Lulu Island Winery Spring 2011 Wine Release Party

April 9 and 10, 2011 was the Spring Wine Release Party at Lulu Island Winery, located in Richmond, BC. This was not a release of all their new vintages .There were three fruit wines released, one of which is a brand new fruit wine for me. The three fruit wines I tasted were:

  • Raspberry 2008 ($15.95)
  • Cranberry 2007 ($16.95)
  • Passion Fruit 2006 ($18.95)

The raspberries and cranberries are sourced locally. The raspberries coming from Abbotsford and the cranberries from Richmond. I haven’t seen any passion fruit trees growing locally, and found out the fruit for this wine came from Taiwan in pulp format.

All three fruit wines have sweetness between 2 and 4, so you would think you would be tasting quite sweet libations, but you would be wrong. These three wines have nice tart acidity that balances out the sugar.

The Raspberry 2008 is deep garnet in colour with aromas of juicy raspberries and floweriness. Dry mouthfeel with sour raspberry flavour. This was a nice pairing with some ripe strawberries at the tasting.

The Cranberry 2007 had red cherry and cranberry aromas. Sour red cherry and cranberry flavour. Medium length. Also good with the strawberries.

The Passion Fruit 2006 had a very intriguing aromas and flavours. This wine had a beautiful golden colour in the glass.  How do you describe passion fruit aroma and flavour to someone that has not grown up with this fruit?  My initial stab at a description was honey, peach and ripe topical fruit.  The wine also had a dried raisin flavour to it too.  Very dry with medium body.  Lots of pucker power with this wine.  Good crisp acidity.

While I was there, I thought I’d try two of the red wines which I had before.  The Lulu Island Cabernet Franc 2009 ($24.95) was deep garnet in colour.  Slight cedar on the nose along with red cherries.  On the palate it was soft in the mouth with ripe red cherries, vanilla and cedar flavours.  Low tannins and medium length.  A very enjoyable wine.

The Lulu Island Meritage 2009 ($31.95) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.  It had a dark fruit nose.  Quite round mouthfeel. Cherries, raspberries and vanilla on the palate.  Soft tannins with some spice on the finish.  Another nice wine.

Lulu Island’s current vintages of Merlot 2009, Pinot Noir 2009, and Blueberry wines are SOLD OUT.  Their Late Harvest Merlot stock is low.  Take a weekend trip to Lulu Island Winery.  They are in Richmond so not too far to go for Vancouverites.  Be a tourist in your own city.  Enjoy!

5 night Pacific Coastal Cruise With Wine Tasting!

Have you ever been on a cruise, or thought about going on a cruise?  To “get your feet wet“, maybe try this local 5 day Pacific Coast cruise.  The added bonus is that there will be 2 wine tastings (not hosted by me)  as part of the cruise.   Details are below.  Enjoy!

5 night Pacific Coastal Cruise plus special bonus!

Sails on May 17, 2011

Sail from Vancouver, British Columbia – to Victoria, British Columbia – Port Alberni, British Columbia – Astoria, Oregon – Inside Passage – Vancouver, British Columbia

Added Bonus: Barry & Fay, the owners of Expedia Cruiseshipcenters Abbotsford, have paired up with Mike Curran of Lulu Island Winery for a wine & culinary experience. Mike will be bringing his wines on board to conduct 2 private wine tastings (including their fabulous ice wine) and we will be hosting a special luncheon in the Pinnacle Grill, where we will pair up the fabulous cuisine of this highly regarded specialty restaurant with the wines from Lulu Island Winery. The ship is the Statendam, part of Holland America’s fleet. The ship carries about 1200 passengers.

