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Julie Planiden
 
August 28, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Kootenay Alpine Cheese

  

Made in the century's old cheese making tradition of Europe, Kootenay Alpine Cheese wanted to create specialty cheese that reflected the landscape, culture and life of the place it comes from. 

Towering over Mountain Valley Farm pastures is the magnificent Thomson Mountain range. The farm is situated in the heart of the Kootenays, on benchland above the Creston Valley, 10 minutes from the Idaho border and 4 hours from the Alberta border. Mountain Valley uses no pesticides, GMO’s or chemical fertilizer on the land. They nurture and replenish the soil through many sustainable management practices, including the application of composted manure from the farm and whey from their new cheesemaking facility. The health of the herd is maintained following organic practices, with no hormones being used. They are certified organic with Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and also belong to Kootenay Local Agricultural Society whose mandate is to foster local, sustainable agriculture.

These farmstead cheeses are handcrafted following the tradition of artisan cheese-makers, and made using only the raw milk from their own certified organic herd. Each cheese is carefully aged in order to develop a rich, complex flavor that is unique to the milk, their farm, and their region. 

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Pinot Gris & NOSTRALA: “Of this place.” A firm cheese with mild earthy notes, a subtle creamy texture, and a pale golden interior. Resembles a firm Italian Fontina, often referred to as the Italian cousin of French Gruyere.

NV Brut Sparkling & MOUNTAIN GRANA: A hard cheese modeled after an Italian Piave with a dense grainy texture and a sweet flavour, with hints of nuts and fruit. With extra aging, a full-bodied flavour develops, resembling a young Parmigiano Reggiano.

Chardonnay & ALPINDON: “Gift of the Alpine,” Their premium cheese, is a firm cheese carefully modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. Following centuries old tradition this cheese is hand-rubbed and made only with milk from summer pastures. It exhibits a smooth nut flavour, a complex finish, a rich golden interior and a dark textured rind. Additional aging concentrates its flavours, deepens its complexity, and increases the sweet crystals that develop throughout the body of the cheese.

Alpine Cheese Company
3071 16th Street
Creston BC (on the corner of Sinclair Rd and 16th St, and right beside the Lister Park)
250-428-9655
info@kootenayalpinecheese.com

SUMMER HOURS:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10:00am to 5:00pm
(May to Thanksgiving)

WINTER HOURS:
Saturdays only
10:00am - 5:00pm
(Thanksgiving to May)

 

Julie Planiden
 
August 26, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Wine Serving Temperature - What's best and why?

   

Quite often we serve our white wines too cold and our red wines too warm.  When this happens white wines can appear tasteless and red wines might come across as bitter.  There are a few reds that do benefit from being slightly chilled especially in the warm summer months.  For lighter and fruitier reds such as Gamay Noir and some Pinot Noir putting them in the fridge for about 45 minutes and then let them come to room temperature for about 20 minutes will create similar circumstances to what home temperatures were like when all the talk started about serving reds at room temperature.  Chilling these reds will focus their flavours and make the wine taste more refreshing.  Around 12 - 15C.

White wines like Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc can be chilled for about 1 1/2 hours in the fridge and then 20 minutes to warm up and then served they should maintain their crisp light refreshing flavours. Around 10C. With heavier whites like Chardonnay a little less time in the fridge, about 45 minutes and then about 20 minutes to come to temperature should showcase the rich full bodied flavours Chardonnay is known for.  

With Sparkling wine a couple hours in the fridge is perfect as you want to maintain the crispness and microscopic bubbles in the glass. Sparkling wines should be chilled to 6 - 7 degree C. This slows the release of bubbles. Not only does the wine stay lively longer, it keeps its fruit aromas and bouquets longer.

One last thought is that it is easier to warm a wine up in the glass than it is to cool it down so err on the side of cooler.  By experimenting a bit with some of your favourite reds and whites you might find you like them even more at the correct temperature. 

Christie Mavety
 
August 21, 2014 | Christie Mavety

Meet our Tasting Room Staff

It is our third official season for the tasting room to be open with no appointment necessary.  We are now open daily from 11am to 5pm for you to drop by to taste and purchase our wines. 

