In the world of wine there is a family of grapes known as the Pinots. They are called this because the French word for pine cone is pinot, which the grape clusters resemble. The grapes are the black, the grey, and the white.
The black grape (pinot noir), is the glory of winemakers and the biggest challenge to vintners everywhere. A difficult grape to grow, it has a wonderful flavor and velvety texture unmatched by any other varietal. Once only grown in France, it has spread across the globe with a proliferation of styles that expresses the true terrior of the region in which it is grown.
The wine has been known to drive people to the point of obsession, a muse in a glass that causes clear-headed individuals to seek only the most sensuous wine. It possesses such clarity in the color of its garnet shades that it is truly one of the most beautiful of all wines. Whether the cherry-cola quaffs of the West Coast or the light offerings from Tasmania, this is a wine worth pursuing.
The grey grape (pinot gris), is actually a mutation of pinot noir. It was discovered centuries ago in France when a vine showed its grapes to be bluish grey. It was cultivated and spread throughout Europe. It is the most popular & most wildly planted white wine in the BC.
When grown, the grey grape, called pinot grigio or pinot gris, makes wine that is light and mineral-like with overtones of citrus and good acidity that shows it to be a good match for light fare.
In the Okanagan region, pinot gris is a different pedigree. The wines are full and rich with fruit, floral scents and a certain spice that permeates the palate. Try the gris, a truly exceptional drink and one of my favorites.
Pinot Blanc is our last subject and is the white grape. It is also a mutation from the pinot noir vines. Once again, the best examples are from mid Okanagan Valley. The wine itself is light and supple with freshness that means it should be drunk young. It is very much like a chardonnay without the oakiness that ruins so many examples today. Think of it as lighter, un-oaked Chardonnay. You may have a hard time finding it, but it is well worth the search.
Three wines all from the same vine. Much like any family, it is sometimes hard to believe they are related, but all three bring much joy to our world. Enjoy!
A Tale of Three Pinots
Between 2-6 pm
Wild Goose Mystic River Pinot Blanc 2017
Produced from a single estate vineyard, layers of top soil followed by pure gravel spells excellent terroir for this varietal. This small production wine has a nose that shows melon, grapefruit and vanilla, while the palate tastes of anise, pear and rose hips. The mouthfeel is balanced with a lengthy finish that goes on and on and on and...
Upper Bench Pinot Blanc 2017
This refreshing, delicate Pinot Blanc is the perfect patio white. On the nose, it displays lychee, honeysuckle, pineapple and lime. On the palate, you will get a delicate mix of melon, stonefruit, wildflower honey and elderflower.
Black Widow Pinot Gris 2016
91 POINTS. “A little skin contact has given this wine an appealing blush colour. It begins with aromas of citrus and spice, leading to flavours of citrus and apple with a haunting touch of anise on the crisp finish.” John Schreiner
Robin Ridge Pinot Noir 2015
All Canadian Wine Championship 2018 gold medal winner.
An intense nose of ripe black cherry, black plum and complex notes of violet, vanilla, pipe tobacco, liquorice and orange zest. The silky textured palate shows soft tannins and flavours of liqueur chocolate cherry, blueberry, leather and toasty oak.
Spierhead Golden Retreat Pinot Noir 2016
The grapes for this single vineyard wine were sourced exclusively from Golden Retreat Vineyard, located near Summerland in the south central Okanagan Valley. This predominately south facing vineyard benefits from the moderating influence of Okanagan Lake. The wine is made from 3clones: 40% Pommard, 30% Dijon 667 and 30% Dijon 777 Only 150 cases were made.