Thursday, August 7, 2008

Report from ... British Columbia Day 5 & 6 Naramata Bench – July 26-27, 2008

For my mother's 70th birthday she wanted to travel the Okanagan tasting wine ... I being the curious wine writer that I am decided that sounded like a really good idea ...

With all our appointments over with we have a relaxing day ahead … yeah right! Now comes the days of winery hopping, trying to get as many places in as we possibly can. Because it is the weekend we figure we should stay off the main highway (Highway 97) and do the wineries in our immediate area, The Naramata Bench. By my count, and the map we used, there are 23 wineries in the area. La Frenz we did on Wednesday, so that leaves us 22 for the weekend … La Joie is not open to the public, so that leaves us 21, I know I can do it, the question is can mom? As we tour about we also learn that Howling Bluff and Van Western have yet to open – or is it that we just can’t find them. More likely they are not open yet because out handy dandy GPS is doing a great job finding all the winery addresses we program into her (my mother has anthropomorphized her because she has a female voice and helps us along our way).

On Saturday we end up going at what some might consider a break-neck pace and hit 13 wineries; on Sunday we finish off the Bench with an easy day of just 6. By Sunday mom has learned to spit like a pro (I think she can hit the eye of a needle at 50 yards), she’s also learning to hide her distaste for the wines she does not like; though we haven’t quite mastered “the look” to one another and to know what the other is thinking. We end the tasting on Sunday at about two and take a much-needed break. Mom does some knitting and reading. I finally get some time on the internet to upload a Vintages report and some other notes. We eat dinner on the porch of our cabin watching the sun go down over the mountains … cool.

Wineries Visited in Order:
Saturday …
Red Rooster, Township 7, Spiller, Stonehill, Mistral, Poplar Grove, Hillside, Laughing Stock, Lake Breeze, Marichel, Zero Balance, Soaring Eagle, Black Widow.
Sunday …
Nichol, Therapy, Kettle Valley, Elephant Island, Lang Vineyard, D’ Angelo (where we are staying).

Wines of Note:
Red Rooster 2007 Reserve Gewurztraminer ($19.99); 2005 Syrah ($29.99); 2005 Meritage ($24.99)
Township 7 2005 Merlot ($24.99)
Poplar Grove 2004 Merlot ($40.00)
Hillside Estate 2007 Riesling ($17.99); 2007 Gewurztraminer ($17.99); 2007 Reserve Muscat Ottonell ($19.99); 2006 Merlot ($18.99); 2006 Cabernet Franc ($22.99)
Laughing Stock 2006 Blind Trust ($29.99)
Lake Breeze 2007 Semillon ($18.90)
Soaring Eagle 2006 Pinot Meunier
Black Widow 2007 Pinot Gris ($20.00); 2007 Gewurztraminer ($20.00); 2006 Cabernet-Merlot ($38.00); 2007 Dessert Schonburger ($15.00 / 500ml)
Nichols 2005 Syrah ($29.00); 2006 Capriccio ($25.00)
Therapy Vineyards 2007 Pink Freud ($18.99); 2006 Freud’s Ego ($20.00); 2006 Super Ego ($36.99)
Elephant Island 2007 Framboise
D’Angelo Estate 2005 Pinot Noir ($25.00); 2005 Merlot-Cabernet ($20.00); 2005 Setta Coppa ($30.00)

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