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Savouring Serenity: A Day at Privato Winery in Kamloops

Nestled at the end of Westsyde Road, Privato Winery boasts a picturesque setting amidst a stunning valley of sage brush and grasslands along the North Thompson River in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada – 350 km from Vancouver. For those familiar with the area, Privato is just past The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Club. Privato is truly a place where family traditions meet entrepreneurial spirit, with the Woodward family at the helm.

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A Visit to Privato - Much More Than Wine!

For years, Deb and John Woodward have welcomed visitors to their farm in winter. Here, families create cherished memories by selecting and chopping down Christmas trees at the Woodward Tree Farm to take home to decorate .

 

Deb and John Woodward from Privato Winery
Inspired by a trip to Italy, propietors Deb and John Woodward opened Privato in 2010

But it was a trip to Italy in 2010 that inspired Deb and John to venture into winemaking. And thus, Privato Winery was born. 

Still, the Woodward legacy doesn’t stop there. Their three sons, Tim, Adam and Ben, had a vision to utilize the apples from the family orchard and embarked on the journey of crafting some delicious ciders at their Woodward Cider Co.

Consequently, for a fun outing in Kamloops, Privato Winery is THE place to be! Grab a cheese board in the wine shop and chill at one of their farmside tables while enjoying some amazing wines and ciders.

 

Tim, Adam and Ben Woodward, the sons of Privato Winery proprietors who operate the Woodward Cider co on the same property
Tim, Adam and Ben Woodward operate the Woodward Cider Co that sits right beside Privato Winery on the same property.

Privato Winery in a Nutshell

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Location

5505 Westsyde Rd, Kamloops, BC

Check out the website here

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Owners

Debbie and John Woodward

Winemaker

John Woodward

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Events

Enjoy complimentary live music on Sundays throughout the summer, adding to the allure of indulging in Privato wines or Woodward Cider Co ciders.

Or, check out the beautiful fall colours during Privato’s annual family Pumpkin Patch event. Check for current prices but entrance fees include a pumpkin and is often waved with the purchase of wines and cider. Hooray!

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Tasting Room

Wine tasting experiences are between $10-$20 per person. Or, just swing by and purchase a glass or bottle to savour along with their cheese and charcuterie selection on their outdoor area.

Open all week from 11-5 pm June to Sept. Click here for seasonal hours.

Privato's House Style

Privato’s wines all share a natural mouthwatering acidity, a result of the high latitude of BC’s northerly climate. However, this doesn’t mean their wines lack punch. In particular, the powerful reds from Merlot and Cabernet Franc—sourced from the warmer Southern Okanagan—stand out. Additionally, John applies a confident use of new oak barrel ageing throughout much of the line. That means, you’ll smell and taste flavours of toast, baking spices and perhaps vanilla in much of the line.

For another bonus, it’s wonderful to see the quality of hybrid grape varieties grown in this area, such as Marechal Foch and Frontenac Blanc. Both varieties have recently been upgraded as Wines of Marked Quality Standards for VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) labels.

The Woodward family grows grapevines not far from their tasting room which is nestled up along the North Thompson river. Here are their Riesling, Frontenac Blanc, Baco Noir and Marechal Foch vines. In addition, Deb and John lease other vineyards throughout the Okanagan Valley (Kaleden, Summerland, and Oliver) where their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes come from.

I highly recommend signing up for Privato’s Cellar Club, which offers members amazing benefits such as access to their rarest bottles and most awarded wines (like the Gewurztraminer and Tesoro Pinot Noir). Moreover, members also receive invites to exclusive vertical tastings that can span over 10 years.

Awarded Wines from Privato Winery

A Rosier Picture at Privato

Next, here’s some information all BC wine lovers can celebrate… 

As British Columbia wineries, took an unprecendented winter cold snap hit, we’re sadly expecting almost no wine to be made in 2024. Yet, according to Candace, Privato’s tasting room service professional extraordinaire, Privato will continue to produce wine in the 2024 vintage.

