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The Okanagan's newest wine tasting patio is big, beautiful and dog-friendly

Admittedly, Solvero Wines is off the beaten path.

"So, when you arrive here, you feel like you've made a real discovery," said Solvero viticulturist, and sometimes tasting host, Matt Sartor.

"The Garnet Valley is special."

It certainly is.

The narrow valley runs parallel to the Okanagan Valley in Summerland.

To get to Solvero you turn west off Highway 97 onto Jones Flat Road and then backtrack four kilometres up Garnet Valley Road until you reach Solvero at 25205 Wildhorse Rd.

The extra effort is well worth it.

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>Matt Sartor is the viticulturalist, and sometimes tasting host, at Solvero Wines in Summerland.

While Solvero has been in development for almost a decade, it has just opened its first tasting room and patio.

And, it's spectacular.

The big patio has a view of pine forest and pastures, there's plenty of seating under yellow umbrellas, under the partially open soaring vaulted ceiling and on stools at the high railing.

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>The tasting patio at Solvero Wines has a partially-open vaulted ceiling.

There's an indoor tasting bar that also has tables, but at this time of year nearly everyone wants to be on the patio.

So, that's how my wife, Kerry, and I find ourselves at a table for two under the exposed part of the vaulted ceiling tasting four Solvero wines.

By our side is our pup Daisy, because, after all, Solvero's patio is dog-friendly.

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>Solvero's wine tasting patio is dog-friendly.

Solvero is focused and boutique and only makes four wines and, of course, we sample them all.

The anything-but-ordinary 2023 Pinot Gris ($25), the pale-pink 2023 Rose of Pinot Noir ($25), the elegant 2022 Chardonnay ($30) and the smooth 2020 Pinot Noir ($35).

Solvero does wine tasting a little differently.

All four wines are poured at once in varietal-specific glasses.

Generally, at a tasting, samples are poured one after the other with explanation.

Also at Solvero, the four glasses are organized on a placemat identifying the wines with a bottle photo, price and information including grape variety, grape yield per acre, alcohol by volume, residual sugar, how many cases were made and how much of the wine was fermented in oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.

What's missing on the placemat is the typical aromas and flavours descriptors that are the standard at most wine tastings.

"What you get out of a wine is personal and subjective," explained Sartor.

"So, we prefer to leave it to you to taste and decide. But, I will tell you, our wines have zippy acidity and are food-friendly."

Thus, you can do the seated tasting of four wines for $15 per person, or add a charcuterie board for an extra $15 per person.

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>You can order a charcuterie board to go with your wine tasting.

Before Solvero opened its new tasting room and patio this season, it was doing tastings on its crush pad.

The crush pad has now been fully turned over to its production purpose and the new tasting room and patio has become the star.

Sartor and his parents, Andrea and Bob, picked the Solvero site for its aspect, soil and elevation.

At almost 600 metres, it is one of the highest vineyards in BC.

That combined with steep slopes, well-draining soils and the narrow Garnet Valley getting an hour less of sunlight a day creates the perfect conditions for Solvero's signature varietals -- Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

"A little less sunlight gives the grapes a chance to cool down and retain the fresh acidity we desire," said Sartor.

"The grapes also ripen slowly and perfectly and we don't have to harvest until mid-October."

<who>Photo credit: Steve MacNaull/NowMedia Group</who>Solvero's tasting patio is open daily, 11 am to 5 pm.

The new tasting room and patio are open daily 11 am to 5 pm.

Reserve at

Sartor was also winemaker at Solvero until Alison Moyes (previously of Liquidity in Okanagan Falls) joined in 2021.

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