I walk toward the door at Kraze Legz Winery, but instead of pushing it open I take a moment to look out over the vineyards. Kaleden is the hidden gem off Highway 97, on the drive between Penticton and Oliver. Small farms and holiday cabins dot the landscape and the view to the north extends to Skaha Lake and the City of Penticton. If this isn’t heaven, I think, it might be as close as I’ll ever get.
Breaking my reverie, I push through the door to be welcomed by the smiles of owners Gerry and Sue Thygesen, the brains behind an innovative marketing strategy (Kraze Legz: crazy, eh?) and the brawn behind 2,000+ cases of very nice wines.
“Gerry and I do everything,” Sue says. “And with most of our wines sold here at the winery, it’s paramount that we give people a pos-i-tive-ly memorable Okanagan experience.”
That experience includes being taken through tastings by the owners, learning about the stories behind wines like The Bee’s Knees Pinot Blanc, The Lindy Hop white blend, The Cakewalk Merlot, Speakeasy Rosé and All That Jazz.
When the wineshop opens in May, visitors will find a completely new dessert wine. A Madeira-style wine, fortified with alcohol produced from their estate-grown Merlot grapes(only 50 cases).
“This site produces high quality fruit,” Gerry says, “and thus some really big surprises”. Big, but good. Stay tuned.
A few days after our visit we paired a bottle of Kraze Legz 2012 Pinot Blanc with curried chicken potpie and a salad, and it was fantastic. Pinot Blanc, which so often is highly acidic and very apple-y, has never been our favourite. But this version is so creamy and delicious that we became instant fans. It certainly is The Bee’s Knees!
~ Lorne Eckersley