If you’ve travelled through southern British Columbia you may have run into Canada’s smallest bird, a tiny hummingbird. To pay homage to this lovely little creature, the Wyse Family, founders of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, introduced a line up of wines under the label Calliope, a word from Greek origin meaning ‘beautiful voice’. The Wyse family is known for their efforts in wildlife preservation, in particular wild birds.
Grapes for Calliope wines are carefully sourced from local vineyards in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. The wines are crafted to showcase bright, fresh, fruit flavours and crisp acidity. Bottled under screw cap, these varieties and blends are meant for early consumption, and oak is used conservatively if at all. These are perfect summer sippers, the perfect patio wines.
The Calliope 2014 Figure 8 White is a blend of predominantly Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gerwürztraminer, with a splash of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, and is full of fresh pink grapefruit, mango, apricot, melon and fresh herbaceous aromas. You’ll find lots of juicy fruit flavours of apple, peach, mango and apricot on the palate with a touch of honey and some nice acidity and minerality. Don’t be afraid to pair this with some spicy foods, sushi, or oysters with a bit of chili mignonette.
Calliope wines are available in retail stores in B.C. and Alberta, in the Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl in Oliver and in select restaurants. This summer the 2013 Figure 8 Red (Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend) is available in BC Government Liquor Stores.
~Cassandra Anderton