by Leeann Froese Added: thank you to the handful of bloggers who joined us to taste the wines below in a room hosted by Soléna Estate - we know how rare a chance it is for you to taste BC wines and we appreciate them allowing us to tag along! A special shout out to the inimitable April Yap-Hennig of Sacred Drop who coordinated all!
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Winery: Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery
Social: Twitter / Facebook @mtboucheriewine Located: West Kelowna The Wine: Mt Boucherie Family Reserve Gamay Noir 2012 Price: CDN$15.50 | Alcohol: 13.9% What you might taste: Structured on the palate with elements of red currant, black raspberries, a hint of ground black pepper and savoury, underpinned with higher acidity and soft tannins.
Need to know facts: this winery just quietly goes about its business making incredible wines which reflect the owners’ soft personality. All of their wines are 100% family owned and grown and they hold the province’s largest acreage of family-owned vineyards – more than 300 acres. They sell their grapes to many others in BC since the 1970s, and keep a small and interesting assortment for themselves and their wine program. Mtboucheriewinery.com
Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire Social: Twitter / Facebook @haywirewine | @okcrushpad | Instagram @okcrushpad Located: Summerland The Wine: Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2012 Price: CDN$23 | Alcohol: 13% What you might taste: The wine has a crisp acidity, juicy apricot flavours and a chalky, limestone taste along with a flinty finish which is the hallmark of clone 52. It is all bundled up with a silver label to denote that it is one of the vineyard-designated wines they are most proud of this season.
Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire, is the first in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks, and wines that are fermented and aged in concrete carry the Raised in Concrete™ designation. See what differences you think the use of concrete makes? The Summerland winery is located on the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan. In addition to their own flagship wines, Haywire and Bartier Scholefield, Okanagan Crush Pad makes custom-crush wines for people who are seeking to start their own winery. okanagancrushpad.com
Winery: SpierHead Winery Social: Twitter @spierheadwinery | Facebook spierhead | Instagram Spierheadwinery Located: Kelowna The Wine: SpierHead Pinot Noir 2012 Price: CDN$22.00 | Alcohol: 12.4% What you might taste: medium-bodied wine consistent with its cool climate origins. Light tannins and lots of fresh red berry.
Need to know facts: This tiny relative newcomer of a winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition entered. The 2010 vintage of this same wine captured an award for the best Pinot Noir in Canada – when the vines were even younger! spierheadwinery.com
Winery: Serendipity Winery Social: Twitter @winespiration | Facebook serendipitywineryBC Located: Naramata The Wine: Serendipity Viognier 2012 Price: CDN$19.90 | Alcohol: 12% What you might taste: Traditional Viognier notes of orange blossom and tangerine greet your nose. Sur lie contact brings out a medium-bodied wine and contributes to notes of toasted coconut. This wine has a hint of blood orange and apricot.
Need to know facts: Serendipity Winery is located in the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench. Owned by mother-daughter duo, Judy Kingston and Katie O’Kell, a visit to Serendipity is welcomed with a warm smile and a delicious glass of wine. In both 2013 and 2014 Serendipity was the only BC winery invited to showcase wine at the Calgary Stampede, and the winery was named BC Winery of the Year at a New York competition. SerendipityWinery.com
Winery: TIME Estate Winery Social: Twitter / Facebook @timewinery Located: Oliver The Wine: TIME Meritage 2011 (Red) Price: CDN$29.99 | Alcohol: 14.1% What you might taste: Classic aromas envelop the glass with red berries, black cherries and peppery nuances. Fragrant characters of rose petal and sage mingle with the darker fruit elements. This wine is rich and structured, with excellent depth and silky, well-integrated tannins.
The Wine: TIME Meritage 2013 (White) Price: CDN$25.00 Alcohol: 13.6% What you might taste: Classic aromas circle in the glass: honeydew melon, pear and a hint of tangerine. Taste graceful hints of apricot and mango, swirled with ripe gooseberry. This wine is mellowed by barrel aging, resulting in a sturdy vibrant finish with delicate traces of oak.
Need to know facts: TIME Estate Winery co-owner Harry McWatters is a Canadian wine industry pioneer, and a maverick, who performed many ‘firsts” and set the stage for many to follow. TIME is the latest venture for McWatters, who started this project after “retiring” in 2008 when he sold his previously-owned wineries to Constellation. TIME Estate Winery is located in the midst of the two-decade old Sundial Vineyard on the acclaimed Black Sage Bench in the hot, dry desert climate of the South Okanagan. timewinery.com
The Wines of British Columbia are as diverse as the places they are grown and the people who make them. We hope you enjoy this snapshot.