Photo: Arrowleaf's beautiful new wine shop
At the recent All-Canadian Wine Championships, Arrowleaf
Cellars of Lake Country won four gold medals and a bronze medal.
The wines that won gold were Riesling 2014, Pinot Gris 2014,
Gewürztraminer 2014 and First Crush Rosé 2014. The bronze went to the winery’s
Given that performance, I was stunned by what a food critic
had to say about Arrowleaf in a weekend column on the North
in a national newspaper.
“If you have to skip one winery, take a pass on Arrowleaf
Cellars,” the critic wrote. “The new glass-and-concrete facility may be
gorgeous, but the wines, in my opinion, have always had an unpleasant musty
The judges at the All-Canadians (I was one) had a more
credible opinion of the wines.
So did the judges at the Okanagan Wine Festival “Best of
Varietal Wine Awards” this spring. The four Arrowleaf wines that were finalists
were the Riesling 2014, First Crush White 2014, Solstice Pinot Noir 2012, and
Arrowleaf’s 2012 Pinot Noir got a gold medal last fall at
the Mondial des Pinots competition in Switzerland.
One could go on. It is hardly unusual for Arrowleaf wines to
garner awards. I have tasted Arrowleaf wines since the winery’s grand opening
in 2003. I have never had a musty wine. Some wines have appealed to more than
others but none has been flawed. Arrowleaf Gewürztraminer is often my go-to
There might be a few Okanagan wineries that don’t inspire
much enthusiasm in me, but Arrowleaf has never been one.
And now that the winery has opened its new wine shop, you
would be making a big mistake by giving the winery a miss.
The wine shop, which encompasses a barrel room and a private
tasting room, is the work of architect Robert Mackenzie, the Kelowna architect who has designed a number
of iconic wineries. This is his most beautiful winery building yet.
The building, which has a patio with terrific views over
vineyards toward Okanagan
, also includes a
restaurant called The Kitchen at Arrowleaf. It had just opened after the food
critic was through Lake
and it did not
I’d say that Arrowleaf was lucky on that score.