This is the experience people are looking for," says Hidden Chapel Proprietor Deborah Wilde about her & her partner, Lanny Kinrade's boutique winery just north of Oliver. While bigger wineries have wide distribution through many different wine stores, Wilde finds her customers like to make the trip out to the winery.
Besides visiting the Hidden Chapel nestled in the pines, part of that experience is getting to see the place where the wines are made. Hidden Chapel's wines are aged in their unique cellar that is built into the hillside next to their winery. "It's great for aging the reds, plus it's very cost efficient and energy efficient," explains Wilde. "The only time we need a little heat is when we're fermenting." All of this is accomplished by simply being mostly underground, which is extremely beneficial in the hot south Okanagan summer for maintaining a stable environment for the wines to age in the barrels. "The warmest it gets is about 19 degrees," says Wilde.
The same principles of simplicity and efficiency are applied to the wines. "Our wines are very clean. We use low sulphites," says Wilde. "They're not manipulated. What we get out of the barrels is what we get."
Along with the trio of wedding-themed wines in the portfolio (White Wedding (white), Blushing Bride (rosé), Shotgun Wedding (red), Wilde says that two of the big reds will be really showing well this fall. The Collection (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) is huge on flavour and complexity for $23.90 while the Soul Sister (Syrah, with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) displays huge fruit with subtle black pepper on the nose and finish.
Experience Hidden Chapel for yourself in person, just off Highway 97 North of Oliver, or online at www.hiddenchapelwinery.com
Photo: Co-proprietor Deborah Wilde.
~ Luke Whittall