Column: A Doggone tasty lineup from the Okanagan Crush Pad

In the middle of a global pandemic, you wonder if a winery that’s going to the dogs is what we really need right now. But it’s exactly what we need!

Just when we crave some frivolity and fun, the creative teams at Okanagan Crush Pad and Town Hall Brands have come to the rescue and launched the Bizou and Yukon trio of wines.

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This joyful wine project pays homage to a pair of giant white and fluffy Great Pyrenees dogs that shepherd sheep and guard one of the winery’s properties in Summerland. And Bizou and her older brother, Yukon, have been known to act as cellar hands when an extra paw is needed. Each of the twelve custom labels has art showcasing the dogs and their adventures at The Ranch.

Co-owner Christine Coletta proudly comments on the release of the brand.

“The past few months have been hard for many people. It has been a relief to focus on something that I know will bring a smile to people’s faces. We sometimes forget that wine is simply about friends, family, and simple enjoyment.”

And enjoyment is what you’ll receive with their white, the Bizou and Yukon 2019 Savvy Gris. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, I was delighted with the fragrant aromas and vibrant flavours of peach, tropical fruit, grass and asparagus. Balancing the Okanagan fruit is a refreshing acidity that ends in a lingering finish. It’s alive and well!

If you want a touch of Provence, the 2019 Pinkie Rosé will add that and more. The orange-pink colour in the glass, the bouquet of fresh strawberries and cream, and the dazzling Okanagan fruit bowl flavour of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and peaches with delicious tartness scream out that summer is just around the corner. Great to sip on its own and linger over the flavours that go on and on, the Pinkie would be tasty with a tuna pokéor grilled salmon.

Finally, the 2018 Bizou and Yukon Savvy Franc is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It’s an approachable Okanagan ‘Bordeaux’ with plenty of charm without any Gallic attitude. I was taken with the voluptuous bouquet of violets and red and black fruit.

In the mouth there’s plums and blackberries and forest floor, with spice and smooth tannins to add structure and interest. The Savvy Franc is perfect for spring and summer drinking but it’s more than just simple. Enjoy with grilled sausages and chorizo on the barbecue.

Bizou and Yukon wines can be ordered online as a mixed case of 12 (four bottles of each wine) for $275, which includes tax and shipping. Visit their online store for now, and once the winery is able to open to its guests, single bottles will be available.

There’s more to the Bizou and Yukon brand than just the wines. You’ll also be entertained by reading the adventures of the Great Pyrennes Pair, Bizou and Yukon from their books here.

If you have children or grandchildren, these online stories will be a refreshing way to ease the boredom of life during a pandemic. And everyone can follow the antics on their Instagram page.

Here’s to you, Bizou and Yukon!

Eric Hanson is a life-long Richmond resident, retired teacher and wine educator. Eric has also taught wine appreciation courses in Richmond and throughout Metro Vancouver for many years. He continues to be a journalistic ambassador for the enchanting world of wine through his weekly column.


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