Photo: Lariana's Dan and Carol Scott
have read this blog regularly, you probably have not heard of Lariana Cellars.
I run into people all the time who admit that to me.
is a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” To find the winery, you need to drive
toward the Canada-US border crossing at Osoyoos. If you get caught up with
American Immigration, you have gone too far.
Just a few
yards this side of entering the presumptive Kingdom of Trump, turn left at
Second Avenue and follow it as it winds by the eastside of the border
buildings. Bear left again and watch for the winery on the north side of the
street, at 8310 2 Ave, Osoyoos.
I would also
suggest calling ahead for an appointment (250.498.9259). This is a very small winery run by
Carol and Dan Scott and they are likely to be engaged in their other business,
a 75-unit recreational vehicle park on Osoyoos Lake. But they are a friendly
and accommodating couple.
sound like a lot of trouble, but it is well worth it. Lariana’s Viognier is,
arguably, the best in British Columbia. The two red wines are also impressive,
and worth the price.
Here is an
except from John Schreiner’s Okanagan
Wine Tour Guide to provide a little
more background on the winery.
The winery name is a tribute to Larry and Anna
Franklin, the parents of Carol Scott, who owns this winery with her husband,
Dan. Larry Franklin was a shareholder in Shannon Pacific Vineyards, a large
Black Sage Road vineyard until it was broken up after the 1988 vine pull out.
During one vintage, Carol was assigned to keep the starlings away from the
grapes with a bird gun. In another vintage, she helped pick grapes. She also
hauled grapes to the family home in Burnaby where her father made wine.
Those experiences planted the seed for this
winery even as the Scotts, both born in 1963, pursued careers in Burnaby. Don
is a millwright while Carol has been a travel agent. They moved to Osoyoos in
1989, taking over a campground that her parents had established in 1968. The recreational
vehicle sites, which they still operate, take up the lakeside half of the
four-hectare (10-acre) property. The vineyard, which began to replace apple and
cherry trees in 2007, occupies the top half.
Planting vines was Carol’s passion. “It took a
few years to get Dan on board,” she admits. “It was kind of a dream to plant
grapes. I finally convinced Dan and we cleared the land. It was a new tractor
that convinced him.” They planted Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. When
the hard winters of 2008 and 2009 mortally damaged the Syrah, that variety was
replaced with 2,500 Carmenère vines. Now, they purchase Syrah for Lariana’s red
The Scotts, who intend to limit production to
about 1,200 cases a year, built a plain Jane winery with a modest tasting room.
They invested instead in top flight equipment, including the California-made
concrete egg in which Carol and consulting winemaker Senka Tennant make
Lariana’s Viognier. Stainless steel tanks
are half the price but whites made in concrete eggs – several larger Okanagan
wineries have them – show richer texture.
notes on the three current releases.
Lariana Cellars Viognier 2015 ($25 for 215 cases). This is
fermented in the winery’s 1,800-litre concrete egg (and in one neutral French
oak barrel). It begins with fruity aromas, including a surprising but pleasing
note of pineapple and rhubarb. On the palate, the flavours are lush and
tropical, with notes of lychee and peach. The wine is refreshing, dancing
lightly on the palate, with absolutely no heat from the 14.3% alcohol. This is
a tour de force, a benchmark for Okanagan Viognier. 93.
Lariana Cellars Carménère 2013 ($40 for 120 cases). This wine is
new in the Lariana portfolio. This wine has been aged 20 months predominantly
in French oak. The fans of Okanagan Carménère will appreciate this swaggering
example, with peppery aromas and flavours surrounding the plum, black cherry
and prune notes. The wine is savoury, with long ripe tannins and a persistent
Lariana Cellars Thirteen 2013 ($45 for 555 cases). The blend is
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 12% Carménère. The wine begins with
aromas of cassis lightly touched with mint. On the palate, the flavours are
savoury and earthy, with notes of black cherry, black currant and black coffee,
mingling with peppery dark chocolate and polished tannins on the finish. 92.
A note on
the name of the wine. This is Lariana’s flagship red; it is named for the
vintage. The previous release was Twelve and the next release will be Fourteen.