The BC wine industry is growing so fast, it's getting harder to keep up with new wineries appearing on the scene. When we used to count the wineries in dozens instead of hundreds (we’re pretty much at the 300 mark), the learning curve was a gentle slope. But now, this writer has to put in extra effort just to keep a basic handle on what’s going on! This matter came to the surface about a month ago, when I had the opportunity to travel to New York City, with the B.C. Wine Institute and a handful of B.C. wineries -including Bordertown Vineyards & Estate Winery, this month's featured vineyard for the wine club. One of their wines unexpectedly became a star of the evening.
Here in Vancouver, we’ve just gone through one of the rainiest, coldest and even snowiest winters on record. While I realize I’m not going to get much sympathy from those living in the rest of Canada, that certainly doesn’t diminish my eagerness for sunnier days and warmer temperatures. Consequently, I’m feeling a little more seasonal when it comes to what I’m drinking, and am fine to take a little sabbatical from rugged red wines that comforted throughout those abundant dark and rainy days. Is it possible that the Okanagan Valley’s Sperling Vineyards have read the minds of us who are so done with winter, by dangling the carrot of FREE SHIPPING when ordering six or more of their wines this week, so we can enjoy their lifted and bright wines that will suit our spring and summer well? With Mother's Day approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to give Mom her favourite wine and get free shipping!
After honing her skills in her native New Zealand, Moraine Estate Winery's winemaker Jacqueline Kemp (‘Jacq’ to those around her) had worked vintages in Western Australia and a little place in France called ‘Burgundy,’ before eventually settling in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. While working with various wineries, she was raising her young boys in her Naramata home, and had always kept an eye on what looked to be an ideal vineyard property down Naramata Road, perched just above Lake Okanagan.
When area newcomers Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov eventually purchased the property, even though it wasn’t Kemp signing on the dotted line, serendipity struck and she took the role of winemaker, enjoying the opportunity to get her hands in the soil after all.
The hot days and cool evenings treat the grapes well, preserving their natural acidity, while the clay soils built from glacial deposit lend fresh minerality and provide solid structure for the wines.
Here in Vancouver, we’ve had a record-breaking winter full of torrential rains and more snow than our West Coast capacity can handle. Finally, it’s spring - and as the sun beams a bit brighter and the cherry blossoms bloom, we look to refreshing, lively wines to echo the season.
I was clicking away here on My Wine Canada, and thinking how a selection from British Columbia’s Lang Vineyards, this week’s feature winery offering free shipping when you order six or more bottles, would suit the season so fine.
Down in the desert country of Osoyoos, at the very southern end of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, the mercury has been hovering around the zero-degree mark for a while now, but that shouldn’t last much longer. Soon enough, buds will burst on the area’s grapevines, and as vineyards bloom under the sun, those temperatures will climb into the thirties and forties. It’s as we get into vintage when the region’s desert classification becomes a lot more obvious. Not only is it ‘hot enough for ya’ more often than not, but while toddling around the area’s landscape, cacti and rattlesnakes aren’t exactly uncommon sights.
It is here where the Okanagan Valley excels at ripening the grapes for rich red and white wines, while sandy soils with pockets of clay, limestone and granite add distinct minerality and the cool nights allow natural acidity to be preserved.
These conditions make it possible for quite the variety of, er, varieties to be grown, and when it comes to Osoyoos wineries, this writer can’t think of anyone taking advantage of this scenario as much Beata and Chris Tolley, the owners of Moon Curser Vineyards.
Here in Vancouver, it’s the week of the annual Vancouver International Wine Festival. This year is particularly exciting, because among the 180 participating wineries from 16 countries, there’s a strong Canadian contingent, as our home and native land is this year’s theme country.
Yup, to celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday, wineries from coast to coast (many of them My Wine Canada partners) are gathering to pour their best and brightest for thousands of attendees.
One of the wineries I’m particularly looking forward to catching up with is Sperling Vineyards from Kelowna in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Not only are the wines from winemaker Ann Sperling some of the best from the region, but there’s a notable heritage associated with them. This month, Sperling Vineyards is proud to be featured in My Wine Canada's Valentine's Wine Package. Check out this great deal and order by February 15th at midnight!
How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Even though we’re already a couple weeks into January, I’m going to recommend you add one more resolution for the year. Let 2017 be the year when you get out of any wine rut you may find yourself in. If you’re getting tired of having the same old Chardonnay or Merlot week after week, head outside of that comfort zone to try new varieties, or wine from a region that may be new to you. Here, a quintet of off-the-beaten path gems that you can order right here at My Wine Canada, and they’ll be on your doorstep in no time.
We can't believe that Christmas is only hours away! We're getting caught up in the anticipation of big dinners with all the fixin's, family, and plenty of tasty beverages to see us through it all. Another year is coming to a close, and we're excited for new developments in 2017.
We wanted to say a very special thank you for your support of our business and Canadian wine. This year, we saw more Canadians than ever get passionate about the fantastic wines that we make in this country - we saw this passion in the great wine questions you asked us and the wines that you selected - and we remain deeply honoured to be your go-to online wine store. Continue reading