Wines of Stoneboat Vineyards Featured at Salt Tasting Room Event – Get Your Tickets

Stoneboat Vineyards Pinotage

Have you heard of Okanagan’s Stoneboat Vineyards? They have been farming in the Okanagan for many years, but a few years ago they decided to open a winery.  I was lucky to taste their first wines when they opened their tasting room.  What peaked my interest the most is that they produced a wine made from the Pinotage grape.  This is quite a rare grape in the Okanagan.  It comes from South Africa, where it was created in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsault grapes. Pinotage can be a full bodied red wine with spicy, black and red berry flavours followed with a hint of banana. Pinotage may also have a bouquet of soft strawberry fruits. Pinotage can be a full bodied red wine with spicy, black and red berry flavours followed with a hint of banana. Pinotage may also have a bouquet of soft strawberry fruits.  Pinotage is a versatile wine, which can be paired with bbq’d meats, East Indian curries, and spicy Asian food.  I enjoyed Stoneboat’s Pinotage then, and I still look for it.

You can hopefully try this wine, along with the other wines that Stoneboat Vineyards produces  when you attend Salt Tasting Room in Gastown, on Tuesday June 26.  Below is the information that I received about this event. Enjoy!

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For Immediate Release

Stoneboat Vineyards logo

June 12, 2012 (Vancouver, BC) – On Tuesday, June 26 2012, new releases from Stoneboat Vineyards will be in the spotlight at the Salt Tasting Room.  The wines will be paired with gourmet delights such as artisanal cheeses and local charcuterie.  Tim and Jay Martiniuk, two members of the family that owns and operates Stoneboat Vineyards, will attend the event and share their insights into the new vintages.

Brothers Tim and Jay exemplify the hands-on approach of the Martiniuk family, which has been a pioneer in BC’s winemaking industry since the 1980s.  Jay is an experienced winemaker who served as cellarmaster at Osoyoos Larose and now designs and orchestrates the winemaking programs at Stoneboat. He recently completed a degree in Food Sciences at UBC, where he studied wine chemistry & fermentations at the Wine Research Centre. Jay’s twin brother Tim is known the resident jack-of-all-trades at the family winery, overseeing marketing and wine shop operations.

The June event is part of Salt’s “Salt Cellar Series” of tasting events, and promises to show the new Stoneboat Vineyards wines to their best advantage, paired with a variety of savoury tidbits.  To purchase tickets please visit www.salttastingroom.com.

Stoneboat Vineyards at the Salt Tasting Room, 7:00PM
$40 exclusive of tax and gratuities

 Salt Tasting Room
45 Blood Alley, Gastown, Vancouver
P – 604-633-1912

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About Stoneboat Vineyards:  Stoneboat Vineyards is an artisan winery in Oliver, BC, owned and operated by two generations of the Martiniuk family. For nearly 30 years we have farmed on the South Okanagan’s Lower Black Sage Bench, where our vines thrive atop hundreds of feet of calcareous stones. The bench’s uniquely rocky soils, warm days, and cool nights create perfect conditions for growing Pinot varietals of honest character and complexity. Our winemaking approach is inspired by our farming philosophy, valuing integrity, minimal intervention, and hard work to create wines that are true to their origins in our vineyards.

www.stoneboatvineyards.com

www.salttastingroom.com

My Recommendations to Attend the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Have you had a chance to check out the wine events coming up at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival?  Did you know that tickets for the events go on sale this Tuesday, January 10?  I’ve checked through the events, and I’d like to give you a few recommendations.  Maybe you will see me at one of these events too.

