chardonnay, which also happens to be the white of choice in France's Champagne region.

Of 16,800 wines entered, it won a gold medal and scored 95 points out of 100 at the recent Decanter World Wine Awards in London, England.

The Blanc de Blancs is crisp and refreshing, yet rich and complex with aromas and flavours of apple, pear and lime with a creamy and chalky finish.

“We are thrilled by the international recognition for a sparkling wine form the Okanagan valley,” said president Gordon Fitzpatrick.

“We firmly believe our unique site at historic Greata Ranch is ideally suited to crafting world-class traditional-method sparkling wines. We have all the right ingredients starting with 23-year-old Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines grown on site, which retains wonderful, natural acidity.”

Fitzpatrick also has a purpose-built, gravity-flow sparkling wine facility, temperature-controlled caves, state-of-the-art equipment and talented winemaker Sarah Bain, who gained experience at Quartz Reef, a leading producer of method-champenoise sparkling wines in New Zealand.

Also on the sparkling front, Fitz has a 2015 Brut, made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and a Rose bubbly, made of 100 per cent Pinot Noir.

It also has a full line up of still wines.

The bistro, with incredible views of Okanagan Lake, is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays, for lunch and tapas, and wine, of course.


Merryfield ($40) is the first method-champagnoise sparkling Abbotsford-based Singletree Winery has made.

And it turned out spectacularly.

It's called Merryfield after one of the founding families in Mt. Lehman in the Fraser Valley where the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir used in the bubbly were grown.

The Fraser Valley's cool climate is perfect for growing grapes that ripen slowly and are picked a little early to preserve the freshness and crispness that so important in sparkling wines.

There are aromas and flavours of apple and lime backed up by a textured whiff and taste of freshly-baked bread.

Singletree may have started in Abbotsford, but it also has vineyards and a winery in Naramata.

The Merryfield, and the rest of Singletree's line up of wines, can purchased at both locations or online.


Keeping with the sparkling theme, the perfect summer trio from Corcelettes Winery in the Similkameen Valley includes 2018 Sante Frizzante ($22).

The bubbly blend of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay bursts with tropical and citrus fruits from pineapple and orange to lemon and lime.

Second in the trio is Corcelettes 2018 Oracle Rose ($22), a pale-pink blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah.

The result is Rose elevated to a more complex profile of grapefruit, apple, cranberry, cantaloupe and herbs.

The calcium-rich soils of Second Chance Vineyard in Cawston gives the Corcelettes 2018 Gewurztraminer ($18) less sugar and more zip.

As such, expect a lush array of peach, lime, pineapple, lychee and candied ginger aromas and flavours.


Since Canada Day isn't complete without some more Rose, make sure to put some Gray Monk 2018 Rose ($16.50) from Lake Country in the fridge.

It's an off-dry coppery-pink drink made mostly of Rotberger, a grape we don't hear much of in the Okanagan.

Rotberger is a red German varietal created in 1928 by crossing Riesling with Trollinger.

The Rotberger, with splashes of Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Kerner and Pinot Gris, gives drinkers the contrast and compliment of strawberries and rhubarb along with grapefruit and peach.

This wine will pair with the pork tenderloin you barbecue or the pizza you order in.


We're not finished with Rose.

The Painted Rock 2018 Rose ($25) is made with all the red varietals grown at the Okanagan Falls' estate vineyards – Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

As a result, it has pleasing sweet-tart complexity full of strawberry, rhubarb, cranberry and herbs.

There's also intriguing complexity in the Painted Rock 2018 Chardonnay ($35).

There's fresh lemon, lime, peach and apricot fruit aromas and flavours, but also a buttery texture, hints of brioche and even sea salt from skilled partial oak aging.


Steve MacNaull is a reporter with The Okanagan Weekend. Reach him at