Ricco Bambino’s delivery truck is primed, painted and ready to roll. The new wine delivery vehicle is a Piaggio Ape (pronounced aH pay) and will be hard to miss. This soft, pastel pink wine wagon picks up your wine at the winery and delivers it directly to your door in Kelowna. Think of it as your emergency wine delivery angel.
The winery’s interior is a pleasant expression of pastel pink walls and crushed velvet seating accented by white oak, marble and brass. The space has a sense of elegance and a good dose of opulence.
“We chose pink because it exudes feelings of happiness, and playfulness, and it represents rosé wine, of which we are a huge fan,” said owner Jason Alton. “The essence behind our brand is new/nostalgic. The pastel warm colours give the winery a warm and inviting ambiance.”
You may also notice the music playing in the background. That’s also a big part of the Ricco Bambino experience.
“It will be a curated collection of everyone’s favourite music from the late ‘70s to current. It will keep you groovin’ late into the evening when the tasting room transforms into a wine and cocktail bar.”
The wide-open space allows a full view of the three concrete, tulip tanks. Take a tour of the entire winery without leaving the room. For a more in-depth experience, Ricco Bambino’s sommelier will walk you through the wine-making process and their portfolio of living wines.
“We like to educate through visuals,” said Alton. “It’s important for our customers to understand we are a boutique winery using organic grapes and wild yeasts. We do not manipulate our wines, nor try to make them taste like something from France or California. We are proud to be making Okanagan wines and we want them to taste like Okanagan wines.”
Bottles roll off the line May 1st, just in time for Spring Wine Fest. That’s also when Ricco Bambino opens the doors for everyone to come and enjoy his wine and caviar… yes… caviar!
Sip and savour inside or out on the patio with its wall of cascading plants. This is where the unique bar menu kicks it up a notch.
“I believe we will be the only winery offering caviar,” said Alton. “We serve Northern Divine organic caviar on a kettle chip with crème fresche. You can also enjoy some crunchy Marcona almonds, Castelvetrano olives or kettle chips on their own. It all goes great with our portfolio of expressive red, white, rosé and sparkling wines.”
Ricco Bambino has a sit-down wine menu for private tastings at your table. There are two tasting experiences: three 2-oz. pours or six 2-oz. pours, enabling visitors to experience everything on offer. Cocktails are available for non-wine loving guests. They also have Italian spritzers and champagne cocktails that include: fresh Bellini made with organic, local peaches and the Kicked out of the Country Club sparkling wine, a rosini, with fresh local strawberries, and the Very Troubled Child rosé sparkling wine. You can even get a negroni, margarita or a mai tai. To top it off, they have a rotating beer menu, one local, and one Italian, that changes weekly.
The Ricco Bambino winery reflects a push towards sustainability and using organic whenever possible. There are no plastic straws here. Instead, there are glass straws that you can purchase. You can also buy limited edition Ricco Bambino pink-stemmed Riedel glassware, T-shirts and hats, with more unique items to be released in the months to come.
The wines here are made with a light hand. Organic grapes are hand-harvested along with the natural yeasts found on the grapes. They are then fermented and aged in stainless steel and/or concrete tanks — no oak.
“We harvest from September to late November and in addition to our table wines, we will be offering two Charmat-style sparkling wines and two traditional style sparkling wines,” said Alton.
The winery also plans on doing a small product run of Pétillant Naturel or Pét-Nat wine.
“Every single bottle will come out a little different,” he explained. “We bottle the wine before it finishes its first fermentation. Carbon dioxide is then produced from the natural sugars in the wine. The result is a rustic and sparkling wine that at times can be an explosive little bomb!”
For a complete list of their current wines, visit them online at riccobambino.com. You can learn more about their winemaking styles at riccobambino.com/pages/wine-101.