BC Wine

50th Parallel Estate's 2012 Pinot Noir ft. Winemaker Grant Stanley

As some of you may or may not know, I was in the Okanagan last week checking out a few wineries. One of the wineries that was on the list was 50th Parallel Estate's. I did a video on their Pinot Gris last spring (click HERE if you want to watch & read that post). At that time, I said I believed them to be one of the new big players to hit the BC Wine scene. One thing I do like (maybe even a little more than wine) is to be right (obviously!). 50th Parallel really is up and coming as they are winning awards left, right and centre for their wines already (this is where I take another delicious sip of this pinot noir with even greater satisfaction - because it confirms that I was right about this winery!) So needless to say, I was super stoked to visit this winery! And all of you reading this should be too, not to mention you should also be going out immediately after watching this video and buying yourself a bottle (or several) for your own enjoyment. Not only did I love every one of their wines, the vineyards, views and people who are running the show there are amazing. 

I was lucky enough to do this little tasting with Grant Stanley. Grant is the Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at 50th Parallel. Some of you may already be familiar with his wines  as he use to be the Winemaker at Quail's Gate Winery - also another one of BC's great wineries. And before he worked at Quail's Gate, he was making pinot noir in New Zealand. So his wine making and more specifically his passion for pinot noir has taken him on a journey that started 20 years ago! 50th Parallel specializes in pinot noir but they also produce gewürztraminer, riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris. Their little slogan is "Meet me at the 50th", which I think is perfect because the people who work here, as well as, the owners, are so warm and welcoming. 

50th Parallel is being built from scratch by Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel. Everything has been built on their own. Meaning, no hand-me-downs, no existing vineyard and nothing inherited. Curtis actually has spent the last 16 years visioning, dreaming, and researching how to create a world class wine destination. The winery is up and running but they are not done building. They are just about finished their new wine making facilities, and then they are planning on building  a new tasting room, bistro, events centre, wine bungalow accommodation and a vino-therapy spa! Sheri-Lee's saying is 'Detox & then re-tox!' (I can totally relate to this as many of you probably could tell by my instagram page!) 

Now, you're probably wondering "Where the heck can I try this wine? It sounds so amazing!", I will tell you. It's available at most VQA stores in BC, Vij's restaurant (I think their riesling is by the glass here) and Abigail's Party in Kitsilano. Honestly though, I think you need to go to the VQA stores and buy the Pinot Noir immediately. It's about $32 so it is a bit more than other great options, but seriously, it's worth it. No, I'm not being paid for this post and I even bought my own bottle of pinot noir when I was at the winery last week. So this is an honest post. As a matter of fact, I've never been paid for any my posts. However, that would be nice one day! 

Thanks so much for watching and reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know if you do try any of the wines from 50th Parallel! I am curious to know what you think of it too!

 

xx.h

 ~ May the beauty you love be what you do ~ Rumi

 

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Diary Entry #38 - When "Leftovers" are a good thing...

It’s sure nice to be back in Vancouver! Back to sleeping in my own bed, home cooked meals and of course…partying with my friends again! In fact, I threw a birthday party for my boyfriend just this past weekend and my very awesome friends brought over more booze than they could drink, therefore, leaving some leftover wine for yours truly, me, to enjoy!

So because of my oh so generous and fabulous friends, I’ve decided to vlog some of the leftover wine from the party! We don’t want to anger the wine gods (they are real and not just a figment of my imagination), so this leftover wine must be consumed and not poured down the sink. And what do I often do when I drink wine at home….film it for all to see :-)

THANK YOU for watching and please subscribe to my YouTube channel, like me on Facebook and while you’re at it, follow me on twitter!!

Sending my love to all you beautiful people and may the beauty you love, be what you do <3

x.h

Diary Entry #36 - DELICIOUS!! 2012 Pinot Gris from 50th Parallel Estate

 

Well, it has been awhile since my last post! If you have been wondering what I’ve been doing, I have basically been busy enjoying the fabulous summer we just had and having fun! I hope that you have been doing the same thing! I personally have spent a lot of time on the beach, biking around the seawall, hiking the local mountains around Vancouver, spending time with friends and being in love (that’s the best part!). Now that we’re moving into fall, it’s time to get back on the wine vlogging band wagon once again :-)

The formats of my videos are ever evolving and I’m likely going to be experimenting with adding new content in the future (and perhaps even next week!). I would give you an idea of what that will look like, but to be honest, I don’t really know. So we, including myself, will just have to see where things go with this little video passion project of mine.

The wine I thought I would feature in this video is 50th Parallel Estate’s 2012 Pinot Gris. This winery is newer to the wine scene in Kelowna and around town but I believe them to be becoming big players in the wine scene – especially locally here in BC.

