wildlife distillery

February 17th, 2024- Wines of Romance from Township 7 and Rocky Mountain Whisky from Wild Life


Wines of Romance from Township 7 and Rocky Mountain Whisky from Wild Life


The press release arrived well in advance of Valentine’s Day.

These exceptional wines are not only perfect for cosy winter evenings but also make for delightful Valentine’s Day celebrations.

I’m 3 days late with this story but when Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, I find most of my friends agree with me and move it to the weekend when we have time to call our own.

Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Mary McDermott – Winemaker Township 7 (Langley and Naramata Bench)

Township 7 Vineyards & Winery launches the seven stars club - My VanCity

Mary McDermott

Mary is a straight shooter. No catch-all marketing phrases. Just the facts and heartfelt reflections on the growing year and what the vineyard was trying to say to us.

Her training and years of seasonal survival have made Mary one of the winemakers to watch. Mary watches over the prime Naramata vineyards and their ever-evolving vineyards in Langley.

She is, after all, following in the footsteps of Michael Bartier and Bradley Cooper. High standards have risen even higher under Mary’s watch.

A wonderful winemaker and consummate craftswoman.

Tasting and Talking:

seven stars RIGEL 2021

Traditional method style, made with Riesling from the  Fool’s Gold Vineyard in North Oliver. Owned by Mark Antonello, well known vineyard manager.

The vineyard was researched and planted two decades ago by the legendary Richard Cleave. When he and Harry McWatters drove and walked around the Okanagan, they had their choice of “everything and everywhere”.  They picked the best plots of land to be had. If Richard Cleave’s name is linked to a vineyard, it’s Gold friends.

For example, the 2020 version of this sparkling wine was awarded Best Canadian Sparkling Wine 2023 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London.  Loaded with notes of citrus and minerality. The glorious mousse has a texture that never seems to leave my memory bank. The body remembers such moments.

383 six-bottle cases –  $36.97

seven stars POLARIS 2020

Named in honour of the North Star which has guided ships at sea for many 100’s of years.

Crafted in traditional Methode Champenoise style.

Polaris is a Blanc de Blanc made from 100% unoaked Chardonnay. It has been celebrated at the Canadian National Wine Awards, BC Lieutenant Governor  Awards, Global Awards in Australia and many more.

Notes of brioche, Granny Smith apples, peach, lime.

In a word – Polaris is complete!    1250 six-bottle cases –   $39.97


Benchmark Series Pinot Noir 2022


This wonderful Pinot came from long-time growers Dwight and Arnie Gash’s Remuda Vineyard in Okanagan Falls.

Mary works with ripe dark fruit which she ferments in their concrete egg and stainless steel.

Aged a full year in French Oak Puncheons.

Your nose will love the aromas of raspberries and cherries.

The palate is fully engaged with assembled fruit and delicious undertones. When your mouth is not busy with the pinot, it will be forming the words “wow”!

800 cases made – available at both wineries and online.




Matt Widmer – Co-Founder of Wild Life Distillery  Canmore, Alberta


Matt and Keith Founders of Wild Life

Matt and his co-founding partner Keith Robinson grew up together in the neighbourhood.

In their case, the neighbourhood was Banff and Canmore, Alberta. Rundle Mountain was in between them but it all worked out.

In 2017 they decided to build a distillery in Canmore – they called it Wild Life.

Craft spirits became a reality – whisky, gin, vodka, amaro, canned cocktails, bitters, etc.

While I was covering the Victoria Whisky Festival I heard their name being dropped several times. Then I saw they had won Two Gold Medals.

Wild Life Rye Whisky – Gold

Wild Life Wheat Whisky – Gold


Now comes Batch 001 of Wild Life Single Malt Whisky…just released.

WLD uses all Alberta grains and malt, including barley, wheat and rye. Water in the Canmore area is directly sourced from the Rocky Mountains. A local family farm grows grain exclusively for Wild Life Distillery. They also have a direct source of Guttino Rye from the family farm they work with.

As you can see the Rye and Wheat Whiskies have proven themselves.

The new single malt has vanilla and citrus on the nose & ends with ripe apricot.

The palate has light oak, nice rounded barley, caramelized dark honey and toffee.

For a first step single malt this whisky is well worth the wait. It’s going to be very popular.

FYI – The distillery has a bar in the tasting room and new cocktails are being created every day.

The back room has become where Open Mics are regularly found. Matt and Keith are often doing the playing and singing. If you’re a touring artist, get in touch.

Wild Life is a distillery to add to your “check this out” list and for certain a destination for those of you passing through one of the most stunningly beautiful places on Earth.

Congratulations to all at Wild Life Distillery!




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