BC Rosé: Join the Revolution

BC Rosé: Join the Revolution

Posted on Jun 9, 2021

BC wine

More than half of all BC wineries are producing Rosé.

If you think you’ve been seeing more Rosé on the shelves in recent years, it’s not your imagination. Once dismissed as nothing more than a simple summer sipper, Rosé has seen a noticeable rise in demand thanks to an equally notable rise in quality and production. Rosé has consistently been one of the fastest growing retail wine categories in the world over the past few years. British Columbia is definitely not immune to this trend. Not only is consumer demand continuing to rise in our Province, local wineries are responding with more than half of those in BC now producing this popular pink elixir.

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ribera del duero wine

Alejandro Fernandez

Alejandro Fernandez is known as “El Rey de Tempranillo”, Spanish for the King of Tempranillo. His winery, Pesquera, put the Spanish region of Ribera del Duero on the world wine map. Alejandro was a tireless champion of the Tempranillo grape and understood as well as anyone how to grow it and how to vinify it. He passed on May 22, 2021 at the age of 88. He was a true icon in the wine world, a man of tireless energy and a great lover of people. To say he was charismatic would be a gross understatement. If he was in the room, you knew it, and you would very likely try to make your way over to where he was.

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This series of articles will focus on the top wines from a number of Champagne Houses. In Champagne these top wines are referred to as that house’s “Tête de Cuvée”. The Tête de Cuvée will be made from a strict selection of the best barrels from the best vineyard parcels. The Tête de Cuvée is very limited in production, but it is very important to the Champagne house as it represents the best of the best, the crowning achievement that defines what the house is capable of.


Billecart-Salmon NV Brut.

Billecart-Salmon is one of the great names in Champagne and one of the few remaining that are still family-owned. (Taittinger, notably comes to mind as also being family owned, but these two are rare in that regard). Seven generations of Billecarts have run the estate since Nicolas Francois Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon in 1818. Over two centuries later much remains the same at Billecart-Salmon: the house makes beautiful Champagnes from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards in a style that emphasizes balance and elegance. Horses still pull plows through some of their vineyards and respect for family values and tradition remain very much in evidence.

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Santa Barbara Wine Country

Jim Clendenen, Allison & Bob Lindquist.

Earlier this week, the news that Au Bon Climat Winemaker Jim Clendenen had passed away sent shockwaves throughout the wine industry. His name is synonymous with wine from Santa Barbara county, but his legacy reaches well beyond the state of California. We had the good fortune of meeting him in late February of 2020—our last AdVINEture outside of Canada before COVID-19 closed the Canada/USA border. We had made several trips to Santa Barbara wine country prior to then but due to his extensive travel overseas, our schedules never managed to sync. Just over a year ago the stars aligned, and our patience was rewarded with a most memorable afternoon as guests of one of his infamous long table lunches. A lunch that happens daily at the winery for staff, with Jim at the kitchen helm when he was in town. We described him at the time as “Plain-speaking, intelligent, witty, iconoclastic and maybe a bit irreverent too, but unmistakably charming.” We hope you’ll enjoy revisiting our time with him this week as we honour a true pioneer:

Jim Clendenen

Jim Clendenen with winery dog Emmy.

As the tributes pour in from around the world, the stories of his generosity, humour, mentorship and talent, remind us that we got to see firsthand what an unpretentious legend really looks like.

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Tempranillo: A Primer

Tempranillo: A Primer

Posted on May 12, 2021

navarides spain wine old vines

Vineyards in Spain’s Rioja region.

No grape is more closely associated with Northern Spain than Tempranillo, and no viticultural region is more closely associated with Tempranillo than Northern Spain. Their pasts and their futures are inextricably linked.

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tete de cuvee

2002 Piper Heidseick Rare

One of the difficulties in spending a lot of money for a special bottle of wine, if you have never tried it before, is to try to take some of the gamble out of choosing the right wine, whether at a restaurant, at your local bottle shop or on-line. Champagne has a “Cru system” which offers a classification that you will often see on the bottle’s label that provides the designation of Grand Cru or Premier Cru. But just what do these designations mean and how can this help you choose your wine?

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