Church & State Wines opened their über modern tasting room on the Black Sage Bench in 2010. The property is a popular stop in wine country with its sophisticated wine tasting room and large selection of wines available to taste and purchase.  Guests sit at a lengthy tasting bar and are offered views into the wine cellar while they are guided through the tasting by the winery’s knowledgeable staff.  

 
In addition to the indoor area, Church & State recently added an outdoor patio bar with seating for 27, overlooking their Coyote Bowl vineyards.  Take refuge from the sun under the canvas sails on warmer days while listening to some jazz piped onto the patio, and look forward to afternoons of live music next year.  The winery has partnered to Osoyoos’ Dolci Deli to provide tasting platters comprised of cheese, olives, bread and crackers to accompany your wine and is licensed well into the evening allowing guests to stop in after dinner.
 
Church & State has sister vineyards and a winery on the Saanich Peninsula with 10 acres of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir planted and bottled under the Island Estate series.  The spot offers lunch until the end of September and Raptor tours daily.  Watch these birds of prey swoop over the vineyards as part of the environmental vineyard management program.  Be sure to call the winery to confirm times as they are subject to change.
 
During the Fall Wine Festival the winery will participate in the main tastings and also present a winemaker’s dinner at Villa Rosa on October 4.  Look forward to their fall wine releases at this time.  The  Church & State Series Cabernet Sauvignon and Church & State Cabernet Franc are due out as well as the and the Church & State Coyote Bowl series Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
 
2009 Quintessential $50.00
This is the winery’s big Bordeaux –style wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, aged in French oak.  Aromas of raspberry, cherry, vanilla, mocha and coffee and followed by lots of ripe fruit on the palate with fine tannins and great structure.  A Double Gold winner at the San Francisco International Wine Festival.
 
2009 Meritage $26.00
Another Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, however this version has somewhat less serious oak treatment than the Quintessential.  Red fruit aromas, blueberry, cedar and leather.  A smooth wine with flavours of boysenberry and mocha.  
 
Photo: View from the outdoor tasting bar.
 
~ Cassandra Anderton

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