Stop and Smell the Rosé: 5 B.C. Wines You Need to Drink

British Columbia boasts some of the country's best summer wines, so grab a glass and start sipping

Credit: iStock/ibajars

This season, toast local vintners and vines alike by sampling an award-winning rosé

It hasn’t been an easy task for B.C. brands to break into the crowded marketplace of new world wines – and it’s been an even tougher challenge for locally grown rosés. The province’s damp climate and long winters don’t exactly create optimal conditions for flourishing crops, but crafty vintners in the Okanagan have managed to eke out major wins in the category over the past few years, with some even taking home prestigious awards for a number of local bottles.

Red Rooster Reserve Rosé

Red Rooster Winery has built a reputation on its award-winning bantam and other varietals but its rosé has become a summer staple for many. With 480 cases bottled in the spring, this complicated blend is an amalgamation of malbec, cabernet franc, syrah, mourvedre, petit verdot, pinot noir and grenache. It showcases the flavours of a number of berries along side watermelon and rose petals. Last year’s offering walked away with a silver honour at the National Wine Awards of Canada and this year’s incarnation may be headed for similar accolades.

Price Around $22

Credit: Hillside Winery

Hillside Rosé

Bottled in March, the 2013 rosé from Hillside Winery in Naramata is a rich blend of merlot, malbec and cabernet franc. Nearly 1000 cases were bottled – owing to healthy demand in previous years – and this summer sip presents a pleasing combination of “wild flowers and field berries.”

Price Around $17.50

Credit: Therapy Pink Freud

Therapy’s Pink Freud

Bottled in April, this selection relies on hints of red licorice and cranberries to set it apart from the pack. A bronze medal winner at the National Wine Awards of Canada in 2013, Therapy’s Pink Freud is a blend of pinot noir and merlot grapes that is recommended for tastings along side summery fruits and cheeses. Plus – after a responsible glass or two – who can’t appreciate the label’s cheeky play on words?

Price Around $18

Joie Re-Think Rosé

The name says it all. Even wine enthusiasts who are suspect of fruit-forward recipes are encouraged to “re-think” rosé with this blend of pinot noir and gamay. It’s light, refreshing and easily paired with any number of fresh foods, thanks to its black cherry, strawberry and spice notes. When the winery itself pledges, “We make rosé because we like drinking it,” one can rest assured they are putting their best bottle forward.

Price Around $21

Meyer Rosé

150 cases of the Meyer Rosé were produced in 2013 using merlot vines from two separate vineyards – one on the Naramata Bench and the other near Okanagan Falls. While this rosé clearly showcases the standard blush colouring, it weaves in flavours of green vegetables to the more traditional berry-focused formula, providing a richer, more unique product.

Price Around $20