B.C. WINES

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LIGHT WHITE

Chaber­ton Es­tate Win­ery Siegerrebe 2013 $17.45 +500296 This rare, aro­matic, and ex­otic rel­a­tive of gewüz­traminer—all el­der­flower and honey­suckle with racy apri­cot and orange fruit—is right at home in the Fraser Val­ley. Take a day trip to en­joy it on the win­ery’s bistro pa­tio ( 1064 216 St., Lan­g­ley, 604-530-1736. Chaber­ton­win­ery.com) with the chef’s pork ril­lettes or spicy prawns.

MEDIUM WHITE

Tan­talus Vine­yards Ries­ling 2013 $23 +802280 Ries­ling’s all about the grapes, and Tan­talus has the old­est vines in the Okana­gan Val­ley. The 2013, a much warmer year, is more trop­i­cal than the sear­ing min­er­al­ity of re­cent vin­tages, but still burst­ing with pear, le­mon zest, and spice.

Lake Breeze Pinot Blanc 2012

$19 +5500322 If B.C. has a sig­na­ture grape, it could be pinot blanc. With all the flavours of the fruit or­chards that dot the Nara­mata Bench, it’s Lake Breeze’s call­ing card, won­der­fully fresh, crisp, and pre­cise, loaded with ap­ple and cit­rus. Mis­sion Hill Fam­ily Es­tate Per­petua Chardonnay 2011 $35 +394122 Wine­maker John Simes put Mis­sion Hill on the map when he won top chardonnay in the world in

RICH WHITE

1994, and ev­ery vin­tage since has only got­ten bet­ter. With its el­e­gant, almost Bur­gun­dian fi­nesse, Per­petua is the bot­tle to con­vince Euro­pean friends that B.C. re­ally does make top­notch wine.

ROSÉ

Hay­wire Gamay Noir Rosé 2011 $20 +812693 Hay­wire joins top B.C. and in­ter­na­tional tal­ent, in­clud­ing Al­berto An­tonini of Pog­giotondo, at its in­no­va­tive Okana­gan Crush Pad, where wine is made in huge con­crete eggs. Old World in style, not afraid of a bit of age, it’s savoury rather than fruity, min­eral rather than flo­ral, and ut­terly de­li­cious.

Joie­farm Rosé 2013

$21 +426551 A decade ago Joie­farm’s Re­think Pink cam­paign sparked Van­cou­ver’s af­fec­tion for dry rosé, filling glasses on ev­ery restau­rant pa­tio. In­spired by the wines of the Loire Val­ley, the 2013 is a 60/40 blend of pinot noir and gamay, all straw­ber­ries, cher­ries, and spice with racy cit­rus acid­ity.

LIGHT RED

Quails’ Gate Es­tate Win­ery Ste­wart Fam­ily Re­serve Pinot Noir 2011 $45 +639658 There are more ex­pen­sive Okana­gan pinots, but none quite matches the con­sis­tently grace­ful, el­e­gant Ste­wart Fam­ily Re­serve. The 2011 is drink­ing beau­ti­fully, smooth and silky, per­fumed with rose petals, lots of morello cherry, and bright rasp­berry, then a long fin­ish of spice, mush­rooms, and leather.

MEDIUM RED

Tin­horn Creek Es­tate Win­ery Caber­net Franc 2011 $22 +530717 Cab franc thrives in the Okana­gan Val­ley. A favourite of Tin­horn’s feisty wine­maker, San­dra Old­field, the 2011 shows the char­ac­ter­is­tic cedar and graphite, but there’s also plenty of wood­land smoke, spice, and herbal flavours.

RICH RED

Po­plar Grove Mer­lot 2010 $29.90 +948919 Deep, inky pur­ple, this award­win­ner from one of the orig­i­nal Nara­mata Bench winer­ies is full of plum, blue­berry, and cran­berry fruit with the smoky sage back notes typ­i­cal of the Okana­gan. Big and pow­er­ful at over 15 per­cent al­co­hol, it’s also stylish, well-bal­anced, and grounded in place.

