There is a certain je ne sais quoi about visiting 50th Parallel Estate Winery that makes you feel completely and utterly alive. Maybe it’s the 16 hours of sunlight that bathes the stunning lakeside location on the east slopes of Lake Okanagan; perhaps it’s the unstoppable, determined life-force which feeds the 61 acres of vines. Most certainly, it’s the effervescent passion and focus of 50th Parallel co-founders and proprietors, Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel, which infuses every single square inch of this world-class wine destination.
After hand-planting the first vines in 2009, this extraordinary couple and their team continue to develop 50th Parallel into a transformative entity on the Okanagan wine country landscape. Together, with winemaker Grant Stanley, they have created a deliciously approachable portfolio of cool-climate varietal wines that dazzle your taste buds with each sip. Guests are always treated to a “Welcome Wine” and a hearty, genuine greeting upon arrival—sometimes even before you enter the tasting room. Your experience ramps up when you begin sampling the portfolio of ridiculously quaffable yet very food-friendly wines: the fresh, creamy stone fruit of the Pinot Gris; citrus fruit, honey, and minerals of the Riesling; and the peach, kiwi, toasted nutty-marshmallow of the Chardonnay. The Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir—grown in blocks specifically for this wine, which is fresh and crisp, showing notes of strawberry, raspberry, and savoury herb flavours. Then comes the Pinot Noir, Curtis Krouzel’s self-professed “reason for living”, made from block-specific Dijon clones, which is delicate yet supple, offering dark berry, truffle, and chocolate on the palate.
Truly spectacular is 50th Parallel’s latest release, the appropriately titled 2014 Unparalleled Pinot Noir. Winner of the Decanter Wine Awards Silver medal, brooding, dark purple edges give way to an intense, red rose center. Herbaceous and warm, earthy aromas abound, with a hint of rose petal, toasted walnut and anise. Ripe black cherry, black currant, baked blueberries, and a hint of roasted red pepper kiss your palate, with caresses of black pepper, toasted cashews, and slate minerality. Retailing at $50.00/bottle, Unparalleled is only available in groupings of six bottles, elegantly packaged in a beautifully crafted wooden box. Just 300 cases were produced—a limited opportunity to enjoy this quintessential Okanagan Pinot Noir.
While simply ‘stopping by’ is a joy unto itself, 50th Parallel Estate Winery has designed additional, unique guest experiences offering exceptional service and unbridled energy—promising to create precious memories.
The “Grape to Glass Tour” offers an engaging vineyard walk, complete with a production facility tour and a tasting of their six current releases, hosted by one of the Wine Hospitality Concierge. This package, at $40/person, can be customized for a minimum of six guests for an unparalleled wine experience,
Highly recommended is the “Crush Pad Lounge VIP Tasting”—which will surely provide an unforgettable day amongst the vines. Sip and savour 50th Parallel’s wines in a private, sit-down, guided tasting with your personal Wine Hospitality Concierge, including a tasting of their current six current releases, and an exclusive opportunity to sample the 2014 Unparalleled Pinot Noir, as tastings of this wine are not available to the public.
Cheese and charcuterie platters can be added to enhance your taste-tripping, and wine is available by the glass or bottle while lounging. This tour is worth every cent at just $60/person; maximum eight people per group.
Both tours include a $10 gift card towards a wine or retail purchase.
Visit 50thparallel.com for more information about the wines and tasting experiences.
50th Parallel Estate Winery is a place you may never want to leave; a place that seemingly goes on forever in your heart, and your mind.
~ Kris Johnson