By Blake Allen
Winemaking is an expression of both land and people, and when exceptional examples of both of those meet, it makes for an extraordinary bottle of wine. When the Okanagan first lured Joka and Wilbert Borren to Penticton’s Upper Bench nine years ago, they saw potential in a neglected little vineyard.
While they had no experience in viticulture itself, the two of them were seasoned farmers and quickly learned the tricky intricacies of growing grapes (to be fair, they also had a little help from their four sons, for whom the winery is named).
After years of growing award-winning wines for other vineyards, the Borrens decided it was time to make wines under their own label. Their decorated line includes a Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay, all of which have been award-winners. And with their wine shop now open for tastings, patrons can sample these prestigious wines alongside their newest addition, a second interpretation of Riesling that’s drier than most. It illustrates the incredibly diverse flavour profile that this little grape can pack!
Their 2019 Rosé is pleasingly salmon-coloured with a complex body of strawberries and citrus, accompanied on the nose by the lingering aroma of vanilla. It pairs best with a sunny afternoon.