You see, the vines planted on Privato’s property are mostly hybrid varieties – grapevines that can survive the bitter cold snaps or are winter-hardy Vitis Vinifera varieties such as Riesling. Furthermore, the winery purchases grapes (for their award-winning ‘Tesoro’ Pinot Noir and the Woodward Collection Chardonnay, for example) from growers in Kaleden and Summerland in the Okanagan Valley. These vineyards surprisingly fared pretty well. Bravo!

However, if you require a little more nudging to visit the estate, check out my tasting notes below.

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Tasting Notes of Privato's Wines

Sparkling Wines:

Privato Bolle Rosa 2023 12.8% abv $30

Privato Bella Rosa
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Lightly sparkling ‘Charmat method’ wine with a gorgeous salmon hue. It’s a blend of
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Gris with a splash of Merlot for colour. Hints of delicate matchsticks, underripe strawberries, and orange peel on the nose. 

The palate reveals a subtle effervescence and a touch of residual sugar where the fruit dances with notes of strawberries, white nectarines, and more orange peel. Elevated acidity adds a lovely zing to its medium frame. The fruit is balanced with the alcohol and an elevated length keeps the pleasure coming. 

This isn’t an overly complicated wine but, boy it is delicious!! Perfect for picnics and the patio.

89 points

White Wines:

Privato Woodward Collection Chardonnay 2020 13.4% abv $32

Privato Woodward Collection Chardonnay
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After spending a luxurious 7 months in oak followed by a year in the bottle, this wine is a true masterpiece. Subtle hints of popcorn kernel and toast, elegantly mingling with notes of lightly buttered toast, ripe peach, zesty lime juice, lemon, and delicate acacia. With its elevated acidity and medium body, each sip is a symphony of flavour. 

And oh, that finish! Long and lingering, it leaves you with the essence of apricot stone, more toast, and luscious peach.

90 points

Privato Gewurztrainer 2020 13% abv $26

Privato Gewurztraminer
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I need to get the word out that BC makes some amazing Gewurztraminers – cue this opportunity to share this Privato gem with you! It’s a winery club exclusive so you’ll have to become a member to get your hands on some.

Aromas of tropical dragonfruit, spicy ginger, and a hint of lychee dances on your palate. And oh, the alcohol gives it just a touch of warmth. The palate presents notes of tangy tangerine, more lychee, delicate jasmine flowers, and a zesty finish of dragonfruit and bitter orange peel. It’s a burst of flavours! With an elevated finish, this Gewurztraminer is truly something special.

91 points

Rosé Wines:

Privato Rosé 2023 13% abv $25

Privato Rosé
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A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for colour. Super elegant, with a touch of seriousness. Picture this: zesty orange peel, pomegranate, and white nectarines with just a hint of savoury goodness. And oh, a fresh strawberry finish is so refreshing! Plus, there’s a subtle mineral thing going on, kinda like tin, with a chalky finish. 

It’s got a decent medium finish and some nice acidity to keep things lively. I asked myself if I could give a wine over 90 points when it only has a medium-length finish, but the herbal/ savoury, orange pomegranite and mineral complexity just put this over the top for me. I could drink this wine all day!

91 points

Enjoying wine on the terrace at Privato Winery in Kamloops
Enjoying wine on the terrace at Privato Winery in Kamloops

Privato 'Sopressa Bianco' 2022 14% abv

Privato Sopressa Bianco
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Get ready for this off-dry stunner. Sopressa Bianco aptly translates to ‘white surprise’. It’s A blend of Frontenac Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay and it snagged a rare Double Gold at last year’s All Canadian Wine Championships.

Bold notes of peach, apricot, white blossoms, and a hint of tangerine. Despite its full body and a hefty 14% abv, you won’t even notice the alcohol thanks to its fruit richness and high acidity that perfectly balances everything out.

90 Points

Red Wines:

Privato Pinot Noir 2022 14% abv $35

Privato Pinot Noir
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Aged 18 months in new oak, this gem hails from their leased vineyards in Kaleden, in the Southern Okanagan Valley. Aromas of red cherries and black plums, accented by notes of clay, green stems, earth, vanilla, and toast.