There are a couple reasons I feel that this wine is worth checking out. Firstly, the owners, Sheri-Lee and Curtis are awesome! They are vibrant, energetic, hard-working, dedicated and extremely passionate about their wines and the product they are producing. I might also add that Curtis looks like a rock star and his wife, Sheri-Lee is fabulously gorgeous. I personally met this power couple here in Vancouver and was blown away by how down to earth and friendly they are. Secondly, they have an amazing new Wine Director and Viticulturist on board as of May 2013. This wine maker & viticulturist has received many awards over the years. In the past decade, he has won 45 Gold medals, 84 silver medals, 89 bronze medals as well as numerous Best in Class and show trophies for his wines in both local and international competitions. His wines have also been selected as the Best in Canada to serve to Barack Obama, The Queen of England and the Duke and Duchess of York on their official visit to Canada. Many of you have heard of Quails Gate winery right?! They are another very well know winery in Kelowna that produces excellent wine. Well, their wine maker, Grant Stanley, (the award winning wine maker and viticulturist I’m speaking about) has now moved over to 50th Parallel. In fact, Grant has help Sheri-lee and Curtis develop their winery since 2006. The move from Quails Gate was on good terms and it will be exciting to see where 50th Parallel will go with Grant on board.

This Pinot Gris in particular won its first award at the Spring Wine Festival in Kelowna where it won best of varietal. I find this wine to have nice melon and citrus qualities on the nose. The palate is well balanced (yes, I’m aware I say this a lot – but it’s true), has a nice effervescence (light tingling) and the perfect amount of acids. LOVE LOVE LOVE this Pinot Gris (yes, I am ALSO aware that I say Grigio in the video a lot….oops, I mean ‘Gris’). It is absolutely DELICIOUS and I recommend you to try if you ever see it on a wine list or in the liquor store.  

Something to note is that 50th Parallel’s main focus is pinot noir. Grant has a special passion for this particular grape and so about 50-60% of the winery will be producing pinot noir. In addition, they will be producing Chardonnay and other white varietals, like this pinot gris here. If this pinot gris isn’t their main focus, but it’s as DELICIOUS as it is, then I cannot wait to try their Pinot Noir!

Thanks for watching (and reading) my blog. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to sharing more exciting wines and their stories with you very soon!

xx.h

p.s - Please don't forget to LIKE me on Facebook, FOLLOW me on Twitter and SUBSCRIBE to me on YouTube! Links to all are on the bottom left corner of my homepage! THANK YOU!

 

Diary Entry #35 - Wine Bloggers Conference 2013 - Part 1

I just got back from the Wine Blogger Conference that was held here in BC. It was held Pentiction BC from June 6-8th, 2013. I was fortunate enough to attend the pre-excursion which was held in Kelowna from June 5-6th, 2013.

Kelowna Tourism organized the pre-excursion and it included accommodations at Hotel Eldorado and three wine tours. We visited Summer Hill Pyramid Winery, Tantalus Vineyeards and CedarCreek Estate Winery.

On Wednesday night we went to Summer Hill Pyramid Winery for dinner and a tour. They are Kelowna’s only certified organic and biodynamic winery. They actually have a pyramid on their property that they age some of their wines in. We were able to go inside the pyramid and check out their vineyard. They have some really awesome philosophies and ways of doing business, growing/farming their grapes and producing their wines.

We met with their wine maker, Eric Von Krosigk, as well as, Gabe Cipes, who is in charge of heading up the biodynamic and permaculture aspects of the winery.

We had a great five-course dinner at Summer Hill. The food was amazing! And it was all sourced locally or from their own property. I really loved their sparkling rose wine as well as their sparkling brut. Summer Hill is very well known for their sparkling wine and has won several awards for it. I recommend checking them out if you do see them on a wine list or available at a restaurant.

One of the courses that really stood out at Summer Hill was the dessert (to be honest it was hard to choose a favorite course though). They served us a ‘Chocolate Duo’, which consisted of a chocolate gelato ice wine float and a raspberry dark sacher cake. YUM! I definitely am going to be having ice cream with my ice wine in the future. It likely will not nearly be as good as what was served to us at the winery, but I’m still going to try it anyways!

The next morning we went to Tantalus Vineyards for breakfast. Chef, Mark Filatow who is the owner of Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar in Kelowna, prepared the breakfast. Chef Filatow has numerous accolades in the food industry and is very well known and respected among his peers. We enjoyed fresh waffles, house-made granola and yogurt, poached egg on top of a potato rosti with white pepper gravy along with house made bacon. The dessert was a chocolate croissant. They served this with their 2010 Old Vine Riesling Natural Brut sparkling wine. Great way to start the day!

Tantalus Vineyards is Kelowna’s first LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certified winery. They are also a single vineyard winery. Meaning that all of their wines are produced from grapes grown on their property. Not many wineries in the Okanagan are single vineyards wineries, so this is something that makes them unique. They are really into their sustainability programs and are in the process of transitioning into an organic and biodynamic winery as well.

The grape varietals that Tantalus Vineyards specialize in are Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They use to grow other varietals there but they found that these three grape varietals are the ones that did the best on their land. So that is all they grow currently.

