This is a big, auspicious week for Canadian wine! As we’ve been discussing around here on the blog over the last few weeks, this coming weekend Edmonton is hosting the inaugural edition of Northern Lands, a celebration of 47 Canadian wineries, a dozen craft breweries, a trio of distilleries and 21 of the country’s best chefs. Aiming to be the premier Can-con event for fans of Canadian food and drink, there’s a little something for everyone. My Top Wine Picks this week are from three wineries who’ll be showing their stuff at the event, but if you can’t make it – you can just order them to your door and enjoy a little home version right on your couch!
Jay Drysdale is near completion of his Naramata winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, but has already made a name for himself after crafting a couple stellar vintages of sparkling wines out of neighbouring wineries’ facilities. It really doesn’t matter where the wines are made though, the priority with Bella wines is distinct expression of where the grapes have been grown, in this case sunny Oliver. A classic traditional-method style, there’s fresh-baked bread on the nose along with apples, pears and tropical fruit in spades.
Amongst the best in the country when it comes to expressing vintage, terroir and joy in every bottle, Tawse has become a force to be reckoned with since its 2001 inception. Not only is this peachy and lemony dazzler a pleasure to sip, but at a mere 10 percent alcohol, you can pretty much drink it by the pint! (I’m only half kidding.)
From the deserts of Osoyoos comes this Okanagan nod to the Rhône, a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, and Marsanne. It’s just so darn pretty and lush with peaches and nectarines, along with a zest of lemon and a spark of ginger spice. The mouthfeel’s good and opulent, but the acid’s aloft and cheery so the wine doesn’t weigh you down. When you pour this for guests, the extra fun is always in confirming, “Yes, a desert in Canada!”
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