There’s a new winery in downtown Kelowna and it will be open just in time for the Spring Wine Festival. Ricco Bambino is a boutique winery and garden bar that focusses on creating minimal intervention wines. It’s located at 1630 Pandosy Street in the heart of Kelowna.

The winery’s new urban tasting room is bright and airy, merging pastel colours together with living walls and brass accents. The goal for the design was to create a space that accentuated the feelings associated with drinking Ricco Bambino wines. Knowing these requirements from winery owner Jason Alton, F2a Architects were careful to marry a playful sophistication that flirts with opulence, while maintaining a sense of humility to the new urban winery.

The garden bar is a 20-seat patio that feels like a garden oasis. With high walls filled with cascading plants that form a beautiful privacy screen, it’s the perfect place to sip, sample and indulge your inner wine connoisseur.

The wines are elegant and well-structured, expressive and beaming with a refreshing, bright, balanced acidity. Ricco Bambino is one of the few wineries in the valley that practises making minimal intervention wines. They ferment and age their wines in concrete vessels to allow for micro-oxygenation to occur. This process allows the wines to breathe and develop a rounder mouth and textural feel without the addition of any unwanted flavours imparted by using oak or additives.

All the grapes used for the wines are organic, sustainably farmed and hand-harvested from biodynamic vineyards throughout the Okanagan Valley. Matt Dumayne is Ricco Bambino’s winemaker. He brings his philosophy of “less is more” to the minimal intervention winemaking ethos. After a gentle pressing, the grapes are transferred into stainless steel or concrete tulip tanks and the fermentation starts to take place with nothing more than the wild yeasts that naturally occur in the vineyards. This process is somewhat risky; however, it’s the only way to produce living wines that reflect the terroir where the grapes were grown.

Ricco Bambino is proud to be a small batch winery, producing 3,300 cases in total. Its organic wines are made with passion, and as such, it places emphasis on quality wine before anything else. In terms of offerings, the portfolio for the 2017 vintage is made up of four sparkling wines, two Metodo Classico bruts and two Metodo Italiano sparkling wines. You’re sure to love the Kicked out of the Country Club brut and the Very Troubled Child rosé brut.

In addition to their sparkling wine, they have an organic Cabernet Franc Rosé, a sustainably farmed Viognier, and a zippy, Bianco blend of Riesling and Viognier. Their single varietal organic reds include a Syrah, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. It is rumoured this first vintage is fantastic, so be sure you get yours before it’s all gone. As an added bonus, once they’re open they’ll deliver your wines for free within the Kelowna area!

Mark your calendars and plan on an evening out during the grand opening in early May. With limited tickets available, you’ll want to be one of the first to sample their smooth, concrete-aged reds and fresh, crisp stainless steel fermented whites. Keep your eye on the website (riccobambino.com) for the announcement! While you’re on the website, check out the Ricco Bambino’s pink mesh snap back caps, unisex T-shirts and visors.

~ Jodi Quibell

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