The remarkable growing season of 2016 with an extended warm fall will be remembered by the Kruger family as bittersweet. The amazing vintage was overshadowed by the passing of Wild Goose’s founder and British Columbia wine pioneer Adolf Kruger in November. He was a trailblazer of the British Columbia wine industry and was instrumental in opening one of BC’s first “farmgate” wineries, Wild Goose Vineyards in June of 1990.
“Last year was a tough year for us,” says Roland Kruger, Wild Goose general manager. “My father was very influential in the wine industry and leaves quite a footprint behind.
We had an amazing send off and celebration of his life, but now it is time to move forward on the roadway that we paved. His work will live on through our vines.”
“We are working diligently to get the 2016 vintage into the bottle, having sold out of so many of our wines and our customers can’t wait for the new releases,” says Leslie Matheson, marketing manager. Included in the new releases will be the return of Wild Goose Rosé, a customer favourite for many years.
“We also have a very special red wine, Dunkelfelder, which, to my knowledge, you won’t find anywhere else in the Okanagan Valley,” says Leslie. “It is a grape usually used to darken Bordeaux blend style wines, but winemaker Hagen (Kruger) liked it so much that he decided to make it a single varietal bottling. The Dunkelfelder spent 12 months in American oak and is produced in limited quantities.”
Leslie also says she has a waiting list of orders to fill with Wild Goose’s flagship and internationally acclaimed Autumn Gold, a “secret blend” of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Blanc. “Spicy and aromatic, it’s a perfect patio sipping wine that has grown into one of BC’s most popular varietal blends.” Wild Goose also produces a number of single vineyard wines, including the Mystic River wines and Stoney Slope Riesling, produced from 30-plus-year-old vines.
Wild Goose’s popular Smoke & Oak Bistro (opening May 3rd) is welcoming a new Red Seal certified chef, David Seminoff, who will be offering up a menu inspired by the smoke and barbecue flavours of the Southern US, all brought together with wonderful local ingredients.
Fresh from having the honour of being part of the British Columbia contingent at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Wild Goose Vineyards has a lot to look forward to in 2017, including many special events, such as concerts, winemaker’s dinners and numerous Vintner Club events. Check online at wildgoosewinery.com for dates.
~ Elaine Davidson