In 2018, the provincial government officially announced April as “B.C. Wine Month.” The initial proclamation was made in tit-for-tat response to the Alberta government’s then boycott on B.C. wine.
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Rejoice, we are once again in the midst of B.C. Wine Month.
In 2018, the provincial government officially announced April as “B.C. Wine Month.” The initial proclamation was made in tit-for-tat response to the Alberta government’s then-boycott on B.C. wine. So, thanks pipeline politics!
Alas, it feels like a very long time ago when something other than COVID was inhibiting the free flow of people and goods. But now in its fourth year, the initiative has evolved to appropriately serve as month-long recognition for the collective passion and effort put in by B.C. farmers, grape growers, and winemakers. Let’s raise a glass!
Hester Creek 2020 Rosé Cabernet Franc ($19.99, #776500)
April is actually a fantastic month to celebrate B.C. wine, as it’s prime time for most wineries to release new bottles. Case in point is Hester Creek’s just-on-shelves 2020 rosé. Consistently one of the brightest and captivating local rosés, this bright, neon pink number is made with Cabernet Franc grapes and sees a four-day cold soak on skins before pressing. Juicy berry and rhubarb notes abound in this vibrant and fruity bottle that makes for straight-up fun sipping and screams for sunny days ahead — ideally with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
Bottom line: A-, Fruity and vibrant
Unsworth Vineyards 2018 Pinot Noir ($32.40, Wine Club exclusive)
Last year, the Cowichan Valley became the province’s first recognized sub-GI (or Geographical Indication) outside the Okanagan. Used to denote and acknowledge specific grape-growing areas, sub-GIs bring credence to unique microclimates and growing conditions. Like many Cowichan Valley wineries, Unsworth Vineyards sees Pinot Noir as one of the prominent grapes for the Cowichan sub-GI, and their most recent Pinot Noir makes a strong case. Authentic and elegant — from its dullish ruby colour to the aromatic waves of berry, leaf pile, and light spice — this is refined, light yet complex Pinot Noir that speaks of cooler coastal influence.
Bottom line: A, Elegant and distinct
Osoyoos Larose 2016 Le Grand Vin ($48.99, #129999)
Perhaps the original B.C. single vineyard premium wine, Osoyoos Larose remains a unique and important tale in the ongoing growth (both in size and reputation) of the province’s wine industry. Now wholly owned by Groupe Taillan of France, from day one Osoyoos Larose has unabashedly been a red Bordeaux-inspired project. This means the 80-acre vineyard is planted with the big five red Bordeaux varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. The blend fluctuates depending on the vintage, and 2016 ended up a 62.5/12.5/11.8/7.7/5.5 melange. This is opulent, textural, bold but balanced, and certainly cellar-worthy.
Bottom line: A, Robust and classy
The Swirl: Celebrate B.C. Wine Month
In conjunction with B.C. Wine Month, a number of events and initiatives are planned, including “A Year in the Life” campaign chronicling what takes place in B.C. vineyards and wineries throughout the seasons of the year. There’s also the corresponding “A Year in the Life Contest” for a chance to win a three-day B.C. wine country adventure for two. Visit winebc.com for complete details.