Wine lovers who have made Kerner the best-selling wine at Oliver Twist Estate Winery are in for a big treat this spring. A late harvest Kerner—the first ever for owner-winemaker Gina Mitchell—is about to be released.

Botrytis-affected (the grapes are tinged with “noble rot”, a fungus that desiccates the grapes, intensifying the flavours) wines are something of a rarity, and Gina excitedly describes the flavours—“nutty, roasted caramelized apple, mango, sweet mandarin orange, orange peel, exotic fruit.”

As we make our way through a tasting I keep adding exclamation marks beside my notes. Pinot Gris, Patio Passion, Kerner, French Embrace are consistently clean, crisp and flavour packed. On the nose, they are a sensory delight.
“I’m really proud of their fruity aromatics,” Gina says. And who would argue?

Last year Gina, who co-owns Oliver Twist with her vintage car-loving husband Trevor, made 5,000 cases of wine, ensuring a good supply and variety awaits visitors. Guests will enjoy the added benefit of being able to make a purchase from the deli fridge and head outside to enjoy them with a glass of wine on the two patios overlooking the vineyards.

Fans of Gina’s wines should take the opportunity to sign up for a Twist Club membership, a wine club whose benefits include exclusive access to limited release and small lot wines, and advance notice of new releases and almost sold out vintages. Why risk missing out on wines like the 2010 Syrah, a Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Canadian Wine Awards and highest scoring red in the InterVin International Wine Awards? Or 2012 French Embrace, a Double Gold medalist at the Best of the Best Platinum in the 2013 Wine Press Northwest awards?

Stop by and learn for yourself, from the winemaker who says she has spent her life “playing in the dirt.”

~  Lorne Eckersley