Theme Country – Chile

Two years ago I travelled down to Chile and visited wineries from the Aconcagua, Maipo, Casablanca, and Colchagua Valleys.  Some of the wineries were Casa Lapostolle, Montgras, Montes, Errazuriz, and Casas del Bosque.   I was impressed with how much the wineries cared for their vineyards and the production of their wines.  One of the nice thing with Chile, is that it is dry due to it’s location on the west coast of South America, and the Andes Mountains on it’s eastern border.  The dry climate, plus topography, and soil factors have made the area a great place to grow grapes.  There is very little, or no, phylloxera louse to attack the grape vines, plus the dryness keeps fungus and mold at bay.  So less pesticides and/or herbicides are needed here.  Many of the wineries in Chile indicate that they are organic or follow organic principles.

Chile’s Natural Advantage

Chile is a wine maker’s paradise.  They get 3 weeks more ripening time than in Bordeaux and 300 + days of sunshine each year.   The cool air from the Andes cools the grapes in the evening so that the grapes mature slowly so that they reach full phenolic ripeness; lots of ripe fruit and a good backbone of acidity. The adjacency to the coast, and the cool Humbolt Current helps produce coastal fog which cools the grapes near the coast, such as from the Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley.

Chilean Grapes

Wide range of Chilean red wines

Cabernet is King is Chile.  With the 300+ days of sunshine, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce very full-bodied, ripe, supple wines.  Concha y Toro’s Don Melchor is one of the top quality wines for this grape.  Merlot and Carmenere come in, in 2nd and 3rd place.  Yet they were thought of both being Merlot for many years.  The grapes were planted together in the same vineyard and the grapes and leaves of both vines look very similar.  It was only fairly recently that the Carmenere grape was identified (it’s a Bordeaux grape btw), and has become a signature grape for Chile. A second signature red grape is coming through the ranks, and that is the Syrah grape.  I think people started to recognize Syrah’s potential in Chile, with Aurelio Montes‘ plantings in the Apalta Region of the Colchagua Valley.  There he produces an ultra premium Montes Folly wine from Syrah.

Most people probably think of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay when they think of white wines from Chile.  Probably also the Casablanca Valley, where a lot of very good Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are produced. An upcoming region for Sauvignon Blanc is slightly south of the Casablanca Valley and much closer to the coast is the Leyda Valley.  While the Sauvignon Blanc wine from the Casablanca Valley can be more tropical fruit, from the Leyda Valley, expect more citrus and herbal aromas and flavours.  Have you ever heard of Moscatel of Alexandria?  You might not have, but you probably have tried some Chilean Pisco.  Pisco is produced from the Moscatel grape.  Riesling and Viognier and two grapes with great potential.  I don’t think a particular region is well-known enough for these grapes, but I would hazard to guess that the Riesling grape would be very good in the Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys while Viognier would shine in the more inland, warmer regions, like Aconcagua, Maipo and Colchagua Valleys.

Theme Grape – Cabernet

Montes Apalta vineyard

Cabernet is more than just one grape.  Most people know of Cabernet Sauvignon, the highly revered grape from Bordeaux, but there is also another Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, which can also be found in Bordeaux, but is better known in the Loire Valley in France. Cabernet Sauvignon can be found around the world.  California’s Napa Valley produces some famous Cabernet Sauvignon, such as Stag’s Leap, and don’t forget Chile!  Cabernet Sauvignon tends to have quite high tannins giving it great longevity potential in the bottle. The flavour profile is Cabernet Sauvignon according to Wikipedia, “When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavors of black cherries and plum. The aroma of black currants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes“.

Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux is used as a blending grape, offering cedar, tobacco, raspberry, cassis and violets aromas and flavours. It is lower in tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, and also can have a green pepper or leafy character. You can also find Cabernet Franc grown around the world.  Here in BC we have single varietal bottles of Cabernet Franc, such as from Tinhorn Creek.

As an aside, in my Wikipedia check, I see that there are 3 other Cabernets, formed through a hybrid of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape with another grape variety.  They are:

  • Cabernet Dorsa, a 1971 hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and Dornfelder, created in Germany
  • Cabernet Gernischt, a Chinese variety similar or perhaps identical to Cabernet Savignon
  • Cabernet Mitos, a 1970 hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and Blaufränkisch, created in Germany

I have not had time to check on these other Cabs but will do some further research in the future.

