7 Garagistes You Should Probably Know
Their labours of love are the heart and soul of the Okanagan’s wine industry.
They make minsicule cases of wine, they don’t have their own wineries and forget about a PR budget. These are the Valley’s garagistes—the name a throwback to when small producers used their garages as crush pads—and their hand-crafted labours of love are the heart and soul of the Okanagan’s wine industry.
Grant Elio Biggs
East Kelowna | Production 1550 cases
Grant climbed the rungs of the food and beverage industry and is now fulfilling his dream of growing grapes and making wine on an estate vineyard in East Kelowna for owners Trent and Ria Kitsch.
Kitsch 2015 Riesling, $26
An approachable style that has some sweetness to balance the high acid.
Nagging Doubt Winery
Southeast Kelowna | Production 1500 cases
Two kids, a vineyard, a winery, a full-time job—that’s the frenetic equation here. Rob is a B.C. boy and Abbey hails from New Mexico, neither imagined they would be knee-deep in this wicked fun mayhem.
Nagging Doubt 2015 The Pull, $30
A wallop of a Bordeaux blend. Dark, muscular and happy to age.
Penticton | Production 460 cases
Penelope’s a 5th generation winemaker brought up in a Bordeaux Grand Cru family, husband Dylan’s a North Van boy who favours Burgundy. They met doing a winemaking sabbatical in New Zealand and now they’re in Penticton making exceptional wine while planning a family and a winery at the same time.
Roche 2015 Pinot Gris, $25
A serious take on B.C.’s often playful grape: it’s floral and mineral with a killer finish.
Terry Meyer Stone
Anarchist Mountain Vineyard
Osoyoos | Production 400 cases
Terry’s career has gone from being Miss Canada 1975 to Edmonton talk show host to now rolling up her sleeves and muddying her boots while hands-on in a vineyard with husband Andrew in Osoyoos.
Anarchist 2015 Pinot Noir, $38
Lithe and sexy with raspberry and a little bit of herbs. Quite elegant.
Okanagan Falls | Production 300 cases
Chris Carson’s full-time gig is the winemaker for the acclaimed Meyer Family Vineyards, but for his own label, he has a lazer focus: to make outstanding Pinot Noir. Mission accomplished.
Carson Pinot Co. 2015 Pinot Noir, $35
Simply one of the best low-alcohol Pinots in B.C.
Anthony Buchanan Wines
Oliver | Production 300 cases
Anthony was a hair stylist for two decades before succumbing to his passion to make wine. By day he’s the full-time winemaker at Desert Hills Estate Winery, he and his wife Nichol have made their own labels a family affair by featuring the names of their children: Ashlyn on the Pinot Noir and Lawson on the Pinot Blanc.
Anthony Buchanan 2015 Pinot Noir, $30
Nicely perfumed with a black cherry base. A winner.
Niche Wine Co.
West Kelowna | Production 900 cases
They had two full-time jobs and a wee guy named Hugh, but James and Joanna still heard the call of the vines overtop the din of the city. They ditched the urbanity and haven’t looked back.
Niche 2o15 Pinot Noir, $24
A lovely golden-hue meets citrus zest dipped in honey.