Clos du Soleil Win­ery Sig­na­ture 2012

$40 +474056 en­Route mag­a­zine called the Sim­ilka­meen Val­ley, where Clos du Soleil is nes­tled, one of the “world’s five best wine re­gions you’ve never heard of.” Veteran wine­maker Ann Sper­ling de­liv­ers a clas­sic Bordeaux blend, all black­cur­rant and vanilla.

Painted Rock Es­tate Win­ery Syrah 2011

$40 +13098 The best isn’t good enough for Painted Rock’s John Skin­ner: he wants the ex­cep­tional and he cuts no cor­ners to get it. The 2011 syrah is first-rate, clas­sic north­ern Rhône in style, with pep­per and

black cherry, lovely sweet fruit, and lots of choco­late and cof­fee.

DESSERT

Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Ries­ling Icewine 2012 $60 +988535 Many a vis­i­tor goes home with a bot­tle of B.C. icewine tucked in their suit­case. If you’ve only got room for one, from this abo­rig­i­nalowned South Okana­gan win­ery our pick is Randy Pic­ton’s ex­cep­tional 2012 vin­tage for its rav­ish­ing flavours of peach and lime with a shock of elec­tric acid­ity.

SPARKLING

Steller’s Jay Brut 2008 $25 +264879 The first and still the best bub­ble in the prov­ince, Steller’s Jay blends chardonnay, pinot blanc, and pinot noir, then adds plenty of bot­tle age to de­liver crisp, fresh acid­ity. Very lemony, with a nice warm toasti­ness that lasts through the fin­ish. Pop the cork with B.C. oys­ters, mus­sels, or clams.

Brass­neck Brew­ery

This newly hip part of Main Street was home to sev­eral brew­eries 100 years ago. After decades with­out, there are once again four within just a few blocks. Brass­neck boasts the ex­per­tise of cel­e­brated brewer Con­rad Gmoser, for­merly of Steam­works, and Al­ibi Room owner Nigel Springth­orpe. The goal for their just-opened and very smart venue ( 2148 Main St. Brass­neck.ca): 12 beers, ro­tat­ing of­ten, to excite ad­ven­tur­ous palates.

Bridge Brew­ing Co.

Co-owner Ja­son Strat­ton once de­voted his spare time to re­search­ing all-nat­u­ral beer, but things only clicked when he and wife Leigh met brew­mas­ter Pa­trick Doré, for­mer exec chef at the Fair­mont Water­front. Van­cou­ver’s first nanobrew­ery opened in mid 2012 ( 115–2433 Dol­lar­ton Hwy, North Van­cou­ver, 604-770-2739. Bridge­brew­ing.com). Ex­plore the Deep Cove area, then their North Shore Pale Ale and Hopi­lano IPA.

Dager­aad Brew­ing

Van­cou­ver’s first and only spe­cialty Bel­gian-style brew­ery ( Dager­aad­brew­ing.com) was opened this year by Ben Coli, pro­duc­ing small batches of sub­tle, bal­anced beers in­spired by An­twerp’s Dager­aad­plaats. No tast­ing room.

Four Winds Brew­ing Company

Worth a de­tour to the tast­ing room en route to or re­turn­ing from the Vic­to­ria ferry ( 7355 72 St., Delta, 604-940-9949. Four­winds­brew­ing.ca). Look for a mixup of Ger­man and West Coast styles when you or­der this la­bel. The stan­dards are a pil­sner, an IPA, and a pale ale, but try if you can the strongly car­bon­ated, tart and juicy Sai­son Brett, aged in red wine bar­rels, and one of the best new B.C. craft brews.

Pow­ell Street Brew­ing

In 2013, their Pow­ell Old Jalopy won Cana­dian Brew­ing Awards gold for its atyp­i­cal malty mouth feel and flo­ral, grape­fruity notes. Also in the recipe book: In­dia ses­sion ale, a white IPA, and a spice-in­fused wit­bier. The tiny— soon to be ex­panded—tast­ing room ( 1830 Pow­ell St., Com­mer­cial Drive, 604-558-2537. Pow­ell­beer.com) is a Van­cou­ver favourite, so its charms are best en­joyed dur­ing off-hours.

HI NT: Wines are avail­able through gov­ern­ment stores ( Mat­ter­sof­t­aste.com) and at pri­vate shops. Beers are through stores and at the tast­ing rooms

33 Acres Brew­ing

Brass­neck Brew­ery

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