My Recommended Events

  • New World Expressions. This is all about New World Cabernets.  Try Penfolds Bin 707 and other Bins against sought after New World regions of Sonoma and Napa Valley.
  • Celebrate Casa Real. Casa Real is one of Chilean winery, Casa Santa Rita‘s ulta-premium Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Andres Ilabaca will guide you through a vertical of 8 vintages of this wine.  It is always very interesting to try successive vintages of a wine and see how it is aging over time.
  • Kings of Cabernet Sauvignon. Join Barbara Philip Master of Wine and a panel of leading experts for a comparative tasting of top notch
    Cabernets from around the world.  One of the best ways to tell what style of wine you prefer for a particular grape.
  • Don Melchor: Behind the Blend.  If you know anything about Chilean wine, you would know about Concha y Toro‘s premium Don Melchor. Don Melchor has been regarded as Chile’s first growth of Cabernet Sauvignon and is accredited with bringing the premium wines of Chile to the attention of the world.
  • Any of the 8 sit down or grazing lunches on the weekend of March 3 and 4. I’d personally select the Chilean, New Zealand, or Spanish events.
  • Flavours of the Festival.  If you have the money but not the time to try many of the wines from around the world during the Festival. This sit down brunch at the The Fairmont Waterfront ballroom showcases foods from top BC restaurants paired with Festival wines from around the world.
  • Catena High Altitude at Hy’s. This is a Argentinean delight.  Wonderful wines from premium producer Bodega Catena Zapata from Mendoza, with expertly cooked steak from Hy’s.  Malbec and more!
  • A Star Rises in South Africa! Lammershoek is one of the rising stars of the dynamic South African wine scene. I’ve tried their wines for the first time last year and they are excellent.  Try their Pinotage, the signature red grape from South Africa.
  • West Coast Montes.  Enjoy a dinner with Chilean wine pioneer Aurelio Montes.  I’ve had dinner with him in the past.  He is very interesting and will tell you many stories about his wines.
  • Discover Piedmont at CRUCRU is one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver.  The food creations will be expertly matched with the wines of one of the most dynamic Barolo producers in Piedmont Italy, Damilano.
  • Classe Italiana. Another choice if you like Italian wine. Wines from Antinori, one of Italy’s most historic and prestigious Tuscan wineries, will be paired with Vancouver’s highly acclaimed and awarded Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill.
  • Excellence of Nature. CinCin Restaurant and Emiliana winery from Chile will showcase a pairing of organic and biodynamic
    wines with local producers of biodynamic products. This five-course meal integrates the best fresh, sustainable ingredients with the magic
    of Alvaro Espinoza’s wines in a harmonious and innovative union.
  • Sandhill Small Lots Dinner. Come celebrate a BC winery.  You will get to try the very limited wines from Sandhill’s Small Lots program. Indulge in the partnership of BC’s iconic winemaker Howard Soon and Gotham Steakhouse Executive Chef Jean-Claude Douguet

All events are available through the Playhouse Box Office
By phone: 604.873.3311
Toll free 1.877.321.3121
Monday to Friday 9:30 am-8:00 pm
Saturday 12:00-4:00 pm

In person at:
Vancouver Playhouse Box Office
601 Hamilton Street (at Dunsmuir)
Vancouver, BC
Monday to Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Online at PlayhouseWinefest.com (excluding brunches, ticket packages and group rates)
Public Events:  Tickets to all public events go on sale Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 9:30 am.

5 Reasons to Attend a Taste of Tulalip

The Taste of Tulalip has only been around for a few years, but it has caught my attention, with the quality of wine and food that will be served on Nov. 11 and 12.  The Taste of Tulalip will be held at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State.  From Vancouver, BC it is just under a 2 hr drive to reach the Tulalip Resort Casino. Enjoy some fantastic wines from Washington State, California, and Italy.

