March 13, 2022

This International Riesling Day, we invite you to try one of our refreshing Okanagan Riesling! Riesling was born as a new wine variety in 1435 in Germany.  Native the Rhine River Valley, the Riesling has been tended to by families for over 500 years.  However, it was not always a popular wine.  Around 1648, it would officially become popular when the French took over the Alsace region and gained some access to vineyards that would be replanted with Riesling. The contest with the French has always been a point of concern for the Germans in the Rhine region, as they always wanted to stand out from their red wine producing neighbours.

As a white grape variety, Riesling is believed to be originated from a cross between Gouais Blanc and Traminer, or Sauvignon Blanc.  The Germans also wanted to stand out from their French neighbours, who were succeeding at their deep red wines.  There was a brief period of time when the Germans were using red grapes for their wines, but they found they could not match the quality and taste of French wines. When they were first acquainted with the white wine grapes, the decision was easy, as they had found a variety that was unlikely to be found anywhere else, and a taste unique all its own.

As Germany’s pride and joy, Riesling continues to be a strong wine variety.  It has declined a little bit in recent years, with the First and Second World War leading to the destruction of key vineyards that caused the wine industry to turn to quality products instead.  Riesling has also been given a bit of a bad reputation, as most wine makers would not ferment a lot of the sugar out. The result, as a wine, it was known for being a sweet, and fruity. Most Rieslings will have hints of citrus and a strong aroma, but will be surprisingly adaptable according to what you wish to pair your glass with. British Columbia win makers are now producing wines that are on the dry to off-dry spectrum, with lower amounts of residual sugar.

Today, Riesling is grown on nearly every single continent—other than Antarctica—and it is a world-class wine, and a German delight to many looking for a refreshing glass of wine at the end of a long week. We are happy to present some of the very best Riesling varieties for you to try on International Riesling Day.

Below you will find 6 must try Okanagan single varietal Riesling, in no particular order.

Black Swift Vineyards | 2020 Kurkjian Farm Riesling | West Kelowna

Bottle of Black Swift 2020 Kurjian Farms Riesling
📷 Credit: vivino.com/

Another knock out from our friends at Black Swift Vineyards is the 2020 Kurkjian Farm Riesling. This wine boasts a highly acidic backbone, with crisp lime zest and freshly squeezed lemon balanced with unripened apple and hints of yellow peach and nectarine and a slight minerality on the pallet. On the nose you will find hints of fresh cut grass and petrol. The wine was fermented

Price: $27.99 CAD

Residual Sugar: 2.52 g/l


Arrowleaf Cellars | 2020 Riesling | Lake Country

Bottle of Arrowleaf Cellars 2020 Riesling
📷 Credit: arrowleaf.com

Arrowleaf Cellars released the 2020 Riesling in October 2021, this bottle is a slightly off-dry wine that has a fresh citrus taste with herbal notes.  It has a lingering lemon zest taste, as well as hints of lime, pine, and floral scents.  This wine was hand harvested, crushed, and then pressed to retain the aromatics from the skin.  It was fermented and allowed to rest for four months prior to bottling.

Price: $19.10 CAD

Residual Sugar: Unknown at the time of publishing


Lunessence Winery and Vineyard | 2020 ESV Riesling | Summerland

Bottle of 2020 Lunessence Winery 2020 ESV Riesling
📷 Credit: lunessencewinery.com

Sourced from the Lunessence Winery and Vineyard, this 2020 ESV Riesling is the second release from the Summerland Vineyard.  Handpicked on October 7th, it would age on its lees for about five months before it would be bottled.  Upon tasting this wine, there are noticeable floral scents, a mix of apple, nectarine, and citrus rind, and a touch-off dry.  All ready to drink, this wine sourced from the Okanagan Valley seeks to be perfect for pairing with spicy entrees.

Price: $23.99 CAD

Residual Sugar: Unknown at the time of publishing


Syncromesh Wines | 2020 Storm Haven Dry “Blue Label” Riesling | Okanagan Falls

Bottle of Syncromesh 2020 Storm Haven Dry Blue Label Riesling
📷 Credit: syncromesh.ca

As a club member exclusive wine, it is worth joining the Synchomesh Wine Club to taste this bottle! This wine will taste sweet with an acidic hint of Asian pear, mangoes, dried ginger, and apricots.  It is a drier variation, but it has a well-rounded taste and finish.  Sourced on over 100 acres in the heart of Synchomesh, this wine focuses on holistic and natural sourcing. 

Price: $50.00 CAD

Residual Sugar: 2.52 g/l


Priest Creek Family Estate | 2020 Riesling | South East Kelowna

Bottle of Priest Creek 2020 Riesling
📷 Credit: priestcreekwinery.com

As another stunning wine from Priest Creek Family Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley is the 2020 Riesling. We guarantee it will not disappoint.  With the same familiar hints of fruit and sweet but dry notes, this wine will be perfect to pair with a dinner of your choice.  Grown in 2020, this wine aged perfectly to encompass the tastes of Kelowna, available for you to try and to have in your home this season.

Price: $27.00

Residual Sugar: Unknown at the time of publishing


3 Sisters Winery | NV Cane Cut Riesling | Naramata Bench

Bottle of 3 Sisters NV Cane Cut Riesling
📷 Credit: 3sisterswinery.com

Sourced at the Three Sisters Winery, their Cane Cut Riesling is a wonderful dessert wine that you should try at your leisure.  The wine was sourced from late harvested Riesling, which affected the degree of raisin found on the grapes, as well as the concentration of the flavours and the sugar.  There are strong notes of stone fruit and honey, making it perfect for pairing with something sweet or even a charcuterie board.

Price: $26.90

Residual Sugar: Unknown at time of publishing


We hope you enjoyed learning more about these wonderful Riesling wines from the Okanagan Valley! With so many more options and wineries producing delicious wines from the Riesling grapes, we are always on the lookout for the best and most delicious items.  Check back in to our blog to hear about more wine days this year!

If you have tried everything listed above, here are 6 more single varietal Rieslings for you to check out!

50th Parallel Estate Winery | 2020 Riesling | Lake Country
Spearhead Winery | 2019 Riesling | South East Kelowna
Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards | 2020 “The Lookout” Riesling | Summerland
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery | 2021 Riesling | West Kelowna
8th Generation Vineyard | Riesling Selection 2018, Wild Ferment | Summerland Moraine Winery | 2020 Riesling | Naramata Bench