Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Golden Beaver or Pompous Ass?

It's tough to choose. Over in NY's Finger Lakes they've got a Pompous Ass. Here in BC we've got a Golden Beaver.

They both use cartoons in their logo.

Thanks to Lenn for the head's up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Exceptional Okanagan Falls BC Vineyard For Sale


Properties like this are rare. Mature vineyard with Merlot, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Viognier and others in full production. Beautiful 'southwest' style home and many service buildings. Right on Oliver Ranch Road with plenty of winery and agri-tourism potential. About 30 acres and about 2/3 in vines.
For more information, contact me directly.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Wine Grapes of British Columbia

Colleagues, friends, fans and members of the general public often ask me -
Just what are you growing up there?
So, in an effort to shed some light on this dark secret, I will now reveal the top grapes by tonnage grown in BC. Almost all the grapes are grown in the Okanagan Valley, but there are significant acreages on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and in the Lower Mainland portion of the Fraser River Valley.
These figures are supplied by the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) and are for the 2007 growing season.

Merlot 3258
Chardonnay 2479
Pinot Gris 1687
Pinot Noir 1532
Cabernet Sauvignon 1390
Gewurztraminer 1339
Pinot Blanc 1307
Other (< 60 tons) 1125*
Riesling 979
Sauvignon Blanc 977
Cabernet Franc 777
Syrah/Shiraz 613
Gamay Noir 486
Ehrenfelser 228
Semillon 202
Auxerrois 189
Marechal Foch 170
Bacchus 124
Chasselas 104
Chancellor 103
Muller Thurgau 102
Icewine Riesling 99
Chenin Blanc 84
Viognier 84
Vidal Blanc 75
Zweigelt 67
Madeleine Angevine 61
Kerner 42
Pinot Meunier 41
Optima 38
Verdelet 14

*In the other category there are a lot of hybrids and some vinifera. Petit Verdot, Pinotage, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Muscat are just a few of the smaller tonnage titles.

While there are no 'native' grapes indigenous to the area, there are some tasty Saskatoon berries just up the mountain behind my house right now.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Does Gewurztraminer start with the letter 'S'?

No, children, it does not.
But today I am participating in something called Wine Blogger Wednesday. For the first time.
It's been going on for about four years but I've never been able to get my sh*t together and participate.
One Wednesday a month, bloggers taste a wine and comment. There's a theme as set by the host. So today it is "Brought to you by the letter S".
The 'S' in my Gewurztraminer is the fact that I made it at Township 7, which has an S.
It's crisp, assertive, slighty spicy and full of fresh pear and apple. We blended three vineyards to get the depth and dimension. To me, as much as I like Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this Gewurztraminer tastes like summer in the Okanagan Valley.

Winery Vineyard Supervisor Wanted

Based in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. Growing operation requires experienced vineyard worker to maintain small winery's vineyard properties and enhance grower relations. Knowledge of annual and seasonal viticultural practices essential. Experience in people management, budgeting, planning and site development definete assets.

Contact me directly for more information.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vinifico! is Magnifico!

You can spend a long time looking for a wine site, based in BC, that day-in, day-out provides the same kind of quality wine reviews as Sean Calder's Vinifico. Actually, you'd be hard-pressed to find one this good outside of BC.

Sean acts like my point man in the market place. He's out there tasting and giving his two cents worth and that helps me find wines that are helping me compare and contrast my own projects. He has a liver of heroic description.

In the past, Sean has been assisted by fellow wine buff Graham. Not sure if that arrangement still exists but, nonetheless, they both have great palates.

Check out Vinifico before your next trip to the bottle shop.

Wine and a Hike in the redwoods

It's not news to most people but here it is anyhow: California is full of things to do. For wine lovers, California is a diverse growing region with thousands of wine-related activities. But to return home after a truly rewarding experience in wine country is not always an easy achievement.

A lot of the time there is a cookie-cutter feel to many attractions. There pre-packaged tours and winery visits that start to look pretty typical. Most of the big name tours could be lifted from anywhere. Just insert different names where applicable.

Among the packed tasting rooms, the parade of buses and the drunk-filled limousines is a California wine country experience that really stands out as unique and fun. California Wine Hikes takes two great activities and combines them for some special memories and genuinely exclusive glimpses of the Golden State.

I've talked about California Wine Hikes in this space before as being something different I had heard about. Back in late May, I got to experience it firsthand.

My wife and I have our best hiking years behind us. We weren't looking for a death march with tough technical sections. So we were delighted with the trail chosen for us by Russ Beebe, owner, operator, guide and all-round great guy. We spent about half a day in the mountains at the south end of the San Franciscan peninsula, somewhere between San Mateo and the ocean. We saw huge redwoods, quiet ravines and an array of wildflowers. The traditional fog off the coast started the day. We ended it in full sun for our mid-afternoon lunch.

Of course, our walk was punctuated with visits to wineries like Thomas Fogarty and Savannah-Chanelle.

Russ' knowledge of the area, his running commentary on the flora and fauna and his contacts within the wine business makes for a memorable day out. Nowadays, I can't think of a trip to California without a wine hike in the itinerary.

(top photo: me and a redwood. Sorry about the focus. bottom photo: Me (left), my wife Audralee and Russ Beebe at Savannah Chanelle)
It's only a matter of time that this kind of thing shows up here. I'm sure BC is ready for one of these businesses dedicated to showing off the scenery and the wines in the various regions of the province.
Until then, make sure you book one of these hikes on your next trip to California.