We’ve invited Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland to join our curated GOODS section as a recommended local winery. They’re now proud members of Scout, and as such we’ll be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our awesome list of independent goodnesses. We’d like to take this chance to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making BC a more delicious place to live.
photos by Henry Georgi
Owners: JAK Meyer and Janice Stevens
Winemaker and Viticulturist: Chris Carson
Assistant Winemaker and Viticulturist: Ken Staicesku
Tasting Room Manager: Sharon Misselbrook
Wine Club Coordinator: Monica Horning
About Meyer Family Vineyards
Meyer Family Vineyards, the little winery with the big reputation, now has two vineyards in the beautiful wine regions of the Okanagan Valley of BC; Old Main Road Vineyard, located on the Naramata Bench and McLean Creek Vineyard, the newest vineyard and winery on McLean Creek Road in Okanagan Falls. Nestled amongst beautiful orchards, rolling hills, crystal clear lakes, and unique micro climate, the Okanagan Valley is now home to well over 100 vineyards and is the ideal terroir for growing grapes. The same latitude as Champagne in France, the Okanagan is well suited for the Burgundy style wines that Meyer Family Vineyards is known for.
The Meyer Family
JAK (John Arthur Kenneth) and his wife Janice Stevens, wanted a place to put down roots and raise their two young daughters. They had lived in Alberta, Vancouver, the Turks and Caicos but after almost a year in Vernon they found themselves attracted to the lifestyle, the beauty, and the opportunities of the Okanagan. After years of sampling the best wines in the world, both appreciating and collecting wine, a vineyard seemed like a good fit. Three years of searching for the perfect site, led them finally to a small acreage in Naramata. With the help of a team of leading experts in Canada, they began to craft their single vineyard wines of excellence; Micro Cuvée Chardonnay and Tribute Chardonnay.
Then in 2008 they added the Okanagan Falls property which included a modest 2400 sq ft winery and another 16 acres of vines. Everything was in place for producing premium single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as a second tier label which includes Gewurztraminer, Rose and mid tier Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The new tasting room was completed in October of 2010 and plans are in place for a special events area which will be used for hosting concerts, catered dinners or just as perfect place for guests to relax, kick back and enjoy the surroundings.
Reviews & Accolades
“the best dry white wines I have ever tasted from Canada”.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine
“It’s the Pinot you bring home to Mom… the one you’ll turn to for dependable quality and Pinotranquility”
Liam Carrier, IconWines.com
“A beauty that takes Okanagan Chardonnay to a new level of elegance and complexity”
4 and a half stars, Vines Magazine
“On the palate, the fruit is lush – citrus, ripe apple, a touch of butterscotch – without any of the heaviness one sometimes finds on oaked Chardonnay. This wine is bright and fresh and also shows a laser-like purity. 92/100”
John Schreiner on Meyer 2010 Old Main Vineyard Chardonnay – Tribute Series
The People of Poplar Grove Winery
Owners: Tony Holler, Ian Sutherland, Barrie Sali
Executive Winemaker: Ian Sutherland
Winemaker: Stefan Arnason
Assistant Winemaker: Nadine Allander
Viticulturist: Valeria Tait
Winery Administrator: Jacquie Carlson
Sales & Marketing Director: Laurie Barnes
Wine Club Manager: AJ Tolton
About Poplar Grove Winery
Poplar Grove Winery is located on the slopes of the Naramata Bench, a premier wine growing area just outside Penticton, British Columbia. One of the original 5 wineries on the Naramata Bench, Poplar Grove was founded in 1993 when Ian Sutherland dedicated 2.5 acres of land to the planting of Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. The first vintage was released in the fall of 1995, with the Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc receiving top honours at the Okanagan International Wine Festival. Over the past 19 years, Poplar Grove’s vision has remained the same: to make world-class wines that reflect the spirit of the Okanagan Valley terroir. Each year, the wine making team handcrafts the Poplar Grove wines with care, being true to their mandate to guide the winemaking process with little or no interruption of the natural process.
