While most Canadians have heard of the Okanagan Valley and their famous vineyards, it's often hard to find these wines at local liquor stores across the country. Especially when it comes to small producers. Thankfully, My Wine Canada had the vision to change that! Unless you’re from BC, have visited the region, or spend your life reading geeky wine magazines, you probably haven’t heard of Wild Goose Vineyards. Yet, their wines have been on the radar of Canadian wine experts for quite some time.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, blind tasting is the best way to evaluate a wine, as there is no room for preconceived ideas. About 10 years ago, when the BC wine industry was at the beginning of its journey with identifying which grapes succeed and which style they should embrace, I did a blind tasting with Wild Goose wines. They were rich and unctuous, yet punctuated by bracing acidity. All of the ingredients for a balanced wine! I admired the concentration of flavours, as they reminded me of a cool-climate version of the wines coming from the region of Alsace. Their oily and pungent Gewürztraminer and lively Riesling really captured my attention.
I was now on a wild goose chase! As I discovered them, I admired their authenticity and focus. When you are a new region, it’s tempting to plant just about anything to follow current trends. Wild Goose Vineyards makes vibrant and tasty reds, but their reputation stands on their aromatic whites. Smart move! This is what the region, where they’re located, has been especially recognized for.
I am thrilled to see the diversity of their wines available on My Wine Canada. You can easily order (at least) six bottles and get a good sense of their diversity. For those who like strong washed rind cheese, pair it with their acclaimed Mystic River Gewürztraminer. Munster cheese is my pick! Care for cheese fondue or spicy Indian food? Venture out with their 2013 Riesling and 2014 Riesling, if you are lucky enough to snag both. It’s fun to compare both vintages, not to mention delicious. Any type of seafood fare will welcome both their Mystic River Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Also, they are both rich enough to withstand any type of poultry if seafood isn't on the menu. Goose roast? Magic! And to keep you company while cooking, the Autumn Gold (blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer), has all of the qualities for the perfect aperitif.
For those who have the luxury to visit the Okanagan Valley, a stop at the Wild Goose Vineyards is a must! You can have a snack at their Smoke & Oak Bistro to take in the beautiful view, all while tasting their delicious wines. The recipes were handcrafted and inspired by three generations of the Kruger family. Make sure to try the authentic German Spaetzle, charcuterie and smoked ribs prepared by Chef Sarren Wolf. Your taste buds will thank you - it’s definitely worth the chase. Prost!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.