Monday, December 14, 2009

And A Wine From A BC Pear Tree

With the holiday season now upon us, I thought it'd be fun to take on - and re-jig - a seasonal classic. I'm sure you'll get the gist - even as you groan away. Here we go...warm up those golden voices. I'm sure you'll recognize the tune and want to sing along.

"For our first wine of Christmas, my true love drank with me,
A Wine from a BC Pear Tree."

283. N.V. Forbidden Fruit Pearsuasion (Similkameen Valley)

For my tastes, Forbidden Fruit is in the forefront of producing fruit wines in BC, right up there with perhaps the better known Elephant Island. And this wine hit the spot a lot more successfully than the Kiwi wine we had recently tasted from Marley Farms.

I was first introduced to Forbidden Fruit at a BC Wine Appreciation Society tasting of Similkameen Valley wineries about three or four years ago. It would have to have been one the winery's first vintages. We were immediately taken with the wonderful flavours and the whimsical names that were chosen for their wines - many having a tie-in to the story of the Garden of Eden.

The winery is an out-growth of Ven'Amour Organic Farms. The farm has been somewhat hidden away along the Similkameen River and has operated on an organic basis since it started up in 1977. It was one of the first farms in BC to receive organic certification in 1984. At that time, they were helping to lead the way in organic farming in the province and the fruit was readily snapped up. As other farmers began converting to organic methods and the volume of organic fruit continued to rise, retailers started to be more selective in the prices that they were willing to pay for fruit that had less than a perfect appearance. The fruit tasted the same but the blemishes in appearance left the fruit less valuable.

Lucky for us, the result was that a new use for the "seconds" was discovered in the making of fruit wine.

This is one of the dry wines that are produced here and it is made from Bartlett Pears and actually sees some oak in the winemaking process - not something that I immediately think of with fruit wines. There's no doubt that the aroma and taste of pears is front and centre.

We may not have eaten partridge along with the wine, but it was a lovely way to start off our Twelve Wines of Christmas.

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