Monday, June 1, 2015

A New Wine to Hug

A short time back, the BC Wine Appreciation Association celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a Gala Tasting that featured just shy of 50 BC wineries from around the province. I'm told it was one of the (if not THE) biggest gatherings of BC wineries ever held. With that many participating wineries - and with most of them pouring four wines - there were far too many wines to taste them all.

I did my darnedest to hit as many tables as I could, but even a seasoned piker like me barely scratched the surface. Rather than simply concentrate on producers and wines that I'm very familiar with, I made a conscious effort to try some wines and regions that I didn't know so well. One hitherto unknown winery that particularly caught my attention was a new producer coming out of the Similkameen Valley: Hugging Tree. I had an interesting chat with two of the winery principals about their location and organic approach to viticulture.

I ended up ordering three of the wines that they served up.

1928.  2013 Hugging Tree Rosé (Similkameen Valley)

Now that I have the wines in hand, I opted to go with the Rosé as the first to knock back. Made from Merlot and Cab Sauv juice, there's a good shot of fruit on the palate, with strawberry and tree fruit up front and evident. That profile might not be too surprising since half of the Makepeace family's 60-acre property had already been planted with apples and peaches when they purchased it. The balance of the lands were raw and were planted with grapes - largely red Bordeaux varieties.

With summer just around the corner, I suspect I'll be pouring a healthy number of Rosés. I'll need to keep this one in mind. Too bad, there wasn't a lot of this vintage to go around - around 235 cases or so only.

It's a good thing that Boo and I like to drive along the Hope-Princeton Highway and through the Similkameen whenever we travel to the Okanagan. We'll likely be able to fit in a visit to the new tasting room on one of those forays. Hopefully, it will be sooner than later.

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