We’ve all been there – intimidated by those-in-the-know discussing the complexity of a red or the minerality of a white. Pardon? How can wine be approachable? And why can’t I taste lychee or citrus notes? Is there a huge difference between Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc? Okay – joking aside, we all started somewhere, right?

This year, Perseus Winery wants to make us all a little smarter – when it comes to wine that is. And really, it’s in the perfect location to do so.

From Penticton, Perseus is the first winery on the Naramata Bench. Come this spring, blossoming wine enthusiasts can start their tours with a tasting and an education in the basics of vino. The winery has partnered with DJ Kearney, wine consultant and sommelier instructor, to create educational boards that will be posted around the wine shop in both English and Mandarin.

“There are more people getting interested in wine – especially Chinese tourists – and most don’t know much about it,” says winery CEO Rob Ingram. “I’m in that group – I’m still learning every day. I was new to the industry just a few years ago.”

The winery is also exploring the idea of going organic. “We’re not there yet. We’re still doing research and learning more about what’s involved,” says Ingram. “But in the meantime, we’re trying to take the vineyards as close to organic as we can. That means minimizing the use of pesticides.”

Perseus is releasing two new wines this season: a sparkling Chardonnay and Invictus (a white blend to complement its awarding winning red of the same name.)  As well,  “we’re hoping to get a picnic license this year,” adds Ingram. “Guests can meet their friends here, have a glass of wine and a light snack, go through the educational tour, and plan the rest of their afternoon on the bench.”
So there you have it: an opportunity to leave the first stop of your tour armed with a little more than a light buzz. In no time, you’ll be engaging with the oenophiles of the wine world. (Just remember to spit out your gum before you get started!)

~ Erin Trainer