This past weekend I went on a wine tour with some friend in Summerland, B.C. The weather was sunny and warm; a nice respite from Calgary’s grey days, and the wine was tasty. We hit eight vineyards to taste the whites, reds and roses of the region. (No $@# Merlot for me.)
What made the best wineries stand out wasn’t just the vino but the name of the businesses. There are a lot of vineyards in the Okanagan and most of them have unique labels. The stories about how these places got their business monikers were shared over a glass (sip) of wine. These stories aren’t just a marketing ploy; they are intertwined with the grapes and are part of the history of the people bringing Canadian wine to our tables.
Named after the scarf pilots used to wear in the early days of aviation when the cockpit was open. The scarf’s connection to the winery is that one of the owners flew for the Israeli air force. Silkscarf is a great place for reds.
As you might have guessed, 8th Generation has something to do with family. The wine makers, a husband and wife team, are descendants of a long line of grape involved ancestors. Bernd Schales is an 8th generation winemaker and Stefanie Schales is a 10th generation winegrower. This is a great place for frizzante wine.
The name of this winery comes from a rather unusual mercantile combination in Summerland. A Chinese man who was working on the rail road in early 1900s decided to start a laundry in the area. Since the town was full of miners who didn’t care about clean clothing the business didn’t do so well. That’s when he decided to add gambling and a brothel to the mix. The locals referred to the place as Dirty Laundry. The winery owners liked the name and it certainly brings in a lot of curious customers. The story is told over the wine tasting. A good marketing move.