<Every now and then we get to visit wineries and we’d like to share some of that experience with you. There are tons of things written about (and virtual tours online from) the big wineries in the area (Mission Hill, Peller, Summerhill, Vincor) and so our focus will be on the smaller, artisanal wineries that might not be on everyone’s tour schedule, but we think are worth a visit on your next trip. A large percentage of these wineries are located between Summerland/Naramata and Osoyoos. Hopefully, this will give you a hand in helping to decide which ones to visit on your next trip.>
The Twisted Tree Winery has always intrigued me for some reason. Ever since I learned (probably from a John Schreiner book) that they were planting all kinds of grape varieties that had never at that point been tried in the Okanagan – tempranillo, tannat, marsanne and roussanne and maybe more. The tannat got me especially because I’d really taken a liking to the wines from Madiran, France that use that grape (sometimes blended with cabernet franc) to make their wines.
The Twisted Tree winery is located on Route 3 heading east out of Osoyoos. The winery is on the left after the road turns for the first time just outside of town. (Heads up for y’all who are on motorcycles – they have a loose gravel parking lot.) The wine shop does not face the road and you have to drive around the whole building to park. The reason for this becomes apparent when you step into the wine shop and take in the gorgeous view of the valley behind the tasting bar. High ceilings and large windows give this wine shop a lot of space and more importantly, lots of light to appreciate the wine in the glass.
Twisted Tree’s first vintage was 2005 with a modest collection of reds and whites. In 2007, the viognier-roussanne blend was introduced for the first time. The 2008 is out now and it was the first wine that Stephanie poured for me on my visit there this past August. If you are interested in a white wine with lots of peach, flowers, and honey aromas and flavours, and that transitions to lush tropical fruits on the beautifully long and lingering finish, then YOU MUST TRY THIS WINE!! It was a most beautiful wine that will surely sell quickly.
2007 is also the current inaugural vintage of their Tempranillo, a grape that I am seeking out these days after trying D’Angelo’s Tempranillo earlier in the summer. To me, this tempranillo had pleasant cocoa, earth, red fruit and floral aromas with more of the same on the palate and a medium finish. It was delish.
It was also an interesting comparison between the two growing regions of Naramata and Osoyoos. Assuming that D’Angelo’s tempranillo is grown in Naramata (there’s no real way of telling for sure where anyone grows anything in this valley at the moment), there are noticeable differences between the two wines. The Twisted Tree temp is darker and has more weight to it with more fruit and chocolate flavours while the D’Angelo is more earthy and complex. Different wine making styles? Different oak treatment? Different terroir? Probably all of the above. Very interesting though and something that I hope to investigate more with different varietals on a future podcast sometime.
My only beef about this wine is that it is priced a little aggressively – $28 (their most expensive bottle) for a varietal that most people don’t really know about seems a bit high to me (especially compared with D’Angelo’s at $15). Regardless, I bought mine and plan to enjoy it around Christmas. Cheers!
Twisted Tree Winery http://www.twistedtree.ca/
3628 Highway 3 East
Osoyoos, BC, V0H 1V6
T: 250.495.5161 | F: 250.495.5167