Hello beautiful! This Italian phrase of greeting perfectly sets the tone for your visit to this family run vineyard in West Kelowna.
The Fiume family literally translates Italy into a local version through their huge welcome, their love of food, family and, of course, good wine. Living and working on the beautiful vineyard are owners Roberto and Sharon with their two children Olivia and Antonio. Roberto’s parents, Nonno Luigi and Nonna Melina, are not far away, just up the road actually, and are very much a part of the family operation.
On July 18th last year, Roberto and Sharon Fiume officially opened their tasting room to a crowd of happy wine lovers and neighbours. Roberto’s vision for the winery is “based on our family tradition of winemaking” and “it was my dream to bring a little piece of Italy to the Okanagan”. And this, you will feel with gusto. Roberto greets each and every guest with a handshake and an introduction to his wife and children—the warmest welcome you could imagine receiving in a tasting room; it is an extension of their home. And that was their goal, says Roberto, “to make everyone feel like they are a part of our extended family.” It is heartfelt and authentic: Benvenuti a tutti (welcome everyone).
Almost immediately after opening their doors and releasing their first vintage of wines, the Fiumes were awarded Best in BC at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival for their Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir)! Actually, since they have opened just over a year ago, five medals have already been won. The majority of the wines are made with their own estate-grown grapes. Roberto, in collaboration with winemaker Jim Faulkner, to whom he gives huge kudos, transform these grapes into these beautiful wines. He was also sure to thank Dr. Alan Marks, a viticulturist/consultant in the Okanagan who helped him pick out this award-winning Pinot Noir clone back in 1998. At that time, a neighbouring viticulturist advised Roberto that his vineyard was actually the oldest vineyard in Westbank- a wonderful piece of Okanagan wine culture history.
You will love the wine labels featuring beautiful vintage photographs. The Pinot Grigio label spotlighting a handsome man circa 1956 in Napoli is actually Roberto’s father Luigi. The Pinot Rosé’s photo of a beautiful girl on a Vespa is actually Roberto’s mom, Melina circa 1955. www.ciaobellawinery.com
2015 Pinot Grigio – $16.95
Again, this wine is made Italian-style, dry and fruit forward with a crisp finish. The nose offers lovely apple notes with citrus and the finish is surprisingly rich and buttery.
2015 Pinot Rosé – $17.95
Fun, refreshing and fruit forward, this delightful wine awakens your palate with hints of succulent watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, rhubarb, kiwi and wild cherry.
2014 Pinot Nero – $19.95
A beautiful ruby colour invites a nose of lovely strawberries followed by a rich, smooth palate with loads of depth and a lingering, earthy finish. John Schreiner gave this wine 90 points and perfectly describing it as “a very pretty wine”.
Pictured:: l-r Sharon, Antonio, Bella, Olivia & Roberto Fiume
~ Jennifer Schell