Ciao Bella may be one of the new kids on the block –
open since July 2015 – but they are no newcomers to wine.
The Fiume family’s history of grape growing and winemaking started in Napoli, Italy with Luigi and Melina. The Pinot Rosé label features Melina (who turned 81 in April) on Luigi’s Vespa. That handsome fellow on the Pinot Grigio label is Luigi, who will be celebrating his 86th birthday in June. The picture was taken approximately a week before Luigi and Melina immigrated to Yellowknife in 1956. Unfazed by Yellowknife’s weather, the Fiume’s continued to make wine from grapes brought in from California.
Luigi, Melina and their son Roberto moved to the upper bench on the Westside in 1986. The property where the vines now grow is West Kelowna’s oldest vineyard site. Some of the vines at the back of the property are 60-70 years old, although they are more suitable for eating than making wine. When he can, Roberto enjoys taking guests through the vineyard on the weekends.
The winery is definitely a family affair. Roberto Fiume, his wife Sharon and their two children Antonio and Olivia are continuing the family’s tradition. They now have approximately five and a half acres of Pinot Noir and about one and a quarter acres of Pinot Grigio. The boutique wine shop carries a variety of Italian products as well as their award winning wines.
From May 20th through to October, the winery will be open Monday – Saturday 11-5pm and Sunday 12-5pm. There’s a licensed picnic area so feel free to pack a picnic and enjoy a glass or bottle of wine in their beautiful vineyard setting.
Ciao Bella will be part of the Westside Wine Trail’s Sip into Summer Event. Check the winery’s website or Facebook page for details on all special events throughout the wine season.
Ciao Bella is proud to bring a little bit of Italy to the Okanagan. Their three Italian-style wines include:
Pinot Rosé (BC Wine Awards 2015 silver medal winner) – $19.95
A summer sipper, the Pinot Rosé is made from grapes hand-picked in their West Kelowna vineyards. Hints of watermelon, strawberries and grapefruit are followed by the tartness of rhubarb.
Pinot Grigio – $16.95
This Italian-style Grigio is fruit forward with pears, apple and melon on the nose followed by a hint of honey and citrus on the palate.
2014 Pinot Nero (Winner, B.C. Best of Varietal Wine Awards, 2016) – $24.95
Made exclusively from grapes hand-picked in their West Kelowna vineyard, this medium bodied classic Pinot is aged for 13 months in the finest oak. It awakens the palate with hints of black cherry and rich dark chocolate, and leaves a light peppery finish.
~ Sue Harper