Stars In Our Glasses
Stars in Our Glasses
Our September selection shines a spotlight on award winning wines (2017 National Wine Awards of Canada). Dazzling silver and gold winners from various BC producers are scattered from Lillooet to the Similkameen Valley.
Straight out of the starting gates is Terravista Vineyards in Penticton BC. Here, their award winning Albarino is grown on a rocky/sandy southwestern slope of the Naramata Bench. Owner-operators Bob and Senka Tennant specialize in small lot specialty wines.
Moving further north up the Naramata Bench sits Lake Breeze Vineyards. Awarded “One of Canada’s Top 10 Small Wineries “ for the second year in a row, they farm 12 acres and contract the rest of their fruit, producing 10,000 cases annually.
Off the beaten path where the Sea to Sky highway meets Highway 12 lies Fort Berens winery in Lillooet. Nestled in the Coast Mountains, the winery farms twenty acres of red and white grapes and is in their third year of production.
C.C. Jentsch holds down over 66 acres of south-east-facing sandy loam soils on the famed Golden Mile Bench DVA (the Okanagan’s first Designated Viticulture Area.) in Oliver. They concentrate on the five Bordeaux varietals as well as the aromatic Viognier and Gewurztraminer.
Travelling west from Oliver is the Similkameen Valley. Corcelettes Winery, located in Keremeos, was acquired by the Baessler family in 2014. The 15 acres of vineyard cover Bordeaux Varietals, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Included in this are 3 acres of white grapes just down the road in Cawston. This site is the family’s original vineyard that was purchased after emigrating from Switzerland in the early 1990s.
Rounding out the six featured wineries is Orofino Winery, also located in Cawston in the Similkameen Valley (the official organic capital of Canada). Orofino is known for its exceptional wines and straw-bale and solar-powered tasting room.
Concrete vats have a long history of use in European wineries. New world wineries are embracing this fermentation process. The Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland were the first to use concrete eggs constructed in California. Orofino’s concrete vats are the first of their kind to be made in beautiful B.C.
Bob and Senka Tennant owner/operator/winemakers of Terravista were previous owners of a little winery with quite the cult following—Black Hills Winery.
Corcelettes winemaker Charlie Baessler was once a cellar/vineyard hand at Herder Vineyard. It was one of his first winery jobs. Things have come full circle for Charlie and his family now that they own the former Herder property.