Words: Henry Yuen
Young & Wyse Winery
9503 12th Ave., Osoyoos. 250-495-3245 www.youngandwysewine.com
Sunshine, the caressing heat, beaches and lakes - summer in Osoyoos is surely a paradise. Wine Route signs dotted along the highway is another indication of a good time for visitors and wine lovers. This picturesque waterfront stretch of Osoyoos has always been a great destination for visitors of all ages.
From a cursory look, the dry and desert like heat may not be conducive to grape growing; yet the wind and moisture from the lake allow the evenings to cool down thus providing warm days and cool nights condition ideal for grape growing. Of the 38 wineries that form the Oliver Osoyoos Wineries Association, only seven are located in the vicinity of Osoyoos. But the Okanagan Valley and surrounding wine sub-regions are just nearby. Head further north on Highway 97 towards Oliver, more vineyards and wineries await.
Young & Wyse Collection is one of those wineries along the lush green Osoyoos route. Michelle Young and Steve Wyse are the owners, thus the name Young & Wyse. They have 10 acres planted and further supplemented by juice from contract growers. Steve Wyse credential originates from the Burrowing Owl Winery where he was the winemaker for a number of years. He left this family business in 2009 to strike out on his own. To add humour to the decision to leave the family operation, he decided to use “Black Sheep” moniker as one of his wine labels.
This boutique winery focuses on aromatics white varietals and medium to full-bodied reds to reflect the best fruit offering from the warm, long days and cool nights and the cooperating sandy loam soil. The strong breeze from Lake Osoyoos provides the balancing act for the grapes to mature and ripe in optimal condition suitable to the styles of wine desired by Steve Wyse. " It's a 'collection' of the best of Mother Nature, our passion and love of BC wines and our craftsmanship!" Michelle explains.
Their whites include aromatic varietals: Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. These are great summer sippers that deliver bright acidity, tropical and Asian fruit aroma, and juicy palates of ripened peach, wild honey and green apple skin. They are crafted to keep your relaxing summer days mellow and cool. Amber, a blend of the three varietals has the bouquet of Viognier and Gewurztraminer as the backbone with a touch of Pinot Gris to sprinkle hints of stone fruit and melon to the finish. A complex but well balanced white wine that is easy and fun to drink; at under $20, it’s easy on the wallet too! A great choice to partner with this summer's shellfish morsels for sure.