The Western Oasis Wine Garden is an island of calm in the bustle and energy of the Calgary Stampede.
“It gets busy in here, but it’s nowhere close to out there,” says Sean Doherty, one of the servers at the Wine Garden.
Presented this year by Co-op Wines & Spirits, the Wine Garden is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the Stampede, which runs from July 8 to 17. Located in the centre of the Western Oasis, it is surrounded by water features, vegetation and displays of Western art that create a relaxing environment — worlds away from the midway and Stampede Market.
The wine list consists of 28 different wines from New World regions such as Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Ten Canadian products are on offer, including a custom blended red made in British Columbia for the Stampede.
The selection of reds tends towards beefy, with cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and malbec heavily represented. For those looking for something a little lighter, there’s a variety of whites, as well. There are also two Port-style wines — one Canadian, one Australian — available only in 2 oz. servings. Prices range from a budget-friendly $2.50 for 2 oz. of the Stampede red to a splurge-friendly $99 for a bottle of Eileen Hardy Shiraz (one of two products available only by the bottle).
The Marcus James Malbec has been a popular choice for Wine Garden patrons this year, according to Doherty, as have several Canadian options, including the Stampede blend, See Ya Later Ranch’s Pinot 3 and the premium Pétales d’Osoyoos by Osoyoos Larose.