BC Wines

I managed to take a week off for a bit of a vacation. My wife and I drove to Penticton (British Columbia) so she could take part in a (yet another) dragon boat festival. This gave us a chance to visit a few of the wineries in the BC interior. Now we couldn’t visit them all- there are just too many to do that and besides most don’t open their doors at 6 AM (God knows I tried). Also a few we had been to before, such as Mission Hill. Actually I have to say the last time we were at Mission Hill we left without buying any wine. I don’t know if it was the winery itself or the server but we both thought it had a rather pretentious atmosphere. The wine was okay, but seriously overpriced for what it was.

The best area for us was the Naramata region. Regardless of the wine, they have the scenic wineries to visit. Most are built on a hillside that gives a splendid view of Penticton and the lake. Several have restaurants as well so you can spend the whole day drinking, eating too much and sightseeing. Great fun.

There were a few disappointments. One winery was out of their reds and only had average whites left for tasting. Another had a great bistro, but rather weak wines. However, overall the wines in the region were good and we took home 2 cases.

Several wineries boasted of having a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. They did in a fashion. Not quite up to the Kiwi’s standard but also priced higher. The Pinot Gris were fair and the Gewurztraminer fairly nice. The reds I appreciated more, especially the Merlots and the Sauvignon Cabs.

Our favourites, in no particular order were:

Burrowing Owl  Cab Franc ’09

Heston Creek Character ‘09

Perseus Invictus  Merlot ’08  The best, in my ever so humble opinion

Poplar Grove Legacy ‘06

Tinhorn Creek Cab Franc ‘09

Gehringer Brothers Optimum Pinot Noir ‘10

Gehringer Brothers Pinot Gris ‘09

The Blasted Church Winery had the most fun labels and very good wine too.

By the way, I’m wondering how many wine festivals are held in BC. It seems every winery had a bunch of medals proclaiming the wine to be best in the class, judges’ favourite, taster’s choice and least likely to turn into vinegar next year.

Winery photo photo-shopped

My laptop died on the trip- the first day actually. I had intended to write the newest best seller but ended up reading a book called First Big Crush by Eric Arnold. Very funny, informative book on wine producing in New Zealand. If you can find the book, it is well worth the read.


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