Road Trip with Stops at Two Wineries
We left Vancouver for a week-long road trip the last week of September to visit some golf courses and other businesses throughout the Kootenays and the Okanagan. After spending the first night with friends in Kaladen, BC we had a ‘mission’ to stop at Burrowing Owl winery to pick up a few bottles of Cabernet Franc which is one of our favorite wines. As a side note, we had 3 bottles of the 2004 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc which we bought at the winery in 2006 and just finished a few weeks ago and we loved them. So our ‘mission’ was to find more.

Church and State
We got sidetracked on the way to Burrowing Owl – which was inevitable as we had to pass about 20 wineries to get there – so stopped at Church and State Wines. The was the first time we had ever been to the winery and are not even sure if we had tried their wines anywhere before. The tasting room is very different than any other and the staff women who welcomed us as we came in made a point of explaining that their approach to wine tasting was very different. And indeed it was. The room itself is ‘gorgeous’ and has more a wine bar feel than a typical tasting room. The long bar with sleek but comfortable bar stools face the glass walled temperature controlled barrel room. The large windows opposite the bar allow for sweeping views of the Coyote Bowl. It was too windy to sit outside on the day we visited but a great patio is available for nicer days. We tasted six wines. The menu said four tastes for $8 but was waived with a purchase, the staff was great and allowed us to taste the wines we wanted. We liked and ended up purchasing Chardonnay, Syrah and the Quintessential (Q). The 2007 Q won a golf medal at the 2011 International Challenge du Vin in France. We purchased two bottles – one to drink soon and one to save for the recommended 5 or 6 more years.

Burrowing Owl
We did mange to get to Burrowing Owl and the wine room itself was kind of a letdown after Church and State but the Cabernet Franc still lived up to our past tastings of it. We did start by tasting a few other wines, the Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinto Noir. We ended up purchasing the 2008 Pinot Gris and the 2007 Pinot Noir. We managed to also get 4 bottles of the 2006 Cabernet Franc which is now only available from the winery and is going fast. What is more stunning at Burrowing Owl than the wine tasting room is the Sonora Restaurant and the Guest House views. We have not had the opportunity to stay at the Guest House but it is on our list for the next trip through the area.

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