A winery you will never forget
Rustico Farm & Cellars is one of those places that if you visit it once you will talk about it over and over again. This is in part due to the great job that the winery has done branding itself as a Tasting Saloon with all of the rich history to go with it. It is completely different than any other winery in the region or in BC for that matter. It also has owner and marketer extraordinaire Bruce Fuller going for it. Spend 30 minutes with Bruce tasting wine and talking about history, the wines, the ideas and the interesting names and you will be hooked. Maybe even before you taste it!

 Bruce Fuller, founder of Rustico Farm & Cellars is a collector of  “old-west” artifacts and has showcased a collection on the property. The “Tasting Saloon” has a western-style false-front and displays an ongoing western collection. The swinging saloon doors welcome you in to meet Bruce. (Complete Photo Set here.)

 We tasted at least 6 wines and chose a few favorites. The wines each have a distinctive name and accompanying story. Our favourite white was “Isabelle’s Poke” (Pinot Gris $17.95) Named for Isabelle who “tinkled the ivories with a light fruity air and her freckled nose hinted of pear, vanilla, the skin of new peaches and a little honeysuckle.”

Our favorite red was “Doc’s Buggy” (Pinot Noir $24.95). “As the story goes he was a welcome sight for worried eyes… the country doctor, only one for miles around, coming up the pathway to visit with a fine bottle of  Pinot Noir in his black bag.” It has a ripe fruity smell with a hint of smoke and a smooth finish. We also enjoyed “Last Chance”, a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and Chancellor ($19.95). If you get to the winery quick you may be able to take advantage of the same terrific case price special that we got. 

The style of tasting wine at Rustico is truly unique. The short tumbler glasses and the shot-style pour are different than anything you will experience at other wine rooms. Which is what makes it memorable. 

The on-site homestead is a Canada heritage building. Originally a bunkhouse for 18 miners at the Sally Silver Mine above Beaverdell, British Columbia, it is believed the structure was constructed in the late 1800’s. The hand-hewn log, sod-roofed former mining bunkhouse, is called a, “rustico”, an Italian word for an immigrant’s rough countryside lodging, hence the name Rustico Farm & Cellars.  

At the end of our tasting Bruce mixed up a batch of his special “Saloon Sally Shakes”. Made with a half bottle of “Saloon Sally (Dry Cabernet Franc Rose $16.95) and 4 scoops of ice cream it made a terrific adult milkshake. We bought 2 bottles of Rose and stopped for Haagan Dazs on the way home.

Just outside the Tasting Saloon is a patio that overlooks the vineyard. You can enjoy a glass of wine, some ice cream or a Saloon Sally Shake while taking in the view. The patio is also equipped with a BBQ for special events. 

Bruce Fuller brings the wild west to life. He had a terrific idea to create a wine experience different from the rest and has succeeded by not missing a detail. A brand new boxed wine will be available this summer. If you get a chance to buy one of the only 360 boxed being produced this year the unique box may become a collector’s item. This is a must visit winery on the Okanagan wine trail. (View the complete photo set from Rustico and other wineries we visited.)

Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned and operated CK Golf Solutions for 5 1/2 years.