Another thing that is interesting about these wines is their labeling. Each wine has a unique mask on them. These mask are made by a famous Master Carver named, Dempsey Bob. The owner of Tantalus, Eric Savics actually has the largest private collection of Dempsey Bob’s native mask carvings and so they have wonderful partnership. If you are in Kelowna, I recommend checking out this vineyard as several of the masks are on display in the tasting room. Dempsey Bob also has his artwork/carvings in the Vancouver Airport, the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology, as well as, The Smithsonian. So he is a very well respected artist and these masks are quite special and unique to Tantalus Vineyards and their wine.  

I also wanted to say that we tasted their 2012 Riesling and it was delicious! I really loved their 2010 vintage, but I think their 2012 vintage is even better! I think it’s available in BC liquor stores now so if you do see it, I would grab a bottle and try it.

After Tantalus Vineyards, we went to CedarCreek Estate Winery for lunch (yes, more eating and drinking). There they had set up different food stations throughout the vineyard that we had to hike though to get to, so that was pretty cool (and good to work off some of the calories from all the food and drinking we were doing). Their vineyard over looks Lake Okanagan, so it was beautiful to take in the scenery as well as the fabulous food and wine.

At CedarCreek they age some of their wine in giant concrete eggs. These eggs hold 10 times the amount of a single barrel. This allows the wine to have the texture of oak with out the flavors of oak. I’ve never seen a concrete egg before, I know they are pretty common but since it was my first time, I thought it was pretty cool so I had to mention it.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Kelowna. I thought each winery we visited was unique and special in their own unique way. As well, I was impressed by their desires to be organic, biodynamic and sustainable. More wineries (or people for that matter) should be conscious of their environmental footprint, so it was nice to see that they were trying to minimize theirs as much as possible.

Stay tuned for my next video that I’ll be posting as it will be covering off the rest of the conference in Pentiction. I also did film some footage while I was there, so I may do a blooper reel of that footage so keep an eye out for that!

Thanks for watching and as usual, may the beauty you love be what you do.

x.h

Diary Entry #18 - Therapy Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay

So this week I decided to open my bottle of Therapy 2007 Chardonnay. It's a local BC wine from Naramata in the Okanagan Valley. And since this is a video blog, I'm going to stay true to that for this entry....as I'm not really in a typing mood right now ;-) So watch the video and enjoy! This as a yummy wine and I would recommend picking it up if you see it in the store! 

~cheers

Diary Entry #11 - Episode #10 Tinhorn Creek 2010 Pinot Gris

Hey peeps! I hope all of you have been having a super awesome week and have been enjoying the weekend! This week has been a ton of fun for me as I had 2 wine tastings to go too. The first tasting was Taste of BC. This tasting featured…yup, you guessed it, all BC wines! It was really fun and the wines were (for the most part) really great! There were some that I didn’t like, but fair enough – I can’t like them all! The only downside to this tasting was that it was super crowded and a bigger tasting room would have been nice. But overall, it was a great event and I was impressed by the wines that were featured.

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The second tasting I went to was with Cubby. So of course it was a ton of fun! As you know Cubby and I have a lot of fun together! This wine tasting was for a wine club that we go to each month. So it’s been a great wine week for me and I hope all of you have been sipping on some delicious wine this week too!

This week I have decided to review a white wine as the last few have been reds and I feel like I’ve been neglecting the white wines. The wine this week was recommended by a twitter friend (@SandraOldfield) who is actually the winemaker for Tinhorn Creek (and obviously the recommended wine) so I thought I would give it a try since the source of the recommendation was obviously a good one. 

On a side note - I just finished uploading my wine review of Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2010…and the whole time I was calling it a Pinot Grigio!!! Sorry Sandra! Ahhhh so frustrating because I can’t redo it now! So please forgive me for saying ‘Grigio’ and not ‘Gris’. With that said, please check out my vlog and just pretend I’m saying Gris :-) 

On the nose I found there to be nice, light soft acid. I also got melon and crisp green apple aromas. On the palette there was fruity apple followed by melon with a beautiful minerality. I loved the minerality of this wine! It just softly lingered in my mouth and it was delicious! I enjoyed how refreshing this wine was and I felt like all the flavours and qualities of the wine were working together and nothing was more over-powering than the next. So yes…as I often say, “This wine is extremely well-balanced!”

As I was sipping it, it really made me feel like I was on a summer patio in August enjoying this refreshing wine and not in the cold January weather that I am actually experiencing. This is what I love about this wine. It was like an escape from winter and I loved it!

If you’re a white wine lover or a Pinot Gris lover then checking out this wine is a MUST! You can grab it at your local BC Liquor store for $17.99 but hurry up because I think they might be in limited supply now. Please share your opinions on this wine if you do try!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and has an awesome upcoming week! Thanks so much for checking out my vlogs and reading my diary! I hope you’re enjoying them as much as I am doing them :-)

xx.h