Celebrate BC Day with BC VQA Wines in Vancouver on August 2

Wines of BC logoMeeting a wine maker and talking to them about their wines is always exciting.  Here is a chance for you to talk with some prominent BC wine makers to celebrate BC Day on August 2.  Below is the press release from the BC Wine Institute.

~~~

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA -This BC Day long weekend, the British Columbia Wine Institute is throwing a big party in honour of beautiful British Columbia and the wonderful wines that are grown and produced in the province.

 

 Consumers are invited join some of BC’s top winemakers at Vancouver’s 39th & Cambie BC Liquor Store anytime from 3-6 PM on Saturday, August 2, to sample some of the 12 BC VQA wines that will be available to taste. The wines will be paired with tasty tidbits of local foods as prepared by Vancouver-based Forage restaurant.

These six acclaimed BC winemakers will also be signing bottles of BC VQA wines, giving fans a chance to ‘meet the makers’ of their favourite BC VQA wines, and the opportunity to discover new BC wines.

Holly Conway with the BEAT radio will be live on-site, broadcasting festive tunes for this FREE consumer event:

 

MEET YOUR MAKER WITH BC VQA WINES

Saturday, August 2 at 3-6 PM

Cambie Kitchen

(inside the 39th & Cambie Signature BC Liquor Store)

 5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Participating Winemakers:

Howard Soon of Sandhill Wines

Rasoul Salehi of Le Vieux Pin

Michael Dinn of JoieFarm Winery

Hagen Kruger of Wild Goose Vineyards

Stefan of Poplar Grove Winery

Larry Gerelus of Stag’s Hollow Winery

 

The festivities continue well beyond the tasting event, with 30 scheduled BC VQA wine tastings taking place in BC Liquor Stores around the province throughout the month of August. Qualified tasting staff will lead consumers through tutored tasting flights of three wines at a time, showcasing 12 in total, which demonstrate the bountiful diversity of wines produced in our beautiful province. (Click here for the schedule of tastings and locations.)

August is the ideal month to shop for BC VQA wines in BC Liquor Stores as the stores celebrate all 100% grown and made-in-BC products. An exciting addition to the month long promotion is the newly-implemented ‘Insider Picks’ which will see a growing selection of BC VQA wines within BC Liquor Stores year-round.

British Columbians have so much to celebrate: From the sea to the mountains, from our wildlife to our culture, from our natural resources to our growing industries. What better way to celebrate our province’s abundance of riches than with delicious BC VQA wines!

What’s New At Hester Creek Estate Winery?

Hester Creek Estate Winery in the South Okanagan has been slowly changing, putting several different pieces together, in the vineyards, the winery and around the winery, to put together a unique experience for their customers.  I enjoyed a few hours with General Manager Mark Sheridan and winemaker Robert Summers talking about the winery and some of their wines.  We met at Central Bistro in the west-end of downtown Vancouver.  Central Bistro is cozy, they source local ingredients as best as they can, and try to showcase BC VQA wines.  Hester Creek’s wines are on their list.

One of the things that you will notice with their wines is the changing of their bottle labels.  The new labels will be officially unveiled during the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fair in April.  The new label still keeps the logo of Hester swimming after a fish in the creek, but it is now smaller, and bringing forward the name of the winery and varietal(s).  It is very classy looking.  Another related labelling item is that their back label will have a ScanLife code which you can scan with your smart phone / iphone and it will provide you with a flavour profile and food pairings.  If you have not heard of a ScanLife code, it is a square shaped grid that can encode a significant amount of information.

What is in the bottle is also very important.  Winemaker Rob Summers described how they have improved their vineyards, installing drip irrigation, and now are using 100% Ganimede fermenters, which pump over the cap with their own CO2 produced during the fermentation process.  These fermenters according to Rob makes brighter fruit flavours and softer tannins.

Speaking about their wines, I was able to try two wines with Rob and Mark. The first wine was their Pinot Blanc 2009 ($15.99).  It had aromas of flowers, peach and melon on the nose for me.  Very vibrant fruit with medium acidity and a bit of roundness on the palate.  A long minerally finish.  I’d enjoy this wine this summer with some shellfish.  The other wine was their Reserve Cabernet Franc 2008 ($25.99).   Cabernet Franc grapes typically have an aroma profile that contains a cedar note.  For some reason the Cabernet Franc grapes do not have this cedar component, and instead have raspberry and strawberry aromas and flavours.  Something unique with their terroir, and that is what is so interesting about wines, and where they are produced. Their Reserve Cabernet Franc had a very fruity nose with raspberry, strawberry and some oak.  Lots of bright raspberry fruit flavour.  Medium acidity with a vanilla undertone and nutmeg spice.  Medium length with a cherry / spice finish.  In both cases, there was bright, vibrant fruit, and that is a character theme they want to have across their wines.

The Next Chapter for Rob Summers is his “The Judge” ultra-premium wine.  With this wine he wants to show that he has something special at Hester Creek, when the weather, terroir, and vineyard practices all mesh together.  This wine is a blend of his best lots in the cellar of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, to produce a wine that will age for several years.  The wine from each grape is matured for up to two years separately, then are blended together and the blend is then further aged.  Only 200 cases of The Judge will be produced.

On top of the wines, there are 6 villas where you can stay, a stylish curved bar, an executive barrel room, a dining room, and a gift shop.  And if you are a foodie, Hester Creek is offering a teaching kitchen that seats up to 14 people.  Past chefs have included Chef Neil Taylor of Vancouver’s Cibo Trattoria, Chef Heinz Schmid of Kaleden’s Catering Done right, and famed restauranteur Umberto Menghi.

That is Part 1 of my article on Hester Creek.  Part 2 will be in summer this year when I visit Hester Creek Winery’s winery.  I am looking forward to it.  Enjoy!