Posts Written ByLuke Whittall

Stags-Hollow

Winemaker Dwight Sick clearly enjoys his job. With exciting new grape varieties like Dolcetto from their Shuttleworth Creek vineyard now coming into full production, he has a lot to be excited about. The Dolcetto grape heralds from Piedmont in northwestern Italy. On paper, it would seem to be eminently suitable for growing in BC: it ripens early, is low in acid, is very aromatic, and has a deep purple colour. It is quick and easy to produce, requires no lengthy maturing in oak barrels, and is perfectly ready for drinking within the first year. Traditional “New World” wine wisdom has…

25years

Ron Taylor, an influential winemaker who had a long career at Andrés Wines in Port Moody, wrote a recurring column called “Reflections in a Wine Glass” beginning in 1996 on the history of the wine industry. Dr. Larry Anderson contributed a column on wine and health and there were also articles about wine business and marketing. Wine scientist Gary Strachan and winemaker Anne Sperling also contributed to various issues. Contrary to the hard reporting style of most traditional news media, articles were generally very positive and upbeat about the industry. “There really wasn’t a lot to criticize,” remembers Gamble. Gamble…

Fairview Sarah Scott

Barrel samples can be deceiving. Tasting an unfinished wine can lead one to believe that once it is bottled, the wine will be just as amazing as the barrel sample. Usually, the barrel sample only gives small hints at what it will eventually be like. The freshly racked sample of 2015 Pinot Noir from Fairview Cellars was giving off all kinds of hints about its how it was made. It had a beautifully rich ruby colour and was all cherries and spice. It had been fermented in oak puncheons (large, 500 liter barrels) that had each been customized with large…

Riverstone

On the top of a gravel hill in the middle of the Okanagan Valley, River Stone Estate Winery is situated just like a 1ére Cru Classé chateaux on Bordeaux’s left bank. Their vineyards slope down in three directions from the distinctive red house and winery perched at the top of the property, giving the vines maximum exposure throughout the day and the season. “Mother Nature runs the show,” says owner and winemaker Ted Kane, who designed the layout of the 9.5-acre property after purchasing it in 2001. Of course, Ted has done what he can to help Mother Nature out by…

Gehringer

2016 is a special year for Gehringer Brothers. They are celebrating 30 years in the wine industry and are able to now look back on all of the hard work that went into starting their vineyard and making wine. The land was originally purchased in 1981 and planting began right away. Previously, it was barren scrubland that had been deemed unsuitable for farming. Huge rocks were everywhere. “There were often rocks on top of other rocks,” explains Walter Gehringer, “which was bad for retaining any moisture at all.” The rocks had to go before the vines could be planted which made…

Oliver-Twist

Oliver Twist is firing on all cylinders this year and winemakers Gina Harfman and Denice Hagerman are clearly looking forward to this year’s harvest. Gina missed out on the crush last year when baby Vida was born and is excited about the way that this vintage has been progressing. The cooler weather in late June and July has brought the growing season that started with an early spring back to normal. This could translate into a longer season which could lead to more complex flavours in the wines. Clearly it will not be a vintage that she will want to…

DesertHills

The medals are pouring in to Desert Hills for their recent releases. That is not a big surprise for a winery that is going into their 16th vintage on the Black Sage Bench south of Oliver. This is the Okanagan Valley’s big red country and it’s no surprise that their red wines are highly decorated. The Cabernet Sauvignon in particular stands out not only for its fullness, power, and complexity. The wine is a beautiful deep brick red in colour and shows aromas of currents, sweet spice, mint, and eucalyptus. The palate is deeply textured with bright berries, dark chocolate…

CC Jentsch Amber Pratt

When a barrel of wine or a particular batch stands out among the others in the cellar and is just too good on its own, winemaker Amber Pratt sets it aside for the Small Lots series. As the team at C.C. Jentsch hones their vineyard skills, more and more batches are proving themselves worthy. Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec have all been featured as Small Lots wines. Each one has received its own fair share of awards and honors. The 2016 vintage so far looks promising for future vintages of Small Lots wines. “The grapes will have…

Adega

With a succession of beautiful vintages at Adega on 45th in Osoyoos beginning in 2012, we are now tasting the benefits of all of that beautiful weather through their aged reds. Adega has a full portfolio of red wines that are big, beautifully structured, and delicious. Leading the charge is the winery’s flagship red, the Quarteto Tinto 2012. This beautifully crafted Bordeaux-style blend is dominated appropriately by Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec and took home a Double Gold medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Four single-variety wines are also available – Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah,…

Fairview

After many years of working out in the elements, Fairview Cellars owner Bill Eggert is pleased with the new roof over the winery crush pad. Along with providing shelter while working outside during the harvest, it will also provide crucial shade while working with barrels outside of the cellar doors. The famous barrel cellar mural created by Leza MacDonald remains unobstructed and is still clearly visible from the fairways at the golf course next door. Fairview will be sampling not one, but two Pinot Noirs in the wine shop this summer. The first is a single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the…