When you pull up the driveway to Kraze Legz Winery don’t be deterred by the closed gate. It’s only to keep the deer out – not the wine lovers! It opens automatically. This 1920’s themed winery capitalizes on its 100 year history to produce award-winning Estate-grown wines whose names reflect the Speakeasy era.The vinifera grapes they’ve planted are thriving in the shale and fossilized sandstone terroir, which absorbs and radiates heat in the evenings and throughout the fall months aiding ripening and flavour development. Situated on the Okanagan Falls Bead Trail, the winery features a lovely picnic area where visitors can enjoy a great view along with wonderful wines available for purchase in the wine shop.  Some cheeses and snacks are also available for purchase, but feel free to bring your own. As they near their fourth harvest, Co-proprietors Gerry and Sue Thygesen are planning for expansion, since their current 1500 case production isn’t sufficient to meet the demand of their many repeat customers.  Hopefully, visitors will be in time to taste and purchase some 2011 releases of clean, refreshing whites such as the Bee’s Knees Pinot Blanc, Lindy Hop (White blend) and Whisper Sister Chardonnay and their Speakeasy Rose (100% Merlot), all priced under $20.00.

Red wine lovers will not be disappointed.  The 2010 ‘The Cakewalk’ Merlot ($25.95) shows nicely-balanced layers of black cherry and plum against softening tannins.  Try the 2010 ‘All that Jazz’ ($23.95) for a more complex wine with a bold mix of berry, vanilla, cherry and chocolate notes.  Canadian Wine Awards Silver Medalist 2009 ‘The Black Bottom Stomp’ (Merlot/Cab Franc blend) will appeal to palates looking for a rich and balanced wine to pair with grilled meats, robust cheeses and even dark chocolate. ~ Allison Fader