I am very fortunate to have a handful of knowledgeable staff to guide you through your wine tasting of Blue Mountain wines and make helpful recommendations for visits to other wineries, events and activities to partake in while visiting the Okanagan Valley. 

I would like to introduce you to some of the personalities behind the tasting bar at Blue Mountain for the 2014 season! 

           

How did you become interested in wine?

Angela Grant - Although I did take my first wine course over 10 years ago as part of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program, I think touring the Okanagan really peaked my interest when I saw how much soil, climate and the wine making process can change the way each varietal tastes.

Chantelle Bruwer - I studied Marketing Management in Stellenbosch, South Africa. In my final year of studies I met my (now) husband, Ernst - who's passion for wine & the wine industry had an influence on my career choice.

Heidi Astles - As a former flight attendant, I travelled extensively, and was fortunate to experience different wines from around the world.

Julie Planiden - Growing up in the Okanagan, wine was always in my backyard so to speak.  Then I married a chef and had the opportunity to travel and live in many parts of Canada.  During these years I had many amazing food and wine experiences.

Kornelia Brieke - In the 80's I met Albert Le Comte who introduced me to Gewurztraminer and I have loved wine ever since.

Favorite wine region in the world?

Angela Grant - Call me biased but I love the wines from the Okanagan! Unlike many other wine regions in the world, there are less guidelines, allowing wine makers to be creative and I love how the orchard fruits shine through in them.

Chantelle Bruwer - I'm going to be true to my roots... South Africa. Some of my favourite wine regions in South Africa include Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, the Overberg, Walker Bay, Elim, Constantia & Cape Point.

Heidi Astles - I would have to say Australia, my husband and I have visited all of the wine regions there. We especially enjoyed the Yarra Valley, which is just east of Melbourne.

Julie Planiden - Although I have travelled, I have not visited many wine regions.  So on my bucket list are Champagne, Sancerre, Burgundy, Oregon, Tuscany, Australia, and South Africa. 

Kornelia Brieke - Alsace Region - Rhine in Germany

Favorite Grape Varietal and why?

Angela Grant - Pinot Noir, it makes my favourite red, can be made into sparkling and also Rose.

Chantelle Bruwer - Shiraz, my love for this varietal started when I worked at Raka winery in South Africa.

Heidi Astles - Gamay Noir - It is a great red to drink in its youth, slightly chilled.  Pair it with red meat, or a rich flavourful fish like salmon.

Julie Planiden - Lately I have been drawn to Chardonnay.  I think it is a versatile grape variety, extremely food friendly, think halibut, buttery popcorn, lobster, or nothing at all.  I appreciate that it has so many incarnations, fully oaked, stainless steel fermented, lightly oaked, malolactic fermentation, the list goes on.   

Kornelia Brieke - Gewurztraminer as it has nice tropical fruit flavours, spice and sometimes smokiness.  It goes great with lots of foods.

 

 

 

 

Chantelle Bruwer
 
August 19, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

2013 Gamay Noir and Pinot Gris are now available

We are pleased to announce the release of our 2013 Gamay Noir and Pinot Gris.  Bright fruit and complex flavours characterize the 2013 vintage.  If you find yourself in the Okanagan Valley we welcome you to visit the winery to taste and pick up your 2013 vintage wines.

Vineyard update:

We have begun to see veraison in the vineyard, the onset of ripening of the fruit and taking on the colours characteristic of their specific varietals.

 

 

2013 Gamay Noir- $23

 

Winemakers notes: Due to ideal ripening conditions the 2013 Gamay Noir displays good
acidity and juicy cassis flavours, with notes of blackberry and a long, spicy
finish.  Its balanced structure will allow the wine to age for 4 to 6 years.

 

 

 

2013 Pinot Gris - $21

Winemaker notes: The 2013 Pinot Gris has a citrus, mandarin, orange nose with rich, dense orange
and lemon flavours across the palate with notes of orange peel and spice
on the finish.  The structure of the wine will allow it to age beautifully for
4-6 years.