5 Reasons to Attend the Taste of Tulalip

  1. The Grand Taste will be amazing with over 100 wineries (65 WA, 20 Napa, 20 Italian) with multiple food stations throughout.
  2. Private Magnum party in mpulse lounge hosted by “Liquid Kitchen”, star Kathy Casey! In here you’ll be treated to some of the most elite wines from around the world hand selected by Sommelier Tommy Thompson and sample some of Kathy Casey’s tasty appetizers
  3. A  well stocked wine shop featuring many of the wines from the Grand Taste and a selection from the Magnum Party, where you can buy some hard to get wines.
  4. Carla Hall

    VIP Seminar featuring Carla Hall. Carla Hall will “wow” you with her talents as she performs a cooking demonstration, table talk and a question and answer session with Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tommy Thompson.

  5. After tasting some great wine and food, there is the casino where you can play table games or slots as your heart desires.
  6. BONUS. I will be there to cover the events and hope to chat with you about the great wine and food!

You can buy tickets for the weekend at the Taste of Tulalip website.  Some events are sold out, so sign up quickly before all the tickets are gone. I will post some follow up blog material on Kathy Casey, Carla Hall, Perry Mascitti, Tommy Thompson and more.  Also I will give you a line up of the Premium wines to be served at the Magnum party.

I’m a Media guest of this event.  So if you can’t make it, I’ll be tweeting and blogging about the events and hopefully give you some excellent wine and food pairings, and wine purchase tips. Enjoy!

Aboriginal Potlach Food & Wine Pairing at the CCFCC Chef’s Conference

I mentioned in a previous blog post about the CCFCC coming to Vancouver and all the wonderful events there are, and that it is not just restricted to chefs to attend. You can buy tickets to these events and watch and/or sample the chefs’ creations. One of the events I will be attending is the Aboriginal Potlach on Monday evening, June 13. I thought I’d entice you to buy a ticket by posting the food and wine pairings for this event.

Food and Wine Pairing for the Aboriginal Potlach

  • R and B Brewing Beer Station
  • Traditionally smoked salmon parsnip dumpling, pumpkin sauce PAIRED WITH
    Eau Vivre Gewurztraminer and Tangled Vines 3 Blancs
  • Spot prawn, poached in bentwood box sweet onion, garlic cream PAIRED WITH
    Haywire Pinot Gris and Misconduct Misfit
  • Spiced seafood cakes, corn puree dandelion salad PAIRED WITH
    Rustic Roots Apple Pear and Bartier Scholfield Rose
  • Smoked trout apple salad young cress, wild mushroom vinaigrette PAIRED WITH
    Cassini Pinot Noir and Rollingdale Pinot Noir
  • Rabbit sausage king oyster ragout, blueberry pine nut chutney PAIRED WITH
    Black Cloud Pinot Noir and Hester Creek Character Red
  • Braised bison brisket roasted squash salad, roasted onions, natural sauce PAIRED WITH
    St. Hubertus Oak Bay Foch and Fairview 2 Hoots
  • Roast venison loin sweet potato sauce, savory bannock bread pudding PAIRED WITH
  • The View Pinotage and Noble Ridge Meritage
  • Cinnamon bannock fritters Brown sugar cranberry sauce PAIRED WITH
    Raven Ridge Iced Cider and Tugwell Mead
  • Bannock bread pudding, sundried berry egg sauce PAIRED WITH
    Vista D’Oro and The View Optima

This is a pretty impressive lineup of food from our First Nations people here plus it is being paired with BC wines and there is also mead, which I have never tried. This type of meal is a one of a kind deal in my opinion.  There is also a brand new BC wine in the lineup: Bartier Scholfield Rose. I blogged about this new winery in a previous post, so I’ll add the link back so you can read about Bartier Scholfield.

If you would like to attend this event, please click on this link to buy tickets for the Aboriginal Potlach.  Enjoy!