2021 Else Giallo: A Pet Nat

Okanagan Falls, B.C.

Almost one year ago, I spent time during harvest at Okanagan Falls winery, Echo Bay. Winemaker Kelsey and her parents, Kathy and Mark, run this small family business with winery helpers Lynda and Bryan. Kelsey makes wine not only for Echo Bay but also for her experimental label, Else Wines.

The Echo Bay property sits on Skaha Lake in one of the most picturesque settings imaginable, with lush greenery and century-old trees. You will find the chickens and ducks roaming the grounds with Chip and Dale, the Kunekune heirloom pigs. And then there is winery dog Roux, the family Golden Retriever and farm protector.

The Echo Bay farm uses organic and biodynamic practices to look after the vineyards and property. The vineyards are chemical-free, and using a regenerative approach to soil health with cover crops, helps to build a resilient ecosystem. Echo Bay wines are focused on Bordeaux blends, while the ethos for Else Wines is exploratory.

The organic grapes for this wine come from Stephen Hacking's farm in Summerland. I visited this property, tasting the grapes as I walked through the vineyard. Kelsey works with a few particular growers around the Okanagan to source the quality organic grapes she uses in Else Wines. In the cellar, the winemaking approach is low-intervention, with native yeasts bringing the wine to life.

Moscato grapes are known for their highly perfumed aroma, and this is what you will find in this wine. It’s lightly sparkling and light in alcohol at just 9.3% ABV. It’s aromatic, with citrus, orange blossom, white florals, pear, passionfruit and peaches. It drinks like fresh lemonade. It’s the perfect aperitivo wine which can be drunk on its own or great with food.

I loved my time at the Echo Bay farm so much last year that I’m heading back there momentarily. It’s a special place. A place that should be on your list to visit in the Okanagan.

Only small quantities of Else wines are available for each vintage and often sell out quickly, so now is your opportunity to try them.