Michaela Morris and Michelle Bouffard | May 2012
New Zealand has her Sauvignon Blanc. Argentina has her Malbec. But what about British Columbia? We grow it all, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Viognier—and everything in between. Our wine region is still very young and experimenting with different grapes is par for the course. Naturally, some do better than others. With a couple of decades now under our belt we’re starting to see where the potential truly lies. In the Okanagan, where most of our wine is produced, the growing season is hot but short, which has proven challenging for later-ripening varieties like Cab—overall, lighter reds such as Pinot Noir do best. We’ve also been charmed by a number of Syrahs and hope to see more. One thing seems to be unanimous, though—we have an ideal climate for white grapes, including Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. BC’s terroir gives them distinct honeysuckle, wild sage and citrus notes. And regardless of the colour, you can always count on a good backbone of acidity—call it a BC signature.
2010 Orofino, Riesling, Similkameen Valley $22*
Rich ripe orchard fruit bursting from the glass against a backbone of lime. Heavenly served with pork stuffed with apple and sage.
2010 Bartier-Scholefield, White Table Wine, Okanagan Valley VQA $25*
A blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Fresh and vibrant with herbal, honey, apple and pear notes. Succulent with scallops.
2009 Nichol Vineyard, Estate Grown Syrah, Naramata, Okanagan Valley $39*
Pure, pretty and restrained. Black cherry, savoury herbs, a hint of pepper and lovely bright acidity. Brilliant with venison.
2010 Meyers Family Vineyards ‘Reimer Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley $45*
Wild forest berries, silky texture and a kiss of toast. Serve slightly chilled alongside grilled salmon.
*Available at the winery and private stores only. Prices may vary.