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Five Winemakers Weigh In on Wines to Pair with Spring

What better way to usher in the first long weekend of Spring than with some nice BC wine! In order to track down some of the best BC vintages that articulate the vibrant and hopeful spirit of this much-anticipated shift in seasons, we went straight to the source and asked a handful of local winemakers for their personal recommendations…

JOHN WEBBER (OROFINO VINEYARDS)

Which Orofino wine would you recommend for spring’s fresh and optimistic mood? Orofino’s 2023 Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 239 has springtime written all over it. Lively, fresh and vibrant, it’s a perfect match for Easter ham or the amazing Similkameen Valley organic greens that announce spring is here in our valley. This medal-winning riesling will be released just in time for Spring. DETAILS

Can you recommend a wine from another winery that captures the essence of Spring for you? The Dead End Gruner Veltliner from our neighbours just south of Cawston at Forbidden Fruit Winery. They make a terrific spring white wine from their organic estate vineyard. Full of fresh orchard fruit with a clean crisp finish, I was immediately impressed and recommend it for sunny days hanging out on a lawn somewhere… (anywhere!) DETAILS


SEVERINE PINTE (LE VIEUX PIN)

Which Le Vieux Pin wine would you recommend for spring’s fresh and optimistic mood? Le Vieux Pin winery’s Sauvignon Blanc 2023. The aromas are intense, with notes of gooseberry and grapefruit. As intense as a fresh flower bouquet of tulips – one of my favourite flowers, that only blooms early in the spring. The texture is vibrant yet creamy, and the wine sits and slides around your mouth, reminding me of the first rays of the spring sun caressing our faces after a long winter. This wine fits perfectly into the image of me sitting at a terrasse near the water in Vancouver, savouring spring Oysters and feeling the warmth of the sun on my back. DETAILS

Can you recommend a wine from another winery that captures the essence of spring for you? Tightrope Winery’s 2022 Riesling: I chose this wine as it has lovely aromas of rose, green apple and pineapple, which continue on the palate with lemon and lime. It is crisp and dry, with a nice touch of minerality. This description reminds me of a crispy spring morning, when the orchards and garden are in full bloom. I would drink this wine on a sunny Sunday at lunch on a patio, with some spicy chickpea curry. DETAILS


DAN WRIGHT (UNSWORTH VINEYARDS)

Which Unsworth wine would you recommend for spring’s fresh and optimistic mood? Surprisingly, for three years now (since 2021), a Leucistic Robin (a rare white robin with black eyes) has appeared in the Spring and hung around Unsworth until mid-summer or so. If I were to try and pair that sense of wonder to one of our wines, I’d choose Unsworth’s Chardonnay. With only a tiny bit planted on Vancouver Island, it’s pretty special when you see a bottle of Island Chard! DETAILS

Can you recommend a wine from another winery that captures the essence of spring for you? When a winery starts a traditional method sparkling program, you have to hold hope and optimism for years before even getting a peek into the wine’s potential. I think of Spring holding a similar sense of promise for the year. For these reasons, and because I love to drink it, I have to recommend Kutatás’ Méthode Traditionnelle from Salt Spring Island. DETAILS


RAJEN TOOR (URSA MAJOR WINERY)

Which Ursa Major wine would you recommend for spring’s fresh and optimistic mood? Spring here in the Similkameen and Okanagan are an absolute crapshoot and sample platter of all kinds of weather: 20 degrees and sunny, then the next day is five degrees and moody. I would recommend our 2022 “Mother of Melancholy” Gewürztraminer. Fresh and crisp acidity resembling citrus rinds and BC stone fruit, but also dense, chewy and structured with a lot of spicy and savoury notes. DETAILS

Can you recommend a wine from another winery that captures the essence of spring for you? Of course there are many other BC wines that are ‘go-tos’, but Twin Island from Pender Island always immediately springs to mind. Their Grape Friends lineup of hybrid cultivar bubbles are so in line with where BC should be: experimental, easy-going, delicious, and farming vines and trees that are able to sustain themselves in our ever-changing BC climate. But also I can’t leave out Scout Vineyard…their rosé releases are always reminiscent of adult fruit punch in the absolute best way. DETAILS / DETAILS


JORDAN KUBEK (PAMPLEMOUSSE JUS)

Which Pamplemousse Jus wine would you recommend for spring’s fresh and optimistic mood? From us at Pamplemoussse Jus I would have to recommend our 2023 Gew/Ris Pet-Nat. It is a new wine for us and we worked with Gewürztraminer from our vineyard and a friends’ organic Riesling vineyard here in Summerland to make a nothing-added sparkling wine. DETAILS

Can you recommend a wine from another winery that captures the essence of spring for you? I would have to go with what I drink the most, which would be the L-ST Projects ‘How to Be Both’ Traditional Method Chardonnay, two-years-aged, made by our pal, Alyssa Hubert. Not just a wine, but also a thought-provoking art and literary project, it will give you much to think about while sipping away this Spring. DETAILS

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