In an quiet corner of the Okanagan Valley above the town of Westbank is a quaint winery called Kalala Estate Winery. The small winery was founded by Karnail Singh Sidhu. Karnail is a hard working, intelligent man (and a sly joker too), who, after ten years of managing vineyards in the Okanagan began his own endeavor. After just a short time in business the winery has celebrated many awards, including Chardonnay du Monde for the a double barrel aged chardonnay icewine. Most recently the the company celebrated it’s third anniversary in June 2011.
“Kalala” means place of miracles. It is a lengend from Karnail’s home in India. The story says that a shepherd was walking through a meadow when he came across a lamb and a wolf living together in harmony. The shepherd declared the meadow as a place of miracles and as a result, the neighbouring village moved to this special place. Karnail has applied this essence of this legend as the vision for Kalala Estate Winery “in pursuit of harmony”.
Following organic practices in the vineyard and winemaking, the winery produces a range of styles that suit all budgets. Here are my notes on five of the wines:
2009 Kalala Pinot Gris
Medium lemon colour with viscous tears. On the nose there is a fresh burst of stone fruits, white peaches, honey, pears, yellow apples and strawberries. Off dry on the palate, with medium acidity. High alcohol. Round and full bodied. Great intensity of fresh fruit flavours. Extended length. A great wine with dim sum.
2009 Kalala Riesling
Clear, medium lemon colour. Youthful aromas of lime, white flowers, pears, wax, peaches, wild honey and kiwi fruit. The palate is appropriately off dry balancing the intense mouth feel of high acidity, alcohol and body. The flavours are juicy, apricots, blossoms, pears, spice and wax. A lingering finish.
2009 Kalala Gewürztraminer
Medium gold colour with hints of copper. Slow, thick tears. Explosion of expressive aromas. Perfume, orange and lemon rind, passion fruit and babies breath. Slightly off dry. Generous alcohol. Medium acidity. Thick viscosity. Lingering flavours of spice and tropical fruits. Because this wine is youthful and sealed under screw cap it is a little tight at first. I highly recommend decanting it. Decanting turns up the volume on the flavours. When I tasted this wine a day later it blew me away.
2008 Kalala Pinot Noir
Light ruby colour with garnet highlights. On the nose youthful aromas of cherry, sun dried strawberries, black tea, raspberry jam and orange zest. The palate is dry with medium plus acidity. The tannins are low, but gritty. Medium bodied with great flavour intensity. Exhibiting red currants, tea leaves, sour cherry, toast and baking spices. A very long length. A serious wine that can cellar up to five years.
2009 Kalala Cuvee Noir
Medium ruby colour with thick slow tears. Expressive aromas of plum, blueberry pie filling, tar, charcoal and bay leaf. Slightly sweet and easy to drink (no strong tannin or acid). More fruit forward flavours of plum, blueberry and sour raspberry. A quick finish. Try serving this wine lightly chilled on a hot summers day.
For more information on Kalala Estate Winery visit the website.