B.C. Pinot Gris soon in season – March 22, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

Ita��s almost pinot gris season. It wona��t be celebrex price rite aid long before dozens of wineries release their 2013 versions, most of which were picked, crushed, fermented and bottled, all with the intention to be ready to drink by the time the 2014 local salmon and halibut seasons begin.

Ita��s hard to believe pinot gris is closing in on its 40th birthday, having first appeared in the Okanagan Valley in 1976. In those days it was George and Trudy Heiss of Winfield-based Gray Monk Estate that championed the cultivar, even naming their winery after the colloquial expression used in Austria and Hungary for the pinot gris grape.

British Columbiaa��s first 50 pinot gris vines came from Alsace in 1976. That same summer Helmut Becker, the director of grape breeding at Germanya��s Geisenheim Institute, visited the Okanagan Valley and offered George Heiss a selection buy penegra online india of vines from the famed Geisenheim research plots. The rest is history.

Four decades later, Gray Monk continues to make stylish, affordable pinot gris and like the early days, strong demand makes it just as difficult to buy today as it was in the 1980s. Despite the personal success the Heiss family has enjoyed with pinot gris, they suggested the vines be made available to all growers when the experiment ended and pinot gris has spread from one end of the valley to other and even as far as the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

Despite a slow start and plenty of competition from chardonnay and http://mesincuci.net/sharp/how-much-tinidazole-should-i-take a variety of German grapes, pinot gris is now the second most planted white grape in the valley. Total production in 2012 reached 2,788 tons, a mere 200 tons less than the perennial leader chardonnay. Among red and white grapes, it is third over-all behind only merlot and chardonnay. Thata��s impressive for a grape that doesna��t receive a lot of love from the media or the trade.

Internationally, pinot gris a�� or rather Italian pinot grigio a�� has been taking it on the chin for a while, and for good reason. Cheap watery, cardboard-flavored bottles abound on U.K. and American grocery-store shelves and a good number have found their way to Canadian government stores. There not all thin and tasteless but the chance of finding good ones under $20 are slim. The http://bodysync.ir/chloramphenicol-eye-drops-price-philippines/ category is regularly panned by respected writers who routinely suggest you can do better with other European white varieties that deliver a more authentic experience in the glass.

It is one time our inability to dent the export market has spared British Columbia pinot gris producers from being tossed into the same pile. We are making some excellent gris and grigio. Our style tends to be

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fresher and more flavourful than most Italian versions and it is drier and more food-friendly than products coming out of Oregon or New Zealand. Although most of our wines are unwooded, with little or no malolactic fermentation, we know now a little oak can be useful, especially when done with a deft hand. Blue Mountain for one is a good example.

Reliable names in B.C. include Blue Mountain and Gray Monk and you can add Sperling Vineyards, Red Rooster, CedarCreek, Spierhead, Intrigue Wines, Mission Hill, Wild Goose, Tinhorn Creek, Blasted Church Vineyards, Ovino, Sandhill, Van Westen Vineyards, 8th Generation, Unsworth Vineyards and Laughing Stock Vineyards.

Grilled salmon is a natural food pairing. I enjoy pinot gris with fresh goata��s cheese, but it does just as well with scallops, spot prawns lipvas and assorted shellfish. From earthy to fruity and everything in between, it would seem British Columbia pinot gris has a chance to reset the international taste bar if only it could make it past locals who cana��t seem to get enough of it.

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