The world of Church & State is going to include a lot more scenery this year, John Pullen, of Church & State Winery, tells me. Though it was officially opened mid-season last year, 2013 will be the first full season of Church & State’s now-famous outdoor tasting bar, which takes wine country scenery to a whole new level. Looking out over the Coyote Bowl with vineyards to each side and a majestic mountain view to the west, the outdoor tasting bar brings out a whole new immersive dimension to the wine tasting experience that is unrivalled in the Okanagan.


Though it might be a little chilly at the outdoor tasting bar this spring when the wine shop officially opens for weekends in April (the daily tastings begin in May). The indoor tasting bar, which does not lack for a view of its own with huge windows into the winery’s cellar, is always ready for tastings of the new vintages of your favourite wines from the #3 ranked winery in BC (according to the Canadian Wine Awards). It is also the only place where you can get your hands on a bottle of the 2010 Syrah, the 3rd best red in Canada (also from the Canadian Wine Awards), which is now a wine shop exclusive.

While the big reds like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are truly at home in the Coyote Bowl vineyard, Chardonnay fans also have something to look forward to. “There’s definitely that niche that loves that big, rich full Chardonnay,” says Pullen. He notes that over the last few seasons, more people have been requesting that style of Chardonnay. 


The portfolio of whites is not limited to Chardonnay. Along with an aromatic blend called Cuvée Blanc, Viognier is at home in the lineup of whites, as a single varietal wine and as a part of the TreBella, a blend with Marsanne and Roussanne.


Of course, all of their wines will pair perfectly with the view. Taste it for yourself on your next visit to either the Coyote Bowl or Brentwood Bay tasting rooms of Church & State.




– Luke Whittall