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!
For many generations, Ann’s family has been farming the land where their vineyards sit. While the area was once known for growing vitis labrusca and hybrid grape varieties, the family vineyard was also part of what’s commonly known as the Becker Project.
The Becker Project ran from 1977 to 1982, and it was when Dr. Helmut Becker from Germany, a global wine consultant, ran a series of experimental plantings and trials of vitis vinifera grape varieties with household names like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, to see if they could thrive in the Okanagan.
Of course, we now know the experiments were a success, and they made way for the modern wine industry we now know. It goes without saying that the Sperling vineyards are an important part of British Columbian wine heritage, and Ann Sperling’s upbringing is pretty hard to separate from the terroir.
It’s rather difficult to know this land better than Ann does, and it’s this well-steeped experience with it that enables her to harness the terroir with ease.
If you haven’t had any experience with them, you really should! My Wine Canada wine club’s Sperling Vineyards edition is a great last minute Valentine's gift and the last day to sign up is tomorrow! Click here for more details!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.