Perched atop the West Kelowna Farm Loop, away from the echoes of the city below, the rustic traditions of rural Neapolitan Italy have taken root at Ciao Bella Winery.

This little patch of West Kelowna has been transformed into an authentic piece of Napoli in our own backyard.

In their quaint family home, surrounded by vineyards and blessed with a cosy garden-lined picnicking space, the Fiume family — Roberto and Sharon, as well as their children Antonio and Olivia — invite guests into their famiglia with award winning wines, cappuccinos and Spuntini (charcuterie — the Italian way).

As the summer season makes its long-awaited arrival in the Okanagan Valley and Ciao Bella begins to slowly release its newest vintages, guests have an opportunity to experience one of the greatest pleasures of authentic, hand-crafted wines: seasonal variations!

True wine is a seasonal product, with every growing season leaving its signature on each varietal, and creating a new experience every year. You may be lucky enough to sample the Dolce Vino, a uniquely Italian take on the icewine and truly, the ultimate expression of a season in wine. Before last year’s vintages are gone, you’ll want to make this quick trip to “Italy” and experience these products of summers past.

Pinot Nero: Ciao Bella has been recognized as the home of BC’s best Pinot Noir (French for pinot nero) and for good reason. The 2015 pinot nero is an ideal summer red, replete with a rich garden bouquet of strawberries, cherries and raspberries coupled on the palate with a mild, fruitful body and just a slight touch of chocolate. You’ll want to hurry because stock is low. It will soon be replaced by the 2016 vintage that showcases the seasonal variations with prominent notes of dark chocolate, black cherries and the pleasing aroma of fresh strawberries.

Rosé: Seasonal variations doesn’t mean every season’s wine will catch you by surprise. Consider Ciao Bella’s ever popular rosé. While precious little remains in the wineshop of the 2015 rosé, sommeliers and wine enthusiasts alike will find that both the 2015 and 2016 vintages showcase a refreshing body of strawberries and rhubarb with ever-so-subtle hints of watermelon lingering on the back of the palate.

Pinot Grigio: This classic, Italian-style white wine is off-dry, an ideal body for the cool evenings of late summer with crisp bursts of green apple and hints of apricot complemented by its citric nose and buttery finish. Unfortunately, the 2016 pinot grigio has already sold out! How similar will the 2017 vintage be? And what variations can you expect? You’ll have to take a quick trip to this little Italy to find out!`

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