In the Shuswap area of the North Okanagan is a productive organic goats cheese company called Happy Days.
Happy Days Dairies mission is to produce premium quality, 100% Canadian, Goat and Organic cow dairy products with the utmost care and attention given to farmers, animals, customers and business partners. Each one of their dairy farmers is committed to treating their animals humanely with access to clean bedding, dry and warm shelter, open air barns, access to the outdoors, pastures, fresh clean air, high quality nutritious and natural food, clean and fresh water. They encourage their goats and cows to engage in their natural behavior by placing them in social groups where they can live in a herd to run and play.
Happy Days Dairies vision is to be the leader in producing 100% Canadian Goat Dairy and Organic Cow Dairy products without compromise on quality, service and the humane treatment of their animals.
Here are some interesting wine and goat cheese pairings:
Sauvignon Blanc - The crispness of this wine is a perfect accompaniment to the soft creamy Okanagan Goat Cheese - This soft unripened cheese is available in several flavours, including: Plain, Garlic and Parsley, Lemon Pepper, and Olive Oil and Rosemary. Try it in summer salads or on crackers with this elegant wine.
NV Brut - The saltiness of this cheese lends itself to the effervescence of the Brut Sparkling. On a crostini or with salad, bubbles and feta are an interesting match. Goat Cheese Feta - available in crumbles or brine. Fresh and tangy.
Pinot Gris - The rich butteriness of Pinot Gris will capture the nuttiness and depth of character in this Organic Gouda - mild flavoured with a semi firm texture & creamy taste with a hint of nut on the finish. Grate on salads, add to pastas or enjoy on its own with some crackers and jelly.
Looking to purchase Blue Mountain wines in the States? We recommend paying a visit to Pike and Western wine shop in Seattle.
Pike and Western is an old fashioned wine shop. Since opening in 1975 they have seen a lot of changes in the wine world, the biggest being the number of wineries that have opened worldwide! Back in the day they had to be many things to many people but as wine has become more accessible they have taken another road, featuring the small, the artisanal, and the producers who produce wines of character.
They are motivated by delicious wines, made in a manner that highlights their terroir, the people that grew the grapes and made the wine and the culture that surrounds them. They taste everything, are opinionated and can help you drink well within any budget.
When they opened their doors, the Pike Place Market had just been saved by a vote of the Seattle people. It was then a local market. There were no tourists. Today that is not the case and summers can be crazy in the Market. But in its soul it is still a market for food loving locals. And that is why they are there. Their passion is to talk to you about the fascinating subject that is wine. It’s a subject that is complex, confusing and they don’t want to strip wine of that. They just want to help you understand a bit more, one bottle at a time.
Visit their website for more info.
Pike and Western Wine Shop
1934 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 441-1307
Fax: (206) 441-1308
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
No matter what your views are on Valentine's Day from worth celebrating to way too commercial, one simple thing that you can do is enjoy some sparkling wine and celebrate with your special someone.
We have four Sparkling wines to choose from 2006 Reserve Brut, 2007 Blanc de Blancs, 2010 Brut Rosé and the NV Brut. See below a recent review by Beppi Crosariol from the Globe and Mail of our Brut Rose sparkling wine:
Brut Rosé R.D. 2010: "The colour is an enticing delicate rose-petal pink, like a faint blush on a pretty face. It’s serious bubbly from one of Canada’s best sparkling wine producers, aged for 36 months in contact with the bottled yeast prior to having the sediment disgorged. Bone dry in that electric Blue Mountain style, it shows bright lemon, green apple, berry and toasty baguette flavours over a satisfyingly chalky texture."
We suggest starting the evening off with some bubbly. Looking for a super easy appetizer to enjoy? Try this recipe for Smoked Salmon and Caper Cream Cheese Toasts and pair it with our 2010 Brut Rosé Sparkling wine.
Reviews for our other Sparkling wines can be found on our website.
Happy Valentine's Day!
This story is about green meadows, happy cows, fresh thinking and age-old cheese making traditions taking place in the lush landscape of Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.
Natural Pastures specialty artisan cheeses are known for having a unique, delicious taste or “terroir”, developed from the fresh, pure milk which the pristine soils, waters and pastures produce here in the Comox Valley. The animals are stress free and live in healthy environments. Because the cows eat the local grass and herbs, generously watered by Pacific Ocean-soaked rain, the milk used to make the cheese has its own “terroir” or distinct flavour. The term is familiar to wine-makers, where different regions have their distinct terroirs.
