Column: Award-winning winery with a ‘Bad Moon Rising’ name

The moon enchants most of us when it’s lit up. So why is a winery in Osoyoos called Moon Curser?

To find out, I travelled to the very southern part of the Okanagan, one kilometer east of Osoyoos. Inside the Moon Curser Vineyard tasting room, I met their sommelier, Sarah Glazebrook.

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“Moon Curser is a smuggler, and because we’re a border town and we used to have a gold mine up in the hills.” she began. “The Americans would come across to mine the gold and instead of heading into town to pay the tariff they would wait till night and then sneak back. But if the moon was full, they would get caught by the border guards cursing the moon. So we tied that into our labeling, the heritage of Osoyoos so all our bottles depict smuggling.”

Despite the bizarre name, Moon Curser is one of my favourite destinations in the southern Okanagan. It’s another one of those charming family wineries with its hospitable staff and the gorgeous view overlooking the vineyards, Osoyoos Lake, and the sleepy desert town.

And their wines equal or surpass these positive traits. In 2019, it was awarded the Best Performing Small Winery at the National Wine Awards of Canada.

For $6, you can taste five wines from their dozen-plus inventory. Buy a bottle at the end of the tasting, and the fee is waived.

Beginning with the whites, be sure to try the 2019 Arneis ($22.99). If you’ve never heard of it, it’s because Moon Curser is the only winery in Canada to have it. Originally from Piedmont, Italy, Glazebrook describes it as “A super refreshing white. Really crisp with bright acidity. I get green apples and lemon peel. Super nice on a hot day.”

I love Rhone style whites, and the Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark ($20.99) with its citrus and stone fruit personality is a favourite! “A Viognier dominated blend, there’s also Rousanne and Marsanne in there. Expect a richer, more medium bodied white, really nice for food pairing,” says Glazebrook.

MoonCurser is known for its reds and there are a dozen of them to choose from. Many of them are seldom produced in BC. If you are tired of the “same old”

varieties, you have lots of adventure ahead of you. If you want a juicy unoaked red that’s perfect for spring and summer chilled, there’s the 2019 Dolcetto ($24.99).

For lovers of Spanish wine, Moon Curser produces the 2018 Tempranillo ($30.99) and there’s the Touriga Nacional ($39.99) if you fancy the Okanagan’s version of Portugal’s best grape variety.

One of my favourite reds, however, is the 2018 Border Vines ($25.99), a delicious blend of five traditional Bordeaux grape varieties, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the most prominent component, along with Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carménère and Cabernet Franc. Moon Curser’s website claims it has, “Great depth, intensity of flavour and structure.” And I would add it is delicious, round, and a bargain for the quality!

While you wait for the Moon Curser tasting room in Osoyoos to open up in the next month or so, you can order mixed cases of any six wines with free shipping. And $10 of each case goes to the BC Food Bank and the Osoyoos Food Bank. Do yourself a wine favour and help others at the same time. Check out http://www.mooncurser.com/

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