After 28 years in the game, it is forgivable to hold the opinion that Gehringer Brothers Winery on the Golden Mile just south of Oliver is a great white wine winery.  It is true that their whites, particularly their Rieslings, are regularly recognized for their excellence.  However, it would be a sad thing indeed if you failed to look beyond the surface and see what they had to offer in other areas.  The current vintage of their Optimum Pinot Noir was recognized as the Best of Varietal at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival.  The Optimum Pinot Noir is the reserve tier of two Pinot Noirs offered by the winery and at $20.99 per bottle it is a fantastic bargain.  The colour is the rich red of ripe cherries and the nose offers  toasted coconut, vanilla, butter and baked cherries.  On the palate, there is a hint of smoke with notes of vanilla followed by a cherry liqueur finish.   Another notable red is the 2012 Private Reserve Pinot Noir at only $15.99 per bottle.  The colour in the glass is a deep cherry with a nose that exhibits almond, cherry and vanilla notes.  The palate is dark and dusky with more almond, vanilla and cherry.  
Taking the road less travelled is often rewarding in unanticipated ways.  A visit to Gehringer Brothers can be one way to reap those rewards.  The Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys have become known for their excellent use of vinifera grapes to produce world class wines.  Gehringer Brothers Winery works with well -known grape varieties like Chardonnay and Merlot, not to mention Pinot Noir, but they also grow less common varieties like Schonburger, Auxerrois and Ehrenfelser and have been making wines with them, with much success, for almost three decades.  Make sure that you include Gehringer Brothers Winery in your itinerary when you next visit the South Okanagan.
~ Courtney Fossett