This is Part 2 of our winery visit in Oliver. Click here to read about our experience at Le Vieux Pin and Stoneboat.
Driving by more rows of vines, we had arrived at our next stop.
Church & State Wines
We pulled into the driveway of Church & State Wines, a bigger winery with two locations, one in Oliver and another in Victoria. It charges $8 for 4 wine samples, and waived when purchasing two bottles of wine.
While their wines were quite good, the best part of our visit at Church & State was its outdoor wine bar. Its view was gorgeous!!! Situated on a small hill, you are looking over vineyards and mountains and open fields. It took my breath away! You would want to sit there for hours, chatting with the wine server, and sipping some wines while enjoying the view. Their wines are on the more expensive side, with all wines priced above $20 each. We liked the Cuvee Blanc and Coyote Bowl Meritage.
Black Hills Estate Winery
Lastly on the Black Sage Bench we stopped at Black Hills. Similar to Church & State, Black Hills is on the higher end and its wine tasting menu is the most expensive. The basic wine tasting package costs you $10 for 3 wines, and it could go up to $30 for its premium wines. Making it worse is that they hand out a complimentary tasting of their Viognier to everyone, and the Viognier is part of the basic package. They’re not willing to switch to a different wine even if you have tried the Viognier at the door, so you’re actually paying for something you can get for free. Seriously, why?
Consistent with its premium positioning, Black Hill offers its wine club member exclusive access to a private pool when visiting the winery. Of course for us non-members, we could only sit on the other side, looking over the pool with the vineyard in the background.
I actually didn’t really like the 3 wines we tried at Black Hills, but Mr. did enjoy the Syrah. Perhaps I need to keep on training my wine palate to be more sophisticated in order to know how to appreciate their wines.
There are just so many wineries in the Oliver/Osoyoos! It was a lot of fun for us to do the wine tasting while enjoying the sunshine and view in the Okanagan. In the end, we realized that wine is such a personal taste, it’s difficult for us to pick out a favourite winery. In fact, we were able to find at least one wine that we like at each winery. If you are interested in planning your own wine tour, I recommend checking out the Wine Tour Handbook. We picked up a copy at our first stop and I had been using it to help locate the wineries. Last word of caution, do not drink and drive. If everyone in the group wants to sample some wines, hire a driver to drive you around, or sign up for a local winery tour.