You could make a strong argument that there’s no winemaker in Canada who is better positioned to represent the nation’s wine industry as a whole than Ann Sperling.
Not only is Sperling the winemaker and proprietor behind Sperling Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, she’s also the winemaker for Niagara’s Southbrook Vineyards. (Of course there were those stints in Argentina and South Africa too. No big deal.)
But there’s something special about Sperling’s B.C. property – namely that her great-grandparents, the Casorsos, settled in the valley from Italy in the late-19th century. The spot where the winery is located was planted by the family in 1930 (with table grapes) before they made the move to wine grapes some 30 years later. It still boasts some of the Okanagan’s oldest vines, including 45-year-old Marechal Foch and 35-year-old Riesling.
Located in the northern end of the Okanagan, the Sperling Vineyards/Pioneer Ranch area produces predominantly cooler-climate grapes – Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and more – for still, sparkling and dessert wines.
And if you think that Sperling pulling double duty in B.C. and Ontario has affected the quality of her wines, you’re right – it has... her wine has gotten even better. Sperling Vineyards continues to rack up the awards both in the region and across the country, a clear sign the namesake winemaker has learned what works best in both Canadian wine-producing regions.
It just so happens Sperling Vineyards is also part of My Wine Canada’s Cyber Week Sale! Some 14 wineries have teamed up to bring you a great deal. Spend over $100 on one of the wineries and receive $13 off – spend $200 and get $30 off. Move fast – the sale ends at midnight on Monday, November 30.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.