Naramata on the River April 24, 2012 – Get Your Tickets

Naramata on the River April 2012

The Naramata Bench is one of the cherished wine regions in BC.  Each year the Naramata wine producers bring their wines out to Vancouver so that we can try the latest releases, and hopefully buy these wines.  On April 24, 2012, from 6:30pm – 9:00pm the Naramata wineries will be pouring their wines for you, and you can also try these wines with some fantastic food by local Vancouver area restaurants.  The event is called “Naramata on the River” and is being held at the River Market at (New) Westminster Quay.  It is easy to get to by Transit.  The Skytrain stops across the street from the Quay, so no need to drink and drive.  Instead you can drink and enjoy! This event is in support of the BC Cultural Crawl (more info below).

Which Wineries Will Be There?

  • Black Widow Winery
  • D’Angelo Estate Winery
  • Elephant Island Orchard Wines (they make a nice Stellaport)
  • Hillside Winery  & Bistro
  • Kettle Valley Winery
  • La Frenz Winery (top quality Chardonnay)
  • Lake Breeze Vineyards
  • Laughing Stock Vineyards
  • Misconduct Wine Co.
  • Monster Vineyards
  • Moraine Estate Winery
  • Nichol Vineyard & Estate Winery (try their Pinot Noir)
  • Poplar Grove Winery (try their Legacy, Bordeaux Blend)
  • Red Rooster Winery
  • Serendipity Winery
  • Therapy Vineyards (we all need some Therapy don’t we?)
  • Township 7 Vineyards & Winery
  • Upper Bench Estate Winery
  • Van Westen Vineyards (one of my favorites each Spring release)

Which Restaurants Will Be There?

  • Crepe des Amis
  • Pamola Bakery & Deli
  • The Crab Shop
  • Tre Galli Gelato Caffe
  • Wild Rice Restaurant
  • Re-Up BBQ (a wonderful food cart/truck downtown by the Art Gallery)
  • Donald’s Market – Aria Foods
  • Orlando’s Catering
  • Hamilton Street Grill
  • Daniel’s Restaurant
  • Hillside Bistro
  • Seasonal 56
  • Chef Ann Kirsebom
  • Hart House Restaurant
  • Hagensborg Chocolates (try with the Stellaport)
  • Gone Crackers
  • Rocky Mountain Flatbread
  • Restaurant 62

I’ve written about many of these wineries from past wine events.  Here are a few links:

This event is to help celebrate the 11th Annual British Columbia Cultural Crawl.  The BC Cultural Crawl is a self-guided tour of community-initiated events: music, theatre and dance performances, visual arts, festivals, museum and heritage exhibitions, culinary arts, community art walks and more.  Here is their website for more info.

I hope to see you there to enjoy great wine and food!  Enjoy.

Enjoy some BC Pinot Gris this summer

I thought to help summer along, I’d point out some white wines that you may be interested in trying on your patio. Today I’d like to focus on BC Pinot Gris. I think BC Pinot Gris are very nicely made. They typically have a lot of nice ripe stone fruit, e.g. peach, flavours, apples, and good acidity to make them refreshing in your mouth. Try with some seafood this summer too.

A quick search on the EverythingWine.ca website, came up with 28 BC Pinot Gris in the $15-$25 range.

Arrowleaf Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Arrowleaf  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Black Widow Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Black Widow  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Cassini Cellars Pinot Gris 750mL Pinot Gris $15.99 More information about Cassini Cellars  Pinot Gris 750mL
Chase & Warren Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Chase & Warren Pinot Gris 750 mL
Church & State Wines Pinot Gris 750mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Church & State Wines Pinot Gris 750mL
Desert Hills Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Desert Hills  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Gray Monk Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Gray Monk  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Hester Creek Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Hester Creek  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Hillside Estate Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $22.99 More information about Hillside Estate Pinot Gris 750 mL
Hillside Estate Unoaked Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Hillside Estate Unoaked Pinot Gris 750 mL
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2008 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2008 750 mL
Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Kettle Valley  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Lake Breeze Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Lake Breeze Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 mL
Lang Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $19.99 More information about Lang Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 750 mL
Nichol Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Nichol Pinot Gris 750ml
Pentage Pinot Gris Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Pentage Pinot Gris Pinot Gris 750 mL
Poplar Grove 2008 Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Poplar Grove 2008 Pinot Gris 750 mL
Red Rooster Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $17.99 More information about Red Rooster Pinot Gris 750 mL
Saltspring Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 ml Pinot Gris $19.99 More information about Saltspring Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 ml
Sperling Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Sperling Pinot Gris 750 mL
Thornhaven Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Thornhaven  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Township 7 Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Township 7  Pinot Gris 750ml
Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 750 mL
Wild Goose Vineards Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Wild Goose Vineards  Pinot Gris 750 mL

