A vineyard overlooked Okanagan Lake in eastern British Columbia.
When I grew up in Montreal in the 1960s and '70s, I was aware of two products defining the contribution of Canada to the alcohol world: beer (export of Molson for Labons and Labatt 50 for Labyrinths) and rye, sensibility of the Canadian Club. This was typically tempered with ginger ale.
At that time, B.C.'s wine industry emptied, but Harry McWatters' eyes were a twinkle, but times changed. Okanaganeres dream came from Canadaes dream that Napa had fallen north. As the wines evolve – in splashes and borders – that is, they have a choice of food and accommodation. The desire to live in a part of the country that offers fruit farms, warm winters, beautiful lakes and a thriving wine industry has brought a significant amount of investment to the region, and in doing so pushed the price of an acre of land up to about $ 200,000.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed the discovery of a group of Okanagan wines from around the world, including Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, journalists and a variety of other wine experts. The week resulted in a tasting known as the B.C. the wines are bluntly cast with samples from other parts of the world. As far as I don't like judging wines or wine as a competition, tasting, B.C. compete on the world stage. All the results of tasting can be seen online: http://winebc.com/industry/media_releases.
Poplar Grove Legacy and Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio Red, the two wines I've recommended below, are throwing stars in the first and second place, for example Dominus ($ 126) and Chateau d & # 39; Armailhac ($ 90).
One of the most important developments in BC. the creation of geographical signs (GIs) and lower GIs. They chose this denomination according to geographic and geological features outside the municipal boundaries, as you would encounter in regions such as the Napa Valley. No application system is perfect, but they help consumers who care about the importance of their wine. Currently, there are two lower GIs in the Okanagan – Golden Mile Bank and the newly organized Okanagan Waterfall. More people will come. If this were France, this process would take about 10 years, thank goodness is moving a little faster in the new world wine regions. Naramata will probably be in line, this is a sub-region that produces most of my personal favorites, including some of the best wines in the valley and the two best wines in the competition.
Okanagan has always been a popular place to park yourself for a few weeks in summer and fall. I'm very impressed with the late-evening dining options, especially some of the wineries that have a Napa-like concept. If you find yourself in Penticton, I recommend that you take a break for a drink at the Time Winery, located in the heart of the city, in an old movie house. Time is the mind of Harry McWatters, the pioneer of Okanagan, one of the true legends of the Canadian wine industry. He has been involved in the wine industry since the late 1960s and is a founding member of the BC Wine Institute and Sumac Estate Winery (founded in 1980). Time is a very modern concept in the middle of the old Penticton, both as a working winery and as a restaurant. Lake Breeze, Hillside Winery, Liquidity, Summerhill, Quail's Gate, Mission Hill and 50. Parallel are available in many winery dining options.
Turne is one of the advantages of B.C. Wine country, you can buy directly from the wineries, the prices are cheaper. In Alberta, the same wines pass to both an importer and a retailer who adds to costs. In most cases, the difference can be ignored but can be significant with expensive wines. There are a few to include the two best selections from the trial trial.
Poplar Grove Legacy 2014 – $ 65
B.C. it doesn't come cheap, but the wine is twice as much. In 2014 vintage Okanagan appeared very well; It was very hot, and this temperature was vital to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. This is not always easy in this part of the world. Behind this wine is a great Bordeaux-like structure and flavor, supported by a pleasant level of acidity. He should be better with time.
Stock Vineyards Portfolio Red Rose 2016 – $ 54
The 2015 vintage area that received the number 2 spot, but the wine passed to Alberta in 2016; I have tasted both of them and there is a good consistency between the vines. When I tasted this wine many years ago, it was an eye-opener for me, on the right, a mature, balanced and delicious Bordeaux mix. This is still true.
Liquidity Viognier 2015 – $ 26
Liquidity is a striking and modern building with a bistro in Okanagan Waterfalls. They are relatively newcomers, but they are getting the right things; Viognier is designed in classic style with tropical and stony fruits connected with acid, whose wine is an aqueous mouth feeling.
Meyer Tribute Series Chardonnay 2016 – $ 35
For some time, Meyer has produced the best examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the valley, and with this single vineyard example, I really hit a Meursault-like beauty that is not part of the world class. During the week I spent in Okanagan, I was very impressed with the white varietals I tasted, especially Chardonnay and Riesling, Pinot Noir. The recent efforts of JAK Meyer and his team show that these varieties have a bright future from this part of the world.
Looking for wine in Alberta? Go to http://www.liquorconnect.com.
Geoff Last is a long time Calgary wine merchant, author and publisher and a regular contributor to City Palate Magazine and other publications. Cookbook Company gives instructions on food and wine in Cooks and recently awarded a scholarship to the Professional Wine Writers Symposium in Napa Valley.