When trade relations between BC and Alberta hit an all-time merlot, panic set in. We’d pledged to drink local; but hutterite hooch makes weebles wobble, then hug the ground.
Roses are red, violets are fine, build a pipeline, and we’ll take back your wine.
Alberta imports 17 million bottles of BC wine every year. When a truce was called, we barreled straight for the Okanagan. Because, wine not?
Our first order of business was an adventure through the Naramata Bench [Peachland, Summerland, Penticton] with (Sir) David Lancelot of Experience Wine Tours . David’s humour, insider knowledge, and designated driving skills created the perfect dream day.
Fun Wine Facts
[Will you accept this] Rosé
Did you know this lovely pink wine is made from the skin of red grapes, like a Pinot Noir? Yes way Rosé! The color happens when the skins stain the wine for just a few hours, as opposed to fermenting red wine for weeks.
No [Cham]pagne, no gain
Bubbles and sparkling wine cost more dough because it goes through two fermentations. Sugar and yeast are added to a base wine, which converts to alcohol and CO2 bubbles in a longer, slower second fermentation.
Riddling is the act of rotating upside down bottles of bubbly 30-40 times a day to collect dead yeast bits into the neck of the bottle. Before machines, this was done to thousands of bottles in a cold cellar by hand.
The foil on top of the bottles was concocted as a way to hide inconsistent levels of wine in each bottle.
Spit or swallow?
It’s not impolite to swig and spit, except when tasting on your couch at home. On a wine tour it’s important to have food in your belly, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Be a slut for water… an H2hoe if you will!
Our thanks to the following vineyards for reminding us it’s always five o’clock somewhere!
* Summerhill ~ not on the tour but worth the trip!
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