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Merlot: A Primer

Merlot: A Primer


Posted on Jul 21, 2021

Merlot is so many things it is hard to know where to start: it is grown all over the world and is the third most planted wine-making grape variety (any guess what the first two are?); it is one of the primary grapes of Bordeaux; and it is the grape that was famously trashed in the film and book “Sideways”. It also makes Petrus, often cited as the most expensive wine in the world.

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The Rise of Oregon Chardonnay

The Rise of Oregon Chardonnay


Posted on Jul 14, 2021

Willamette Valley oregon wine

Some of the beautiful organic vines at Youngberg Hill.

It happened quickly. Oregon has for several decades now been known as a producer of some excellent Pinot Noir. Its cooler climate was capable of producing Pinot Noir that, at its best, could be subtly nuanced, refined and elegant. Comparisons with Burgundy would come up in conversations among the wine cognoscenti and then in the wine press. Pinot Noir had put Oregon firmly on the wine map. In fact, Pinot’s dominance made people associate Oregon with Pinot Noir, to the point where “Oregon equals Pinot Noir” is a common mindset in the same way people think Napa equals Cabernet Sauvignon. No wonder people think that, as the Willamette Valley Wineries Association has on their website landing page, in bold all caps type: “WE ARE PINOT NOIR”.

Of course, neither of those notions is really true, it is just a common perception. In Oregon that perception is starting to change, and wine drinkers are starting to take notice of some of the delicious Chardonnay being produced in Oregon.

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What do you do when travel is restricted and time is limited? When you live in beautiful British Columbia, you make the most of it! Our latest video AdVINEture features Lillooet, a small community in Sea to Sky country just north of Whistler and well worth exploring. If glacier-fed lakes, picturesque jagged mountains, stunning waterfalls, and an award-winning winery sound enticing, take a look at this highlight reel below from our recent visit:

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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.

Champagne grand cru

2006 Comtes de Champagne

The name Taittinger will be well known to Champagne drinkers. It is one of Champagne’s top 5 largest producers and is one of Champagne’s original Grande Marques, a syndicate of 24 of the top houses that includes Bollinger, Krug, Pol Roger, Charles Heidsieck, among others. They are thought of as among the most elite and prestigious producers within Champagne. Taittinger is also known for its extensive vineyard holdings, 700 acres, among the largest in Champagne, that supply about 50% of the grapes Taittinger ferments in a typical year.

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Rolf de Bruin.

The word ‘pioneer’ gets bandied about a lot, but it truly takes vision to open the first commercial winery nowadays in a region with barely any viticultural history. It certainly wasn’t the first place Rolf de Bruin and his wife Heleen Pannekoek had considered for a winery when they emigrated from Holland, but heading into their 11th harvest, they’re already making their mark on BC’s rapidly developing wine scene at Fort Berens.

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Cabernet Sauvignon: A Primer

Cabernet Sauvignon: A Primer


Posted on Jun 16, 2021

Bordeaux France

Cabernet Sauvignon bud break in Bordeaux.

Cabernet Sauvignon is in many ways the world’s most important grape when it comes to making red wine. It is the world’s most planted grape variety (just edging out Merlot for that title) and it makes some of the most highly praised wines as indicated by both critic’s reviews and prices collectors are willing to pay. More than just a noble grapes variety, it might just be the King of red wine grapes.

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