In 2007, Tony Holler became Poplar Grove’s majority owner and President, with Ian Sutherland and Barrie Sali completing the new ownership team. The Holler family brought with them 110 acres of prime vineyard sites located throughout the Southern Okanagan Valley, appropriately named Holler Estate Vineyards. The addition of the new vineyards allows Poplar Grove wines to be made from 100% estate grown fruit. The viticulture team supports the estate vineyards by practicing a sustainable farming program that works with the complexity and variability of the individual vineyards resulting in grapes that are the optimum expression of the local terroir. Ian Sutherland continues as the Executive Winemaker at Poplar Grove. In 2008, Stephan Arnason took on the position of Winemaker and in 2011, Nadine Allandar was named Assistant Winemaker. Together the wine making team hand-crafts wines from the quality fruit harvested from each of the estate vineyards with the goal of guiding the process to allow the true expression of the fruit to shine through.
Poplar Grove is focused on six core wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a signature blend called The Legacy. The grapes are hand picked & hand sorted to guarantee that only the finest fruit makes it into the ferment. A barrel aging and bottle cellaring program have been implemented to ensure the wines are released when they are ready to drink. Poplar Grove white wines are released the year following harvest to preserve the primary fruit flavours. The red wines spend a minimum of 18 months maturing in French Oak barrels and an additional 18 – 30 months developing in the bottle so that they can be enjoyed upon release.
July 2010 was an exciting month for Poplar Grove as it marked the official launch of the Poplar Grove Wine Club. The spirit behind the wine club is to ensure that fans of Poplar Grove receive a guaranteed selection of Poplar Grove’s most sought after wines each year. Members receive the benefit of access to Poplar Grove’s limited release & member’s only wines, a 10% discount off all Poplar Grove wines purchased direct from the winery, early access to new release & library wines, and inspired wine recipes with each shipment.
On July 1st, 2011, the doors to Poplar Grove’s brand new, 9500 square foot, state-of-the-art winery opened. Designed to appreciate the natural landscape and topography, the new winery space is home to a working winery, a showcase barrel hall, and an expansive tasting room. The winery’s contemporary design features wall-to-wall panoramic windows that create a tasting room experience where visitors have the chance to sip award wining wines while enjoying one of the finest views the Okanagan Valley has to offer. Poplar trees, lavender, iris and Russian sage have been planted on the property to incorporate the local flora into the winery landscaping. Within the new Munson Mountain estate vineyard, Poplar Grove included foundation plants to harmonize with biodynamic principals, including hard fescue, red clover and bluegrass. The vineyard edges are lined with crested wheatgrass, wild mustard and annual rye.
On the horizon for 2012 is the opening of The Vanilla Pod, a year-round destination restaurant at Poplar Grove Winery that will feature cuisine inspired by fresh and seasonal local ingredients and, of course, Poplar Grove’s award winning wines. Executive Chef Bruno Terroso brings both a passion for the local cuisine and a natural creativity in the preparation of innovative spectacular dishes. Restaurant owners, Paul and Sheila Jones, are looking forward to welcoming guests to enjoy an inspired meal while taking in one of the most breathtaking views in the Okanagan Valley.
Each year, in addition to the 6 core wines, Poplar Grove’s wine making team makes a small amount of exclusive wine crafted for Poplar Grove’s Wine Club members, and in the very near future, for diners at the winery’s new restaurant, The Vanilla Pod. These exclusive wines include the CSM (a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot blend), the Syrah-Viognier, a Reserve Chardonnay, and the Munson Mountain Pinot Gris. The limited release wines offer the wine making team an opportunity to create single vineyard and small lot wines that exhibit the vibrant characteristics of the vintage.
Over the years, the winery has gained a reputation for producing quality, award-winning wines. Most recently, Poplar Grove’s Syrah 2008 was the only Canadian winery awarded a Gold medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards. The Cabernet Franc 2007 won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines and the Poplar Grove Merlot 2006 won Double Gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships.
Poplar Grove’s star is on the rise. With the new state-of-the art winery & signature restaurant, 100% premium estate grown fruit, and a clear vision for the future, Poplar Grove Winery looks forward to welcoming wine lovers to their corner of the wine world.
For more information on Poplar Grove Winery, visit the website at www.poplargrove.ca.
