It takes two to tango. Two is company. When two grapes join together under the watchful eye of a winemaker, wonderful things can happen. This is exactly what happened with the "French Embrace" from Oliver Twist Estate Winery. Winemaker Denice Hagerman is positively glowing about this, her newest wine, a duet featuring Viognier and lightly oaked Chardonnay. "I did not oak the Viognier. I'm one of those purists,” says Hagerman.The name comes from the loving relationship between the two grapes used for the blend.

"Two French grapes embraced each other" says Hagerman. "It's like sunshine in a bottle. It's the perfect sipper for the patio or any of your typical summer foods." At 12.9% alcohol by volume, it won't make you fall off the patio either. The wonderful aromas of peach fuzz, flowers, and cantaloupes lead to a smooth, velvety palate. The finish is long and well balanced with a playful streak of minerality there to keep things interesting.

"All of my wines came in very nicely this year," says Hagerman, referring to the recent 2011 vintage. Oliver's Choice (Oliver Twist's famous Kerner) will be back again and is in good supply this year. Before bottling, Denice enlists the assistance of friends, customers, and helping hands, to get reactions to the flavour of each of the wines. The consensus this year is that "Everybody seems to think that my Kerner this year is even better than last year."
The Rosado Splash (a Rosé made from co-fermented Syrah and Viognier grapes) is also back again this year, this time with a pronounced pomegranate flavour.

"Where did that come from? That was a surprise!" says Hagerman.
Stop in to visit the Oliver Twist Estate Winery tasting room daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

~ Luke Whittall