Robert's Report


Bloom BC VQA Spring Release Tasting Vancouver

Wow! and Wow!

Wow, number one is for the outstanding quality of the BC VQA wines that have been produced in all the Wine Regions of BC. The second Wow is for the wonderful people we met at the tasting event, from familiar faces to new owners and winemakers. Just to name a few, we met Graydon Ratzlaff of Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery (Tappin BC), Ted Kane owner of River Stone Estate Winery, James Schlosser from Niche Wine Comapny and the Bartier brothers of Bartier Brothers Winery.

Recline Ridge has a very nice Siegerrable and a rather good Bachus. We had a very enjoyable chat with Rolf De Brun propietor of Fort Berens in Lillooet and Jacques Lecavalier of 3Cru Wines in West Kelowna. Fort Burns' Mertiage was one of the best wines my wife tasted ( she sampled the reds, I stayed with the whites) It's a must try wine said Barbara. 3Cru is one of BC newest wines producing in West Kelowna using Similkameen Valley grapes. 3Crue has a magnificient Gewürztraminer dominated white called Nomad. Also look for their Traveller wine named after the horse of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

We also had the pleasure of a long chat with Ted Kane of Riverstone and are looking forward to a visit to the winery on our trip in September. I enjoyed their refreshing Pinot Gris while Barbara thought their Malbec Rose` was sensational which is a real compliment as she prefers robust reds. Next we met James and Joanna Schlosser from Niche Wine Company, the name sounds big but they are a small family winery located near Kelowna. Their Chardonnay 2011 was impressive having its own distinct flavour. their Riesling is well worth a purchase.

We took a break to enjoy some of the fantastic food provided by BC VQA. My legs and feet were already tired but I was excited to visit the next winery on my list which was Kraze Legs. Their Charleston Chardonnay gets high marks great fruit flavours. Barbara liked their Black Bottom Stomp a bordeaux blend.

Among the familiar faces was Ron Pennington President and CEO of Bounty Cellars in Kelowa. I enjoyed their 2010 Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc both equal to 5 stars. Their 2007 Gewurztraminer has exceptional flavours.

Kim Pullen was there from Church and State displaying a amazing lineup of fine wines. Their 2011 C&S Cabernet Blanc Rose` was a five star plus wine. This winery is a must visit!

On the downside.....The room was becoming extremely crowded, it was an effort to reach some tables. The wineries on the outside against the wall had lots of space but those on the inside had only a narrow passge between them, far too small for the large crowd. Although we made every effort to reach the wineries it was impossible for us to say hello to everyone. Some of the tables were manned by agents or people who were not, shall we say, familiar with the winery or the wines. WHY!.. If you're promoting your product get people who can deal with crowds, can serve the tasting properly, can make educated comments about the wine and are friendly. At a few tables I just poured myself a tasting and the number of "I don't knows" when asked a question was disturbing.

When participating in wine tasting you should not swallow; spitting is part of the experience, but at times it was impossible to reach the spitoon through the pressing crowd, something I really disliked doing. Swallowing isn't really necessary in order to taste the wine fully if you leave the wine in your mouth for eight to ten seconds, you'll be able to taste it thoroughly without having to worry about the effects of the alcohol.

As mentioned the event was crowded and many people did not understand the etiquette of wine tasting and contributed to the difficulties of trying to completely enjoy the wine tasting experience. Please read.

I must congratulate the Okanagan Crush people (Haywire Wines) for doing it right great wines and great hospitality. Which reminds me, I also had the pleasure of meeting Don and Michael Bartier their Cerqueira Vineyard Chardonnay will put BC on the Chardonnay map, another WOW! I also liked their Semillion. The young lady at Perseus Winey was most hospitable it was nice chatting with her while I enjoyed their Voigner and Pinot Gris wines

Red Rooster greeted us with a warm hello and were very knowledgeable their Reisling was among the best with a perfect sweetness. The Pinot Blanc 2011 was also very good.

Another unoaked Chardonnay worthy of mention comes from Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery a Black Sage Road winery, their Merlot also satisfied my taste buds. Another outstanding wine is Clos Du Soleil Capella 2010 from the Similkameen.

Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery in is named after one of our region's most legendary pioneers, William Baillie-Grohman. This winery is located in Creston, BC and is building quite a reputation. Their Pinot Gris was exceptional; perhaps the best of all. Gewürztraminer was also extremely good.

We had a nice chat with Daniella Roberts as we tasted Saturna Island Family Estate Wines. Their Vinsera Port-Style Dessert Wine a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Nebbiolo was sensational. Thier vibrant Pinot Gris 2010 was also good.

Kelowna's Spierhead Winery was next.. Their 2011 Riesling had the perfect sweetness.. one to enjoy on a warm summer's evening. Another great Riesling was the Winemaker's Series Riesling 2010 from NK'Mip; smooth, fruity and delicious.


Hillside Estate Winery ~ Naramata BC


Perhaps Hillside Estate Winery had the right idea, they had a separate room where we enjoyed tasting barrel samples with winemaker Kathy Malone. Oh WOW fantastic wines are going to be coming out of Hillside.

With a total of 72 wineries at this event and over 300 wines it was impossible to reach every winery sadly we missed so many. But we hope to see some of you along the way... Thank you BC VQA for a most enjoyable afternoon at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

post May 19th 2012

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