Recent Reviews & Awards
GOLD medal Decanter World Wine Awards – Poplar Grove Syrah 2008
BRONZE medal Decanter World Wine Awards – Poplar Grove Cab Franc 2008
Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines – Poplar Grove Syrah 2007
DOUBLE GOLD medal All Canadian Wine Championships – Poplar Grove Merlot 2006
90/100 Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2007
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
When BC red wine is clean it usually has all the rest of the ingredients to jumps up my quality chart. Take this cabernet franc for instance. Love the ripe tobacco, cherry jam, vanilla, violet aromas and the similarly ripe, round, rich, dry palate. The tannins are present but fine-grained with savoury, soft varietal-ly correct franc black fruit and sage flavours that go long with finesse. Bravo. You can drink now or keep this for another two years for perfection. T-bone steaks anyone? – Tony Gismondi
89/100 Poplar Grove Merlot 2006
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Expect a lovely rich version of merlot here with plenty of sweet oak and bright fruit with a savoury dried herbs undercurrent. Big and form with a slightly lean undercarriage. Try now with roasted meats or wait three years to full maturity. All this needs is a bit more finesse. Well done. – Tony Gismondi
89/100 Poplar Grove Reserve Chardonnay 2010
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Much better style in the reserve with its butter, light lees, pineapple fruit and underlying richness. Love the baked apple entry and the French oak, both of which are still interacting. Dry long buttery tarte tatin notes with nutty, oily pineapple fruit and ripe red apples. This wine needs another three years to settle down and work with the likes of halibut and fresh fruit salsa, abalone or lobster.
The GOODS from Blue Mountain
Okanagan Falls, BC | Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars is pleased to announce that effective immediately, its tasting room will be open Monday to Saturday from 11:00am to 5:00pm, May through early October. The Okanagan winery changed from appointment-only hours to this more expansive schedule to accommodate the increasing number of visitors wishing to sample its wines on-site.
The extended tasting room hours at the winery will allow more visitors, both domestic and international, to experience tasting Blue Mountain wines at their source, within view of the Okanagan Valley estate’s vineyards and winemaking facilities. “Blue Mountain is blessed with a truly spectacular setting,” says Christie Mavety, Owner and Sales & Marketing Manager. “The new tasting room hours will make it more convenient for wine lovers to visit and taste Blue Mountain’s wines, right where they’re made.” Learn more about Blue Mountain after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Nichol Vineyard
Vancouver, BC | Nichol Vineyards of Naramata BC made a big impression on more than 500 Vancouverites on Friday, as they were featured as the “unsung hero” at Vancouver magazine’s Big Night. At the annual foodie event, Vancouver magazine pairs Best-in-Category wines from their Wine Awards with winning restaurants from their Restaurant Awards for a delectable evening of food and wine hosted at the prestigious Vancouver Club. The event is always a hot ticket in the city, as it features the who’s who of Vancouver’s vibrant culinary scene.
Vancouver magazine’s Sommelier of the Year, Kurtis Kolt, revealed and sampled his favourite “unsung hero” from this year’s competition, Nichol Vineyard’s 9 MILE RED. Read all about it after the jump… Read more
News from Scout supporter Mission Hill Family Estate
Vancouver, BC | With the first day of fall upon us, we’re delighted to announce a series of celebratory events to commemorate Mission Hill’s tenth vintage of our premium Bordeaux-inspired wine, Oculus, this autumn. Next month during the 30th Okanagan Fall Wine Festival we’re holding a selection of intimate activities in our Oculus Salon: from vintage library, component and barrel tastings by our Sommeliers to “Message on a Bottle” personalized Oculus signings by Chief Winemaker John Simes and Proprietor Anthony von Mandl. Also on Thanksgiving weekend, we’re honoured to have top restaurants in British Columbia and Alberta offer “Buy the Glass” pours of rare Oculus magnums. More details on our website. Read more
News from Scout supporter Mission Hill Family Estate
Vancouver, BC | Join Mission Hill’s Director of Wine Education Ingo Grady and Fleuri Executive Chef Michael Deutsch as they showcase the classically inspired Okanagan Valley wines of Mission Hill Family Estate and the progressive Northwest cuisine of Fleuri Restaurant at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel. Date: Tuesday September 28th 2010. Time: 6:30pm. Cost: $120 per person. Reserve after the jump… Read more
Elephant Island Orchard Wines is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of member wineries and breweries here. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page. Read more
2730 Aikins Loop, Naramata BC | V0H 1N0 | RR1 S5 C18
Follow Naramata Rd 9 km North to Aikins Loop
(if you get to Naramata you’ve gone to far)
Phone: 250.496.5522 | Fax: 250.496.5521
The People Who Make it Happen
Owners: Miranda & Del Halladay
Winemaker: Del Halladay
Consulting Winemaker: Christine Leroux
About Elephant Island
Elephant Island – Not your typical wine moniker…not your typical wine.
