Living in Vancouver, you may not realize that there are many wineries in Richmond and the Fraser Valley. Lulu Island Winery, located in Richmond, started it’s life as Blossom Winery producing fruit wines, and now has blossomed into Lulu Island winery, producing a wide range of grape and fruit wines. They celebrated their Grand Opening at the new winery July 3, 2009. I attended the Grand Opening and have the review of that great day here.
For my current tasting and tour, I was met by Heather Turnbull from Lulu Island Winery. We started off viewing part of the vineyards that are behind the winery building. There were a few different varieties planted. One for sure was pinot noir, which they think will do well in our cool, maritime climate. The fermentation room with the gleaming stainless steel tanks were next. When I was first there in 2009 at the Grand Opening they had 3 tanks. Now there were around 10 tanks (sorry I did not count the exact amount). So things are progressing well for Lulu Island winery. It is nice to see success.
Before moving on to the tasting, the last thing Heather showed me, and talked to me about was the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. During the Olympics, Lulu Island winery was the Chinese Olympic Delegation house “China House“. Various Chinese products and producers were at the winery, along with athletes, food, and more, to help promote China to everyone celebrating the Olympic Games. There were a few remnants of the Games left there still; some red lanterns, and a display showing the Chinese athletes’ outfits. I really enjoyed the Olympics. I was a volunteer, working at the curling centre. I did see the Chinese women’s team play against Team Canada.
Now for the wine tasting. I tasted 11 different wines, but to keep to blogging brevity, I’ll outline a few of my favourites. Their Gewurztraminer 2009 ($16.97) is light lemon in colour. Off-dry with lychee and sweet red apple flavours. Medium- body and medium length. An easy sipper. My overall favourite red wine is their Petit Verdot 2009 ($18.95). Medium purple in colour. Rich cassis nose. Rich, ripe cassis and cherry flavours. Medium body. Vanilla on the mid palate. Medium length with a light bit of spice on the finish. The winemaker’s favorite wine is his Meritage 2009 ($31.95). The Meritage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. It is deep garnet coloured in the glass. Bright cassis and fruit on the nose. Lots of cherries on the palate. Slightly herbal, with vanilla and oak flavours as well. Medium tannins with a dry cherry finish. If you like sweeter wines, you may want to try their Iceder ($31.95). This is a blend of apple cider and ice wine. This had a medium golden colour. Nice apple aromas. Very round mouthfeel and velvety. Good acidity to balance the sugar, making a refreshing apple flavoured wine with a long finish. Give it a try.