Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vista d'Oro Merlot

1449.  2008 Vista D'oro Merlot (BC)

As much as I drink my fair share of British Columbia wines, not many of them come from the region right around Vancouver. There are a few wineries out in the Fraser Valley that are within an hour's drive of Vancouver but I've actually yet to make it out to any of them. I'm not sure whether it's funny, ironic or just ridiculous that we haven't made it out there for a tasting. We make it to the Okanagan and Similkameen every year and we've made it to some of the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands wineries, but not the ones that are closest to us. Maybe it's just that we tend to prefer red wines in our household and the Fraser Valley just isn't known - yet - as a grape growing paradise for red wine grapes.

Veggies, berries, herbs, you name it, but not so much when it comes to red wine grapes.

That may change as experiments with hybrid grapes and new varieties continue but I think it's fair to say that the Fraser Valley is years behind the Okanagan when it comes to its wine profile.

That doesn't mean that I am not completely looking forward to finally visiting the Vista D'oro Farm and Winery in Valley though. I remember first being introduced to Vista D'oro's vegetables and preserves when they used to make the trip into Vancouver for the Trout Lake Farmer's Market. Those days appear to be far behind Vista D'oro nowadays but - lucky for us - their preserves are prominent on the shelves of a couple of our favourites foodie shops.

I'll have to wait until I get out to the farmgate market and tasting room to get a more complete story but I believe the winery side of the business is now using estate grown grapes for its wines. I don't think that was the case with this Merlot. Vista D'oro only received its winery licence in 2008 and I believe this wine was made from purchased, Okanagan grapes.

For a first run out of the gate, I think the wine showed well enough to confirm that, regardless of the Fraser Valley location, there's some know how at the farm when it comes to making wine. I'll have to see if we can make that trip to the Valley sooner than later.

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