Fusing classic wine making processes with an unconventional line-up of fruits – Stella cherries, organic Bartlett pears, Goldrich apricots, Heritage raspberries, and Black Currants. Tradition with a twist, wine with a spine…this is what we aspire to create at Elephant Island. Over the last 6 years, and many bottles (ok we’ll be frank – cases) of ‘experimenting’ we have expanded the Elephant Island repertoire to include bone dry wines, lip-smacking dessert style wines, fortified wines, a port style wine, and even methode champeniose sparkling wines. All told in the 2008 vintage over 260,000 lbs of fruit were processed to produce 6,000 cases of wine.
Recognizing that our 20’s were spent consuming large quantities of beer (and being only shortly into our 30’s) we brought professional winemaker Christine Leroux in to the fold. Thank goodness Christine was up for a challenge – sure the science of winemaking is the same but in the world of Elephant Island you’re dealing not with 1 fruit with 30 different varietal expressions, you deal with 13 fruits and the exponential permutations that follow. Together we have learned what works and what doesn’t…and we’ve drunk a lot of wine. Bottom line: exceptional fruit – nothing else, stainless steel aging, and defining a style that suits the fruit.
From bone dry wines, to lip-smacking dessert style wines. Check out the line-up and reviews at www.elephantislandwine.com.
The Cocktail Program – In the company of good friends and a bottle of Grey Goose, the cocktail project was born. Mixing a little Apricot Dessert Wine 2004 with a little more Grey Goose was dangerously delicious…imagine what the professionals could come up with. Enter Chris Stearns, mixologist extraordinaire, and the results are more elegant, more refined and double the drinking pleasure for our dessert wine customers. Artisnal, handcrafted and locally grown the dessert wines offer the new generation of mixologists a beautiful addition to their well.
The Little King – A sparkling wine made in the traditional method (Methode Champenoise) crafted in the memory of our infant son Rex who died in 2002. Rex died as a result of suffocation in his mother’s hospital bed when he was 3 hours old. The Little King is dedicated to his memory and to tell his story. Committed to preventing through sharing, Miranda and Del donate all proceeds from the sale of the wine to the Rex Halladay Memorial Fund at BC Children’s Hospital which was formed to support the education of regional and rural hospitals in best codes of practice for peri- and post-natal care.
The Winery is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm with tours and educational seminars offered.
The Terrace is open from May to September for lunch from 11:30 to 3:00pm and Tapas from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. For restaurant or seminar reservations, visit our website, or call 250-768-6467
Proprietor: Anthony von Mandl
Chief Winemaker: John Simes
Executive Winery Chef: Matthew Batey
Wine Education: Ingo Grady
Sommelier: Jesse Harnden
About Mission Hill
“The centerpiece of the Canadian wine tourism industry…understated wines which rank among the country’s best and the Terrace Restaurant on the estate’s front lawn is one of the most glorious dining experiences around.” Travel & Leisure Magazine, February 2008
Located in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, Mission Hill Family Estate is a family-owned winery that crafts boutique wines. Majestic mountains, scenic lakes, and lush orchards encase the winery’s dramatic architecture and culminate in a setting that celebrates wine, food and the arts. Our Chief Winemaker John Simes, uses a ‘pruning to bottle’ program for the viticulture to winemaking process that ensures all our wines reflect the origin and unique character of the Valley. Visit us at the winery’s Education Centre for workshops and seminars on tastings, viticulture, wine and food pairings and more or enjoy our elegant tasting salons which provide a luxurious setting for an exclusive sampling of Mission Hill Family Estate wines.
We invite you to join us for patio dining at The Terrace and enjoy lunch or tapas overlooking our lush vineyards. Our Winery Chef’s innovative culinary style of Cuisine de Terroir, a seasonal and regional approach to gastronomy, is globally influenced, but locally crafted. Our Chef selects only the freshest local ingredients and seasonal fare is handcrafted to compliment our wines. Year round private dining is also available with the pinnacle Chef’s Table dining experience, an intimate evening with our renowned Winery Chef.
The Terrace is a proud member of OceanWise.
Mission Hill Family Estate has been honoured with numerous awards including:
* The Terrace, Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine, 2008
* The Terrace, Best Okanagan Restaurant, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2009
* Best Icewine in the World, 2008 International World Challenge
* 2007 & 2001 Winery of the Year as rated by Wine Access Magazine