Do not delay, Call Barry or Fay today to join us on this extraordinary experience.

from $346.79 plus taxes of $202.84

Call Barry @ 604 583 3578 or Fay @ 604 585 2628 or outside of Vancouver 1 800 667 8518


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BC Sauvignon Blanc for Summer Sips

Sauvignon Blanc generally has a fresh, bracing style, which is perfect chilled for summer sipping, and with fresh seafood, which we have in abundance here in British Columbia. This grape variety is known for its grassy, herbal, gooseberry fruit, citrus and asparagus characters. It is unique with a herbaceous character and most often made in a dry style.  Sometimes you may see a wine labelled “Fume Blanc”.  This is a Sauvignon Blanc that has been aged in oak barrels.  California I think can be thanked for popularizing this style of Sauvignon Blanc.  Classic regions for Sauvignon Blanc are France and New Zealand.  Luckily for us, many BC wine makers were trained in New Zealand, and/or we have some Kiwi wine makers working here.

Checking the website, I identified the following BC Sauvignon Blanc wines in the $15-$25 range:

Blasted Church Winery Sauvignon Blanc 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc $22.99
Calliope Sauvignon Blanc 750ml Sauvignon Blanc $21.99
Fairview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2009 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc $24.99
Gehringer Dry Rock Sauvignon Blanc 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc $16.99
Little Straw Sauvignon Blanc 750ml Sauvignon Blanc $20.99
Mike Weir Sauvignon Blanc 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc $17.99
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 750 mL Sauvignon Blanc $18.99
Orofino Sauvignon Blanc 750ml Sauvignon Blanc $24.99
Painted Turtle Sauvignon Blanc 1.5 L Sauvignon Blanc $16.99
Sawmill Creek Fume Blanc 1.5L Sauvignon Blanc $15.99
Sawmill Creek Sauvignon Blanc 1.5L Sauvignon Blanc $15.99
Sonora Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 1.5 L Sauvignon Blanc $17.99
Sonora Ranch Sauvignon Blanc VQA 1.5 L Sauvignon Blanc $19.99
Stag’s Hollow Sauvignon Blanc 750 ml Sauvignon Blanc $24.99

Checking my wine tasting notes, I have tasted these BC Sauvignon Blanc:

Lulu Island Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008: Medium yellow colour. Light grapefruit nose. Good acid. Honey and grapefruit flavours.

Kettle Valley Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2008: Pale lemon. Citrus and green aromas. Good acidity and roundness balance. Off dry with peachy, citrus flavours.

Poplar Grove Monster Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008: New Zealand style. Lots of gooseberry, herbal and honey on the nose. Light body. Gooseberry and herbal flavour. Good acidity. Try with fresh seafood.


Lulu Island Winery Grand Opening


Today, July 3, 2009 was the grand opening of the Lulu Island Winery in Richmond. There was an official ribbon cutting with federal, provincial, and municipal dignitaries there in abundance. I was there of course for the wine. This winery I believe was previously called Blossom Winery and have now renamed themselves as Lulu Island Winery.

Blossom Winery was well known to me as producing non-grape, fruit wines. But with Lulu Island Winery, they contracted with grape growers in the south Okanagan to produce a range of grape wines. The wines that are currently available from Lulu Island winery are:

Chardonnay $14.95
Gewurztraminer $16.75
Sauvignon Blanc $13.95
Merlot 2008 $18.95
Riesling / Chardonnay Ice wine 2007 $69
Merlot / Pinot Noir Ice wine 2007 $95
Raspberry $15.95
Blueberry $18.95

I did not record a vintage for all the bottles, so only listed the vintages I knew.

On the white wines, I particularly enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc. It was medium lemon in colour, and had a light grapefruit nose. Good acid, with honey and grapefruit flavours. There was only 1 red, which was the Merlot and was also quite nice. This wine was deep purple in the glass. It had oak, vanilla, and black plum aromas. It was medium body , medium tannins, with plum and cherry fruit flavours. Both ice wines were very unctus and can be enjoyed either on their own or maybe with cake or fruit. Finally I quite liked their blueberry wine. Although it was listed as a sweetness of 4, it had good acidity to balance the sugar and keep the wine refreshing. Lots of blueberry aroma and flavour.

Lulu Island Winery is located at 16880 Westminster Highway in Richmond, BC. Their tel is 604-232-9839. A nice place to visit on a weekend for those of you that live in the Vancouver lower mainland.