I’ve talked about some of these wines and/or wineries in the past on www.mywinepal.com or on my blog. The Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris, Thornhaven Pinot Gris, and Black Widow Pinot Gris are a few I’d like to select out as ones that I have enjoyed in the past.
Thornhaven Pinot Gris 2008: Very aromatic. Apple, peach and spice on the nose. Apple and other fruits. Spicy. Quite full bodied.

Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 2007: Medium straw colour. Aromas of apple and spice. Citrus and spice on the palate. Full mouthfeel and good acidity.

Black Widow Pinot Gris 2008: Light lemon colour. Nice tropical fruit aroma with light oak. Good acidity. Apple, plum and spice on the palate.

So raise a toast to the start of summer and enjoy some BC Pinot Gris! Cheers.

Naramata Bench Spring Wine Release 2010

Just a week before the huge Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival opens, I attended a much more low-key, but very enjoyable, event: the Naramata Bench Spring Wine Release 2010.

This is the second time I’ve attended this event. Last year I came upon a new winery to me called, Van Westen Vineyards, where their wines beguiled me. So this year, the first winery I went to see was Van Westen, as I was not disappointed. Their 2008 Vino Grigio and their 2008 Vivacious whites and their 2006 Voluptuous are highly recommended. The Vino Grigio 2008, is of course Pinot Gris. It had a light peach and melon nose. Good acidity with more peach and melon on the palate. The Vivacious 2008 is Pinot Blanc with a hint of Pinot Gris, again has peachy fruit as well as some apricot aromas. Good acidity. Peach and apricot flavours with a touch of greenness. Their Voluptuous 2006 is a barrel aged blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet in colour. Very ripe plums and black fruit aromas. Medium body, black ripe fruit, plums, black cherry flavours with drying tannins.

Other notable wines are the La Frenz Merlot 2007, La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, La Frenz Sonoran Vineyard Chardonnay 2009, Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Lake Breeze Gewurztraminer 2009, Therapy Merlot 2008, and Howling Bluff Estate Pinot Noir 2008. I’m sure there are more wines, but I only had 1.5 hours at the tasting room.

The La Frenz Merlot 2007 was deep garnet in the glass. A very nice nose, with sweet black cherry aroma. Sweet, black cherry flavour with a hint of vanilla. Very smooth on the palate. Outstanding.

The La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, is light lemon in colour. Flowery and apple aromas. Good acidity with a bit of residual sugar. Red apple and citrus flavours. Elegant.

Hmm, 3 La Frenz in a row. I must also like La Frenz’s wines alot too! The La Frenz Sonoran Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 was light lemon colour in the glass. Vanilla and nutmeg aromas. Lots of flavour on the palate of apple, oak and pineapple. Very creamy with medium acidity.

Lake Breeze is also a consistent producer in the Okanagan. The Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2009 has citrus and slight herbal aromas. High acidity, with citrus and gooseberry flavours. Eat with fresh seafood.

The Lake Breeze Gewurztraminer 2009 is very pale coloure. But has a wonderful lychee and rose petals aromas. Off dry, with medium acidity. Lychee and red delicous apple flavours.

The Therapy Merlot 2008has a lot of leather, coffee, cherry and plum aromas. On the palate there is more of the coffee and cherry flavour, accompanied by some chocolate. Medium tannins. Quite different from the La Frenz Merlot. Maybe buy one of each and do a side-by-side comparison?

Last, one of my favourite Pinot Noirs in the Okanagan is the Howling Bluff Estate Pinot Noir 2008. New world style, with ripe strawberry and cherry aromas with a bit of sweet spice and vanilla. Silky on the palate with vanilla, cherry, and raspberry flavours.

I hope you have a chance to try some of these wines, either here, or even better over in the Naramata Bench at the wineries’ cellar doors. Enjoy!