Some wine industry experts have said that Pinot Blanc could be the signature grape variety here in British Columbia, and I think particularly in the Okanagan. I have tasted many nice BC Pinot Blanc, but I think we also do very nice Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and should be in the running for signature grape variety.
This grape variety is known for its apple, melon and almond flavours. It can produce light to medium bodied wines. Usually low acidity, it can be oak aged for additional complexity. In Alsace it is commonly made into a sparkling wine called Cremant d’Alsace. I personally would like to see a BC winery try to make a Cremant with Pinot Blanc. (I think there may be a winery, but I’m not sure at the time of writing this blog article.)
Checking the www.everythingwine.com website, I identified the following BC Pinot Blanc wines in the $15-$25 range:
Checking my past tasting notes, I’ve had the opportunity to try the following BC Pinot Blanc:
Van Westen Vineyards Vivacious Pinot Blanc / Pinot Gris, 2007 : Some sur lie on the nose, along with spice, citrus and apple aromas. Good acidity, with apple and vanilla flavours. (Try Van Westen’s other wines too. All are wonderful.)
Sandhill Estate Vineyard Pinot Blanc, 2007: Lemon colour in the glass. Pineapple, melon, and oak aromas and flavours. This is a very elegant Pinot Gris and one that I regularly show at private tastings.
Stonehill Estate Winery Pinot Blanc, 2007: Medium lemon in colour. Apple and oak nose and flavours. Good acidity. Light oak.
Greata Ranch Vineyards Pinot Blanc, 2007: This wine is aged 8 months in oak barrels, 20% are French oak. Lots of aroma for this wine. Peaches and pears on the nose. Nice acidity with a balance of smoothness in the mouth. Some oak and butterscotch flavours.
Try a bottle of BC Pinot Blanc and see if you think this could be BC’s signature grape variety. Cheers.