Adega on 45th Estate Winery is unique in B.C.’s south Okanagan. First, Adega wines are relatively inexpensive, compared to many other good-quality wines in the region. Next, they don’t charge a tasting fee. Rather, they ask for a small donation to help families in need. How cool is that? Meanwhile, all their wines are known for being fruit forward with a dry finish. We shared a tasting of nine wines, including their signature wine Quarteto Tinto, which we brought home.
As the name indicates, Adega on 45th is located on 45th Street in Osoyoos. Set on 19.4 acres with 18.5 acres of vines, the tasting room patio offers a panoramic view of Osoyoos. The tasting room is reminiscent of Portugal, not surprisingly, because Adega on 45th is a tribute to Manuel and Felicidade Farinha, parents of the current owners, who emigrated to Canada from Portugal in the 1950s.
In 1966, they purchased and worked at an orchard in the south Okanagan until son Fred Farinha and daughter Maria Nunes took over the family business in 2009, replanting the land with vineyards. Next, on the same site, they launched the winery two years later, with spouses Pamala Farinha and Alex Nunes. The family named it Adega, which means wine cellar in Portuguese, in tribute to the family’s roots. Their goal: to blend old-world charm with new-world technology “to create the perfect recipe for wines you want to enjoy with family and friends. A Nossa Casa é a tua Casa – our house is your house.”
Adega is known for fruit-forward wines with a dry finish. Of note, their bottles are comparatively inexpensive for quality Okanagan Valley wines. Pamala Farinha hosted our delightful tasting. She poured nine wines – three whites, a rosé and five reds.
Adega Viognier 2021 ($23 CAD)
Adega Viognier is smooth and dry, with perfumed aromas of flowers, citrus and peaches, and flavors of more peaches and citrus. This wine is dry, crisp and mouthwatering. Open it with a plate of sharp cheeses and crackers on the deck or by the fireplace. Or serve it with scallops or creamy dishes such as white-sauce pasta. While this is a great wine to pair with summer, it also will complement light winter meals.
Felicidade 2021 ($23 CAD)
This lively white wine pays tribute to the family’s matriarch, Felicidade Farinha. The 2021 vintage is a blend of Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Orange Muscat. As a result, the nose has lots going on! Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, apples, pears, peaches and a bit of iced tea entice you to pour more. And talk about versatility. You could drink it by itself as an apéritif, pair it with salads or seafood, or as Pamala suggests, add it to a crockpot of chicken or pork.
Riesling 2021 ($25 CAD)
In the name of transparency, we either really like Riesling or not at all. There is no middle ground for us. So we were delighted to find Adega’s off-dry Riesling delicious, crisp and clean. Apples dominate the nose and the palate, evoking the original orchards on the land. But we also tasted pears, grapefruit and mangos, with a hint of spice. Serve this lovely white wine with spicy dishes, or bacon, chicken, shrimp and crab.
Rosé 2021 ($25 CAD)
This is a dark-pink rosé blend of Merlot and Viognier. Pamala told us that the percentages of the two grapes are a secret! She calls it an off-dry rosé, which didn’t surprise us because it is slightly sweet at the front but dry at the end. Think frozen strawberries or cranberries — which is why this would go well with turkey, just like cranberry sauce. Likewise, this rosé is a wonderful deck wine on a hot summer day.
Adega Manuel 2021 ($23 CAD)
This easy-drinking, approachable red wine honors the family’s father, Manuel Farinha. Merlot is blended with Viognier and a splash of Malbec. Consequently, we found layers of raspberries, blueberries and citrus along with notes of vanilla, plums and cherries. Pam calls it a “soft, safe wine” to please everyone’s palate. That it to say, you could take to holiday parties with friends or consider it for a gift. Drink it now or cellar for 4-7 years.
Syrah 2019 ($30 CAD)
Pamala says the 2019 is the best Syrah they’ve made in 11 years. Floral and spicy, it is medium-bodied with notes of white pepper, black currants, vanilla and licorice. We enjoyed it, noting the differences from Washington Syrahs that are typically (but not always) full-bodied reds. However, this Syrah, like those in our home state, would pair well with Dave’s delicious spaghetti and meatballs. Or try it with a plate of smokey blue cheese, pecorino, brie or aged cheddar.
Merlot 2018 ($30)
Adega’s 2018 Merlot is balanced, bold and juicy, fruit-forward with a big, dry finish. In other words, it is loaded with aromas of blackberries, plums and cocoa, leading into flavors of strawberries, toffee and cherries, with hints of vanilla and anise. Better yet, it’s approachable now or you can cellar it for 5-7 years. Merlot is now the most common variety grown in the Okanagan Valley. But Adega’s is comparatively less costly. And you can now purchase it with a 15% discount.
Cabernet Franc 2019 ($32)
This is the second vintage of Adega Cabernet Franc that we tasted over the years, and we continue to appreciate it. Complex aromas of raspberries, plums, cherries, vanilla, spices and toffee mirror the palate. In addition, I noted cherry cough drops, licorice, bell pepper, dark chocolate and earthiness. We adore Cab Franc, which is a perfect winter wine (or at summer barbecues). We serve it with grilled steaks or burgers, or simply savor it with dark chocolate.
Adega Quarteto TInto 2019 ($38)
Quarteto means four grapes. Therefore, this full-bodied wine blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc,12.5% Malbec and 12.5% Merlot. Appealing aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, blueberries, licorice, espresso, black pepper and vanilla caught our attention. Certainly, we loved this luscious blend and took home a bottle. While it’s delicious now, we’re putting this standout wine in the cellar for a few years.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for less-pricey yet good quality wines in the south Okanagan, and welcoming hospitality, be sure to stop by Adega on 45th. To sum up, it’s worth a visit.
Similarly, next time we cross the border, we’ll stop by Save-On-Foods to buy more.
Thank you Wine BC for helping us organize our tasting. And thanks, Pamala Farinha, for being such a friendly, knowledgeable host.
Credit for all the wine photos in this article goes to our friend Chuck Kinzer, a professional photographer.
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Margot and Dave