Winecouverites Take on Oliver, Part Three: Church and State Winery 

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At their gorgeous tasting bar

Next on our Winecouverite adventure was Church and State Winery‘s Coyote Bowl location, 10 minutes south of Oliver. [If you visit Victoria, take note that they have a second location in Brentwood Bay (10 minutes from downtown Victoria) which features a bistro where Executive Chef Desiree Perrin serves up a locally sourced luncheon daily during the summer – also a great wedding venue!]

Church and State’s Coyote Bowl Tasting Room is a chic, no-frills wine bar: sorry, no Corkcicles here (we are not really sorry. Corkcicles are amazing). The building is beautifully designed, with a long, stylish tasting bar looking into their barrel room, and the surrounding walls are covered in floor-to-ceiling windows and modern wine-filled racks (not to be confused with these, also amazing). Outside is a tasting lounge patio overlooking the beautiful Black Sage Bench landscape.

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Wine filled racks. The kind you want.

With the sleekest, sexiest tasting room in the Oliver area and with wines to match, don’t be fooled by the winery’s bland name, chosen to “symbolize balance between the many elements involved in creating the highest quality wine [they] can produce.” In our view, religion and politics have never been so tempting. (JFK Jr. and communion wine aside).

We will definitely be back to re-taste Church and State’s award winning wines, in particular the 2008 Quintessential, which recently won gold at the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition:

2008 Quintessential, $55 C&S Winemakers Notes: Our signature blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. 12 months as individual varietals in French oak, followed by an additional 12 months in French oak as a blend for optimal varietal integration. Unfiltered for optimal cellaring potential. This wine was blended after identifying the absolute highest quality barrels of wine in our cellar after one year, masterfully crafted to become a wine worthy of the name Quintessential.

We also liked the gummy-bear pink Syrah Rose:

2012 Syrah Rose $21.00 C&S Tasting Notes: Pink in colour, the aroma of this wine is a beautiful mélange of fresh strawberries, red cherries, raspberries, and notes of red twizzler liquorice candy. Moving onto the palate, the delicious red fruits are very outgoing. The wine fills the palate and the intense flavours linger long after swallowing. Texturally, the wine is rich and full in the mouth, but has good crisp acidity that suggests it will pair very well with food, including turkey with cranberry sauce.
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In the name of duty, we will also be back to taste our way through evidence of a juicier story behind the “Church and State” name – we know there is a love story in there somewhere!

The clock struck 6pm (closing time for most Okanagan winery tasting rooms), so we hopped back into our wine carrier and headed back to the lake to cook some dinner and sample some of our purchases and rest up (hydrate) for our Naramata Tour the following morning.

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