Friday, July 10, 2009


No superstar Justin Timberlake didn't show up at one of the Society's tastings - although he likely would have enjoyed it.

This J-T is still a superstar though - Canadian winery Jackson Triggs. J-T is proud to be able to say that they've been named Top Canadian Winery 19 times in competitions both at home and abroad. It is the current trophy holder for the International Wine and Spirit Competition held in London, England, and for the Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards. No other winery in Canada can boast such a record.

It was certainly a coup that BCWAS was graced with a visit from the winemaker that now manages all the Okanagan red wine production (as well as playing a hand in the production of all premium wines at the facility). Not only did the young Aussie transplant offer up a wide-ranging tasting of ten wines but she talked us through the wines and their production.

There's no better source to find out about a particular wine than to talk directly to the person that makes it. Humble enough to give great credit to the actual growers in the vineyards, she was a fount of knowledge - from general facts about the winery to information on the number of fermenters used for the red wines and the number of clones and rootstocks used on the various varietals (for the wine geeks in the audience).

For a young woman, she packs a fine pedigree. Having grown up in a winemaking hotspot - South Australia - she's honed her skills in Australia, Spain, Chile and now Canada. It was enjoyable to put such a personable face to the winery and to hear her talk about how her friends back in Oz have a hard time believing that the wines she brings back were made in the Great White North. "Go on. You don't really mean they grow shiraz in Canada" (or something similar to that effect).

It should also impress the folks at home down under that she gets to pad her resume with the fact that the first J-T vintage she assisted on was honoured with the Rosemount Trophy for Best Shiraz/Syrah in the world at the 2006 round of the aforementioned London competition. Unfortunately, that won't be a wine that makes it onto The List since it was a 2004 and was sold out before it was even available - such is the magic that awards like the Rosemount can do for you. I have had a glass of it at a BCWAS dinner but finding a full bottle wasn't in the realm of my possible.

There will be plenty of other Jackson Triggs to make The List though. Boo promptly loosened the "No Buy Leash" long enough for me to buy a case after the tasting.

With tastings the level of this one and a couple other recent ones, the BCWAS has upped its profile and will hopefully continue to engage the stars of the BC wine scene.

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