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Posts Tagged ‘Rose’

Is it a holiday tradition at your home/party to pop open a bottle (or two, or more) of sparkly? To prepare for the holiday season, we had the opportunity to sample the Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes Rose. I remember trying the Summerhill Brut at the FBC 2014 conference back in October and I quite enjoyed it, so I was quite excited about the Rose. But should it be added to your list of party wines? Let’s find out.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

According to the Summerhill website, the Cipes Rose is made with 100% organic grapes. The first 75% of juice was pressed after a 48 hour cold-soak on the skins. It has quite a pretty red hue, which would be fitting for Christmas.

As soon as we pop-opened the Rose, we were immediately hit by a sweet aroma. The amount of carbonation was just right, and there was a prominent strawberry note. It was light and refreshing, and easy drinking. Felt like a summer wine, but the bubbly would also make a great party wine. The Brut was drier, more crisp, and I prefer the Rose over the Brut.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

The Cipes Rose would be great to pair with lighter protein such as fish, pork, chicken and turkey. We paired it with a tomato fish stew and the wine went quite well with the lightly spiced dish. In addition, we also prepared some Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon, a recipe provided by Summerhill. I thought I’d share with you here as well. (more…)

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If you think our Okanagan trip ended on the Golden Mile Bench, you’re wrong. We decided to venture further north, driving more than 50 km, to Penticton, and visit another famous wine region – Naramata Bench. That area has just as many, if not more, wineries as Oliver/Osoyoos. We only had time to check out four wineries, so it was really difficult to shortlist from the dozens of wineries in the area.

Nichol Vineyard

Wines Along the Naramata Bench

The wineries in this area are situated above sand cliffs that rise from the Okanagan Lake, with vineyards sloping up to the mountains behind. While you are enjoying some great wine, you will also get to take in a gorgeous view of the Okanagan Lake. Here is a recap of the wineries we visited, and wines we liked and didn’t like, strictly from a personal preference standpoint.

Nichol Vineyard

While most wineries in the region compete with each other over attractive signage, or even grandiose wine shop and tasting room, Nichol goes for the opposite. Located at the north most end of the Naramata Bench, if you don’t pay close attention, you might actually miss the turn-off to the winery.

It’s a neat little wine shop at the top of the vineyard, and it looks just like someone’s house. But it has some patio seating that allows you to enjoy a glass of wine, or even your packed lunch, over this view:

View at Nichol Vineyard

Because they sold out some of the varietals over a busy summer, we only got to try 4 of their wines. The Pinot Gris is definitely the gem in the lineup. The grapes were gently crushed and left to settle on the skins for 36 hours, giving the wine this salmon hue and a hint of tannin. It’s dry, citrusy, with the aroma of stone fruit. I usually prefer slightly sweeter white but I really enjoyed this one.

I was hoping to try its Cab Franc but it wasn’t available for tasting. Now I need to try finding it elsewhere; I think I will like it as well.

Winery website: www.nicholvineyard.com

Nichol Vineyard

Bench 1775 Winery

Remember I talked about the lack of flashy sign for Nichol? What caught our attention about Bench 1775 was its successful use of signs — “Canada’s Best Pinot Gris”, “The Best View of the Lake” — now we’re intrigued.

Bench 1775 Winery

Bench 1775 certainly has a great view! What makes it better is that its patio is extended right to the water so you are much closer to the Okanagan Lake and the water view is quite spectacular.
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Many people go camping on the Labour Day long weekend, taking advantage of the last few days of summer. We were no exceptions. This past Labour Day weekend, Mr. and I, along with CC and DF, went camping in Oliver. You know what Oliver is known as? The Wine Capital of Canada! Obviously we didn’t waste our 4.5 hour drive to Oliver – we spent quite some time at local wineries, and here are some highlights.

Welcome to the Wine Capital of Canada

Welcome to the Wine Capital of Canada

About The Black Sage Bench

The Oliver/Osoyoo area has two premium growing areas, known as the Golden Mile (along Highway 97) and Black Sage Bench. As suggested by its name, the Black Sage Bench covers the dozen or so wineries along Black Sage Road.  Just about every square inch is filled with grape vines.

Rows and rows of vines

Rows and rows of vines

With the short stay it’s impossible to swing by every winery on the Black Sage Bench. We picked out ones that we know of, or simply made an impulse turn-off based on how the winery looks. (more…)

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