Hello wine lovers and happy #wineWednesday! I hope the sunshine this week warmed you up and life is generally all good! This week, I am up in Penticton for four days of B.C. VQA panels. While up in the Okanagan, I make it a point to drop into some wineries that I haven’t tried before or revisit some of my favourites. On Monday, I headed to Bench 1775 and was greeted by the delightful Sonya. I focused on their reds as I am trying to source a birthday present for my ‘to-be’ brother-in-law. I have enjoyed Bench 1775 whites before but hadn’t tried any of their reds. Sonya opened up a Cabernet Franc / Merlot 2012 which was my favourite of the flight.
Then, it was onto Township 7, another winery that I had not yet visited. I was hosted by Paul who was both friendly and knowledgeable. I met Mary McDermott, Township 7’s new winemaker. McDermott’s first vintage is set to be released on Mother’s Day. I cannot wait to taste her Rosé. The highlight for me at Township 7 was the 2012 Oaked Chardonnay – just delicious with all the right notes. Their 2012 Merlot was also very good and can be laid down in the cellar for 5 – 10 years. Then, on Tuesday, as I drove to my B.C. VQA panel session, I was greeted by these beauties… I had a feeling it was going to be an amazing day! After panel, I had the utmost pleasure of having lunch with new friend, Nikki Callaway, winemaker at Quails’ Gate. It was my first time eating at ‘Old Vines‘ Restaurant and it was a 10/10 experience. Nikki and I learned that we are both Taurus girls and it happens to be Nikki’s birthday today – happy birthday CNC! That pretty much cemented our friendship! If an amazing lunch with ‘Orchard Block’ Gewürztraminer 2013 and Arctic Char wasn’t enough, Nikki invited me down to the cellar to taste some wine from the stainless steel tanks. Then we proceeded to taste through 45 barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon along with some Merlot. 45 barrel samples! I was in sheer ‘wine geek’ heaven. Nikki helped me work on my spitting technique and it very well may have been my most favourite time at a winery yet.
Whew – fabulous so far! I am here for two more days of panel then it is home to be with my beautiful little family.