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Blue Grouse: A Landmark Winery Reborn

By |October 29th, 2015|

  The impressive, new Blue Grouse, two storey winery and tasting room enjoy a south facing aspect overlooking the Cowichan Valley It was over a couple of decades ago that I first went to Blue Grouse and met its founder, viticulturist and winemaker, Hans Kiltz. German by birth, Hans is a perfectionist, someone [...]

In Search of the Perfect Oyster Wine

By |October 16th, 2015|

Joseph Mellot Sancerre—the perfect match We’re seriously back on our oyster kick, after the long drought that saw oyster sales banned due to the risk of Vibrio Vulnificus. That’s the disease that oysters carry which can cause serious food poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal. While I’m not crazy about Vancouver [...]

Fort Berens Estate: A Leap Forward for Lillooet

By |October 13th, 2015|

Every time I taste a wine from Fort Berens I’m impressed. While it may well be the wine itself that makes its mark (their 2012 was a pop-out BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award winner), it’s also the overall story that grabs me. I’ve been watching the growth of BC’s “borderline” regions with interest. I don’t fault [...]

Barbara Philip, MW demystifies Bordeaux

By |September 19th, 2015|

Bordeaux 2012: a sneak peek with MW Barbara Philip There’s no denying the mystique of Bordeaux. It’s entrenched in wine lore. Many will say: “And rightly so.” After all, Bordeaux is still regarded as the world’s leading wine producing region, by which all others are judged. And just about every New World wine region [...]

Four Great Reasons to Take in Top Drop

By |September 9th, 2015|

This week sees the return of Top Drop Vancouver (Sept 10-11), a "wine and more" festival that focuses very much on smaller wineries and other craft producers. Last year’s debut was rightly well received—likely because the selection of wineries did indeed appeal to a more curious taster, as well as to sommeliers looking to tweak [...]

Steven Spurrier Hails BC Wines

By |August 28th, 2015|

Steven Spurrier with Judgment of BC curator D.J. Kearney I’m still sifting through the results (***See below for the full list)  from this past week’s Judgment  of BC tasting, led by D.J. Kearney, with Steven Spurrier, Consultant Editor to Decanter Magazine, organised by Wines of British Columbia.  It was one of the best tastings in which [...]

Steven Spurrier Comes to BC

By |August 22nd, 2015|

It's a very Canadian trait that we rarely confer praise on our own until validity is confirmed from the outside. But the fact that British wine expert Steven Spurrier is taking time to visit the Okanagan and Vancouver does mark another major milestone in the still young history of the industry. I'm reminded of the first time [...]

5 Reasons to Watch Maverick Estate Winery

By |July 25th, 2015|

(Updated reviews 20/02/16) For a couple of years now I’ve been watching the progress of Maverick Estate Winery. The wines made by South African born Bertus Albertyn impressed me right out of the gate—even before I knew that Bertus was (briefly) the winemaker at Don Triggs’ Culmina project, before moving on to Burrowing Owl. Since [...]

Chilling Out at Similkameen Barbecue King

By |July 20th, 2015|

Climb the tower at Tree to Me to enjoy this  Similkameen view Who knew that rain in BC would ever be so welcome? Last week’s Similkameen BBQ King took place against a backdrop of six weeks of scorching temperatures and a weekend of lightning strikes. The rain held off for a while. But, [...]

Orofino: A Clever, Concrete Solution

By |July 16th, 2015|

Orofino sourced its Syrah from nearby Scout Vineyard: classic Similkameen The ingenuity of winemakers never ceases to amaze me. Case in point: the recently released and impressive, concrete aged Orofino Wild Ferment Syrah 2014 (Similkameen Valley). Orofino owners John and Virginia Weber are known for their forward thinking ways: when they moved to [...]

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