Selected local dairy farms are committed to environmental sustainability, and the natural wildlife habitat has been enhanced. Their enhanced stream habitats raise thousands of wild Coho Salmon each year. Their pure, fresh milk complements Natural Pastures artisanal cheese-making traditions which are managed by Doug Smith and Paul Sutter, head cheesemaker, leading their dedicated team to capture the essence of the unique flavours of the privileged environment of Comox Valley with their fine artisan handmade cheeses. Edgar notes that “Natural Pastures Cheese Company’s world-class cheeses are due in part to the traditional Swiss training and professional accreditation of their cheesemaker, originally from Switzerland, and to the consistent and hard work of all the employees of Natural Pastures at their federally inspected production facility in the city of Courtenay.”
Here are some wine and cheese pairings worth trying:
Pinot Gris - Buffalo Brie - An exotic twist on their world champion Comox Brie, their new Buffalo Brie is the very essence of traditional and inspired cheesemaking. Rich water buffalo milk from the Island transforms this cheese’s texture and allows your taste buds to explore new pathways. The creaminess of this brie will compliment the rich creamy notes of the Pinot Gris with enough acidity to bring out the earthy character of the cheese.
NV Brut - Parmadammer - A parmesan style cheese with a deep, rich nutty flavour. Available at the cheese shop and farmers markets. Sparkling is a natural partner for stronger, harder cheeses. Try it with some spicy pecans.
Pinot Blanc - Boerenkaas - Dutch for ‘Farmer’s Cheese,’ award-winning Boerenkaas has a sweet nutty flavour and bold, tangy finish. Superb in soups, salads, omelettes and pizzas. The sweet nutty flavour and tangy finish will match the Pinot Blanc simplicity and bring out the best in both.
Cheese Factory & Shop
635 McPhee Avenue
Canada V9N 2Z7
Tel: 250 334 4422
Toll Free: 1 866 244 4422
There is a hidden gem in Okanagan Falls…try heading down to Dogtown Coffee Co. for breakfast and a coffee to jump start your day before an exciting day of touring the Okanagan Falls wineries. They have a great breakfast menu to choose from, such as: fresh baked pastries, omelettes or even a morning wrap.
Dogtown is all about local fare; they carry a local coffee roaster, Lone Tree Coffee from Summerland, and showcase local artists throughout the year.
As well they have a second location in Penticton, Dogtown Café & Urban Market that opened early December 2014. Check out their facebook page to learn more about what they are doing at this location.
Dogtown in Okanagan Falls
5121 HWY 97, Okanagan Falls
Open Monday - Friday 7am – 3pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm
A few of our favourite pictures of Winter 2014 /2015 at Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, Okanagan Falls. If you have any great pictures of Winter in the Okanagan, please submit them to email@example.com and we will post them on our facebook page.
The Okanagan Valley a spectacular place to visit in the summer, but for those of you that do not know we have a handful of excellent mountain resorts. You can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, classic or skate skiing and snowshoeing throughout the valley. If you plan to visit the Okanagan Valley I would like to recommend three resorts.
You will find Apex Mountain Resort 33 kilometers west of Penticton, approximately a 30 minute drive from Penticton. You can enjoy the following activities at the mountain resort, such as: the Tube Park accessed via a lift, cross-country skiing at Nickelplate Nordic Centre, with 56 kilometres of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing, and snowshoeing is another great adventure. You can always contact Hoodoo Adventure Company regarding tour and rental options.
Big White Ski Resort is located 56 kilometres from Kelowna. For those of you that will be flying into the Kelowna airport you can take advantage of the Airport Shuttle. View here for a map.
Some fun Mountain Facts:
- Summit: 2,319m (7,606 ft.)
- Village Centre: 1,755m (5,757 ft.)
- Westridge Base: 1,508m (4,950 ft.)
There are also a handful of activities that can be found at the resort such as:
Ice climbing, tube park, snowmobile tours, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides, cross country skiing and there is a spa!
Silver Star is located just outside of Vernon at the north end of the valley, considered a one stop resort in the Vernon area. If you can believe it, Silver Star is BC’s third largest ski area. Some of the fun winter activities outside of downhill skiing or snowboarding are as follows: rock climbing, horse sleigh rides, ice skating, snowmobile tours, snowshoe tours and much more.
We would love to hear about all of your fun adventures. Have a fabulous winter season!
Nestled in the cool moist climate of Vancouver Island in the shadow of Mt. Arrowsmith, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks produce a selection of hand-crafted cheeses to delight the senses. Using the highest quality milk from their own herd of Holstein, Brown Swiss and Canadienne dairy cows, they have an artisan cheese to suit any occasion, meal, or just a light fresh snack.
Visit them at the farm! Watch the cheese makers in action and learn a bit about how they make cheese. Take a self-guided tour of the farm and enjoy a stroll along the walking trails. Stop by the Farmgate Store for samples of all their cheeses and stay for a picnic. And you just can’t leave without visiting all the animals: cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, bunnies and Carl (the llama)!
