Summer is upon us, and what a great summer it’s going to be. Despite a rather wet beginning to the season, our vineyards are growing and the new wines they produce are hitting the market.
Below are some things to watch for as you visit BC wineries in the summer of 2022.
Still Popular After All These Years
I know it’s summer, and you might believe red wines are only for the cooler months. However, there’s no better time to stock up than now.
Merlot is making a big comeback, and you can find such a wide variety of Merlot throughout BC. Every region, every winery, because of its terroir and the winemakers’ skills, creates its own unique wine profile. As everyone has their own tastes, you should be able to find one just right for you. And if you want to drink a nice Merlot in the middle of the summer, go for it. You are the boss of you!
More and more wineries are looking for ways to sustainably grow their grapes and create their marvelous wines.
Sustainable practices focus on how the land is treated. One of the ways our grape growers do that is to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers by focusing on natural ways to reduce the number of pests in the vineyard.
Some wineries do this by having sheep roam the fields to keep grass and weeds short and add a little fertilizer to the land. Others may plant hedges or trees along the edges of vineyards. This attracts birds, which in turn eat the insects that may otherwise get into the vineyard (and the wineries can protect the crop from the birds with netting). Other practices include installing drip irrigation to save water.
Being organic is part of having a sustainable working vineyard and winery.
While the pandemic kept most of us at home, some people spent their time planting grapes, learning the industry and creating some pretty fabulous wines. You can find them all across BC. These wineries have been quietly honing their craft and are now ready to have you come and discover them!
I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised at some of the newcomers out there. But don’t just take my word for it. Ask around, find out who’s new in the area and give one or two of them a try.
Although at times it’s hard to believe BC could grow even more unique grape varietals, it keeps happening. I remember over a decade ago when I discovered a winery that made Pinotage. I was thrilled and proud to call that tasty vintage BC-grown and told all my friends about it. Now, you can find several wineries that create their own Pinotage.
Our BC wine industry is still fairly young, and there are hundreds of varietals we’ve yet to try and grow. You may hear about an Italian red called Nebbiolo or the German red called Blaufränkisch. You may also find some Rosé wines out there made from thicker-skinned grapes. All you have to do is ask at the winery and they’ll be more than happy to tell you what’s new in their wine world.
It wasn’t long ago that wine drinkers were aghast at the thought of twist-top wine. However, once they became educated about the cost of cork, and its environmental impact, twist tops became commonplace for drink me soon wines.
Now there’s wine in a can. These wines are made to drink while young (the wine, not you) and make it easy to transport your beverage of choice wherever you go. Most cans are 250 ml (a little over 8 oz) and have a price point around $8. They are perfect to bring home as a souvenir for friends, or to quickly pack for a nice day out with a picnic. And they fit better in a cooler than a bottle does. You also have your choice of whites, reds, sparkling and rosés.
A word to the wise: although they are in a can; we still recommend you drink them from a nice glass. It adds to the experience, no matter what the wine is contained in.
Yours to Discover
Don’t be shy when you go wine tasting. Ask the wineries if there’s anything new, be it grapes, vintages, packaging or practices. They’ll be happy to tell you their stories. Happy tasting, everyone!