On the palate, expect elevated flavours of caramel, a hint of espresso, toast, cherries, sandalwood, and black plums and sour cherries. Cherries and pomegranites add a juicy finish with a confident use of oak.

Fuzzy tannins, elevated length and a well-integrated 14% alcohol. Drink within 5 years.

90 Points

Privato 'Tesoro' Pinot Noir 2020 13 abv% $49

Privato 'Tesoro' Pinot Noir
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‘Tesoro’ means treasure and indeed this is Privato’s flagship wine that won ‘Platinum’ at the 2023 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada. That means it was rated one of the top wines of BC last year.

With medium intensity, this wine has notes of earth, sandalwood, dust, black plums, cherries, and a hint of tomato leaf for freshness.

The tannins are light, fuzzy, and fine, making it really fun to drink.  Balanced 13% alcohol in a mid-weight frame with that high, natural balanced mouthwatering acidity. The finish is medium+, featuring light strawberries, cherries, and tomato leaf finishes with nutmeg, and cinnamon.

 

92 points

people drinking wine at Privato Winery, Kamloops

Privato Cabernet Franc 2021 13.7 abv% $35

Privato Cabernet Franc
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If you’ve read my other writings, you’ll know that I LOVE Cabernet Franc. This gem is aged in 18 months oak and is a fairly rich, ripened version of the style.

Aromas of plums, red fruits like raspberries, and a that wonderful mix of baking spices from new barrel ageing—nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves—create a holiday dream in a glass. Think plum pudding and violets.

The wine offers juiciness in a mid-weight frame, with warm and balanced 13.7% alcohol. The finish features red plums with a spicy touch and a hint of astringency. Best enjoyed now.

 

89 points

Privato Merlot 2021 14.3% abv $32

Privato Merlot
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Pale ruby in colour, this Merlot is from grapes sourced in the warm Southern Okanagan Valley. It therefore presents rich notes of plums, and chocolate covered cherries and blueberries. This wine is aged 18 months in both French and American oak and you can smell and taste the robust American oak influence here – yummy vanilla, mocha, and espresso.

It still has that natural BC mouthwatering acidity in a mid-weight frame. Slight green stem flavours (likely from some stem inclusion) adds a touch of tannin and complexity.

89 points

Privato Casato Merlot 2021 14.5 abv% $44

Privato 'Casato' Merlot
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Aged for 18 months plus an additional year in bottle, this wine features a blend of dried and fresh plums and cherries, with a hint of sage and a touch of fig.

This is a heavyweight wine with high, warming alcohol. The finish is rich with cherries and chocolate, while the palate reveals notes of vanilla. This wine is sure to please!

92 Points

Privato 'Sopressa Rosso' 2022 13.7 abv% $28

Privato Sopressa Rosa
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Sopressa Rosso means ‘red surprise’ in Italian. It’s a blend of the hybrids Bacco Noir and Marechal Foch from the Privato property and Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Oliver aged for 8 months in new oak. 

Yummy notes of chocolate, blueberries, vanilla, and a hint of dried blueberry and prunes create a plush, ripe, and smooth experience.

Surprisingly, this easy heavyweight finishes long and is perfect to enjoy now—no need to age.

89 points

Summary

In summary, Privato Winery is located on the Woodward farm 350 km from Vancouver, Canada in a beautiful, arid valley in Kamloops, BC. Devotedly, the Woodward family offers engaging year-round experiences. Enjoy live music outdoors over summer, a Pumpkin Patch extravaganza in October, and Christmas Tree foraging in winter. Known for their signature mouthwatering acidity, Privato’s wines also feature robust reds aged in new oak barrels. But hey, if wine is not your thing, be sure to walk the 10 steps to the Woodward Cidery Co for creative tasty sips made from the family’s orchard. Wine lovers make note: joining Privato’s Cellar Club provides access to rare and awarded wines, as well as exclusive events.

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SommWine | Savouring Serenity: A Day at Privato Winery in Kamloops

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