Here are some cheese and wine pairings we think you will enjoy:
Pinot Gris - Pair with their best-selling Brie. It has a creamy texture, velvet white rind, with mushroomy overtones that works beautifully with the richness of the Pinot Gris and the acidity brings out the creaminess of the brie. The little wooden board, rescued from the burn pile of a local guitar manufacturer, can live again as a coaster.
Pinot Blanc - Caerphilly, Famous as the key ingredient in Welsh “Rarebit”, it is a good cheese for sauces as it toasts well. As a table cheese it is characterized by a buttery tang. Perfect for the richness of Pinot Blanc.
Gamay Noir - Rathtrevor - Inspired by Swiss Gruyere and named after the local provincial park. Its careful ripening process and long aging make for a fine table cheese that pairs well with fruits, nuts, and a good wine. This cheese will compliment the juicy berry characteristics that come through in the Gamay.
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
Open daily year-round from 9am – 5pm!
403 Lowrys Rd, Parksville, BC V9P 2B5
A few of our Staff members shared their favourite Christmas Holiday Traditions - Dinner Ideas and Wine pairings!
Christie Mavety & Jason Michiel
"Jason Michiel is the chef in our household and therefore I would like to add his input…Our tradition on Christmas eve is to have Cassoulet and pair it with a Beaujolais Cru, Daniel Bouland Morgon", Christie.
Recipe: Smoked Sausage Cassoulet
Wine pairing: Beaujolais Cru, Daniel Bouland Morgon
Ernst & Chantelle Bruwer
"Christmas in South Africa is in the middle of summer, so Christmas tradition would be to enjoy Cold Cuts - think Ham, Leg of Lamb and lots of salads for Christmas Eve or for Christmas lunch. Since we will be Celebrating Christmas in Canada this year, we will make a traditional South African Chicken Pie (Meraai se Paai), Roasted Potatoes and Veggies. Our wines of choice would be Hamilton Russel Chardonnay, Hemel en Aarde Valley, South Africa or Blue Mountain's Estate Chardonnay", Chantelle.
Recipe: Chicken Pie ("Meraai se Pie")
Wine pairing: Hamilton Russell Chardonnay or Blue Mountain Chardonnay
Julie and Roger Planiden
" A holiday tradition in our family is to have lobster for Christmas Eve (which happens to be my birthday) We always pair this with a rich buttery Chardonnay. While Roger is preparing dinner we always enjoy a glass or two of bubble. Some of our favourite chardonnays are: MerSoleil, Rombauer, La Crema Chardonnay" , Julie
Bill Adams and Petra
"For many years this French Canadian classic was prepared by my Grandmother for our family dinner on Christmas Day, and it is a tradition that I still carry on. Chef David Lee has added venison for a slight twist, which provides a more “gamey” taste to compliment this rustic dish", Bill
Recipe: Venison and Pork Tourtière
Wine pairing: Blue Mountain Gamay Noir, Quails Gate Old Vines Foch Reserve or Pfaffenheim ‘Steinert’ Grand Cru Gewürztraminer
Do you have Holiday traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments section below. Happy Holidays!
The holidays are the perfect time for sparkling. Think Christmas morning, New Year's Eve or any of the other great reasons to give or receive a pressure packed bottle of deliciousness. In 2012, I wrote a blog about Sparkling wine and how troubled I was that many customers felt that sparkling, or bubbly was only for anniversaries or New Year's Eve. See www.bluemountainwinery.com/blog/Sparkling I am pleased to report visitors to the winery seem to be reading the blog and acting on some of the suggestions that were made. People are now drinking more bubble for no reason at all. In addition, in the last few years we have had more wineries in the Okanagan starting to produce sparkling wines.
Recent additions to the bubble scene in the valley including "The Bub" from Okanagan Crush Pad, Natural Brut Sparkling Riesling from Tantalus (sold out), Stoneboat Piano Sparkling, Bella Sparkling Chardonnay and Sparkling Gamay Noir, 8th Generation Confidence. And the grapevine swirl's with other producers starting sparkling production.
A couple of recent reviews of some great holiday sparkling have been provided by Beppi Crosariol from the Globe and Mail, Anthony Gismondi from the Vancouver Sun, Christoper Waters from Canoe.ca, Darren Oleksyn from Calgary Herald and the Wine Align team. Be sure to check out their lists before you head to your nearest retail outlet.
Maclean's magazine even did a feature on the sparkling wine industry in Canada last year and slowly it seems wine lovers everywhere are starting to realize that they can enjoy sparkling any day of the week for any reason or no reason at all. We all have lots to be thankful for in our lives so be sure to have a bottle or two on hand for those days when life needs celebrating.