Rosé finds new home at Bottega Wine Studio
Wine always involves a love story. A wine shared on the first date, the champagne sparkling on your wedding day, a bottle put down for your firstborn and brought up from the cellar when they turn 18, or a precious glass poured with friends that holds your heart while you share.
Recently, my heart was warmed when I witnessed a wine-love story taking root in the Similkameen.
Winemaker Daniel Bontorin and his wife Kristine met in 2009, and after their wedding in 2015, they became a blended family. “It’s us two, and our five kids,” he says. “So, yeah, everybody goes in different directions in life, of course, and has their different personalities and such.”
The name of Daniel’s passion project, Seven Directions, reflects the blending of the two families and marks his commitment to make outstanding rosé wines.
The couple is happy to open their doors to a permanent home for their two brands: Bottega, launched in 2015, and Seven Directions, launched in 2012.
For nearly two decades, Daniel has been a well-respected winemaker and winemaking consultant in the Okanagan. He boasts that the new release from Bottega Wine Studio is his 60th vintage of Rosé.
The estate has three and a half acres planted with Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc. The Boutins also purchase grapes from other growers.
Your summer won’t be genuinely summer without enjoying a bottle of Seven Directions Tractor and Vines Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 ($28). It’s a stunning example of Provence style, made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes and showing off a very pale salmon colour through its elegant bottle. The acidity is perfect in this wine as it awakens every taste bud in your mouth.
With only 220 cases produced, this rosé is destined to be a summer sellout.
The grapes for this exquisite wine come from a one-acre block of Clone 667 Pinot Noir, one of the famous Dijon clones originating in the renowned French town of Burgundy. Thriving for the past 15 years on a small parcel of the Trout Creek peninsula in Summerland, the vineyard was cultivated specifically for the creation of Seven Directions Rosé.
An equally delicate Rosé is the 2022 Laughing Stock Rosé ($25) from the award-winning winery on the Naramata Bench. Here, winemaker Sandy Leier crafts a Provence-style wine, skillfully showcasing its signature dryness and elegant pale pink hue, achieved from a blend of 85% Gamay and 15% Pinot Noir. Upon tasting, you’ll be greeted with enticing notes of strawberry and honeysuckle, followed by delightful flavours of cherry and grapefruit.
One of my longtime favourites is Hester Creek Rosé Cabernet Franc, and the 2022 vintage ($19.99) continued my fandom. Departing from the typical pink hues, this almost electric cherry-red colour shines through your glass. With ripe berry notes, this fruit-forward wine evolves into a delightful creamy raspberry flavour. Striking a perfect balance between dry and sweet, it’s an ideal companion for any summer night.
At Bottega Wine Studio, Bontorin also showcases his skill in crafting a Rosé from Cabernet Franc grapes. The 2022 Fruitvale Ridge Vineyard Rosé ($26) is sourced from the South Okanagan from a block grown in Oliver, where the warmer temperatures result in a softer acidity and fuller body than his Pinot Noir Rosé. This wine is the perfect companion for a hot day on the patio, where you can revel in the luscious summer fruit flavours, such as nectarines and peaches.
For a celebratory Rosé, 2018 Evolve Rose Brut (part of the Time Family of Wines) offers elegant, endless pink bubbles, courtesy of a delicate splash of Syrah. The waft of warm buttered brioche is followed by luscious peachy yumminess, complemented by the refreshing zip of lemon and rhubarb on the palate. Crafted in the traditional Champagne style, this exquisite Rosé is a blend of hand-harvested and hand-sorted Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (40%), Pinot Blanc (9%), and a subtle hint of Syrah (1%). Each wine is kept separate, then skillfully blended before bottling, with secondary fermentation in the bottle, and aged for five years on lees. Watch for news of their soon to be opened Naramata tasting room.
Located in the tiny hamlet of Cawston, the tasting room at Bottega Wine Studio is open every weekend throughout the summer (Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) until the harvest starts, or as they say “when we are sold out.”