Island Lake Lodge's New Private Wine Label

The limestone spire peaks of the 3 Bears rise above Island Lake Lodge like sentinels guarding a secret place. With the 3 Bears as inspiration, Island Lake has partnered with a BC Wine Studio to create both a special new red and white for their wine cellar.

For the red, BC Wine Studio has custom crafted a bold Meritage blend from prime South Okanagan fruit. This wine loves a big steak, crackling fireplace and good friends after an epic day in the mountains. Enjoy rich lengthy tannins laced with dark fruit and subtle spice from 22 months in 100% French oak. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc; Vintage 2014.

For the white, BC Wine Studio has crafted a lovely blend from prime South Okanagan fruit. This wine features flavours of lemon zest and crisp apple giving way to a lush tropical finish. While the Riesling is fermented in stainless steel, the Viognier is aged in Acacia barrels. The blend is 85 % Riesling and 15% Viognier; Vintage 2015.

Winemaker – Mark Simpson

With a refined view of the Okanagan Valley, winemaker Mark Simpson’s vision for BC Wine Studio was to create a special place for sharing wine best practices, encouraging creativity and producing high quality, distinctive hand-crafted wines.

Besides a love for winemaking, Mark also shares a great passion for the mountains, especially skiing. When not it the winery, Mark can often be found on skis in the backcountry or riding sweet singletrack. In fact, Mark’s connection with Island Lake Lodge goes way back, when former GM John Birrell was Mark’s first examiner for his ski instructor certification. Mark’s first career was in brewing where he was Brewmaster for craft beer pioneer Granville Island Brewing before being recruited by winery giant Vincor into the world of wine. This love of both brewing and winemaking intertwines in the craft of making beautiful wine.

BC Wine Studio specializes in custom crush winemaking and developing unique and interesting boutique brands, especially small lot wines linked to precise varietal character, intriguing blends and minimal intervention in the winemaking process. Mark has travelled and studied winemaking in Italy, USA, France and Australia, as well as collaborated with many chefs and other winemakers to stimulate creativity and bring a world view to BC winemaking.

Good food, good wine and good hospitality are all closely linked, so it has been a real honour to create some custom wines for Island Lake Lodge. I hope you enjoy these beautiful wines with good friends around a cracking fireplace after an epic ski day.