 

 

Chantelle Bruwer
 
August 14, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

We welcome you to enjoy your picnic at Blue Mountain

At Blue Mountain Winery we offer the option to bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it with a glass of wine at our picnic benches overlooking our vineyard.

 

Here's some recommendations on where to purchase a picnic to enjoy while wine touring:

 

Kelowna

Salted Brick - Featuring house cured meats (charcuterie), handcrafted cheese from the Okanagan and California.
243 Bernard Ave (Downtown Kelowna next to the Paramount Theatres)

 

Penticton

The Bench Market - They offer salads- made daily from scratch as well as grilled panini sandwiches and a selection of gourmet cold sandwiches. They also have daily specials ranging from beef stew and pot pies to tuna melts, quesadillas and wraps. They also stock local cheeses and other delicious treats.
368 Vancouver Avenue, Penticton

Brodo - Variety of sandwiches and salads, and the menu changes seasonally to reflect what's fresh from the harvest.
483 Main Street, Downtown Penticton

Penticton Farmers Market - Grab your cooler and fill it with delicious bites from Penticton's Farmers Market.
100 Block, Main St., Penticton
 

OK Falls

Dogtown Cafe - Dogtown Cafe in Okanagan Falls offers delicious salads, sandwiches and wraps.
5121 HWY 97, Okanagan Falls 
215 Winnipeg St, Penticton
 

Osoyoos

doLci Deli & Catering - doLci Deli & Catering is a vibrant main street business serving inexpensive, quick lunches and fine grocery products.
8710 Main Street, Osoyoos

 

 

 

Julie Planiden
 
August 12, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Where to find our wines - in Quebec

Since May of 2013 Blue Mountain's Brut Sparkling has been available in Quebec's SAQ.

http://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/vin-mousseux/blue-mountain-brut-nv/11881907

Recently reviewed by Jancis Robinson who gave it 15/20. Here is what she wrote:

"A great find from the Okanagan! Flavourful sparkling wine conveys aromas of apple and nectar-producing flowers. Excellent quality-price ratio."

The SAQ website allows you to find a store near your location where the wine is available.  It also has some great recipe pairings to enjoy with the Brut Sparkling NV. So be sure to share this information with any friends and family in Quebec.

Julie Planiden
 
August 8, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Blossoms Fruit Stand - Summerland

 

Between Penticton and Summerland there is a small fruit stand on the side of Hwy 97 that sells everything delicious in season.  Blossoms is open daily from 8am till 7pm and has the freshest of what's in season much of it grown onsite.  Known for their home grown peaches, they also have an excellent selection of jams, jellies, dressings and sauces. All locally produced. Their friendly staff are there to help you with your canning needs, orders for fall root vegetables or just a scoop of yummy ice cream on a hot day.  Stop by and say hello to Melinda and the staff, we are sure you will find something you like.

Blossoms Fruit Stand
5408 Hwy 97 (5 km south of Summerland)
PH: 250-494-1111
blossomhy97@shaw.ca

  

 

Chantelle Bruwer
 
August 5, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Winery, Oliver

Are you looking for a good spot to have lunch or dinner while visiting Oliver/ Osoyoos.

Terrafina Restaurant is on the beautiful Golden Mile Bench in the heart of Oliver wine country. They serve Tuscan style food made with fresh local ingredients. On April 24th Blue Mountain's tasting room staff had lunch at Terrafina and staff choices included Tuscan Salami and Mushroom, Roasted Vegetable Sandwich and Shrimp & Clam Tagliatelle

Their dinner menu includes delicious options such as Duck Confit and Blue Cheese Pizza, Braised Lamb Pappardelle Pasta, Hill Farms Oven Roasted Chicken and Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin.

 

(Roasted Vegetable Sandwich at Terrafina Restaurant)

Be sure to add Terrafina Restaurant to your next Okanagan culinary experience.
 

Terrafina Restaurant
13183 -326th Ave (Road 8)
Oliver, BC
(250) 498-2229

Julie Planiden
 
July 31, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Salt Spring Island

   

Salt Spring Island Cheese Company specializes in handmade goat and sheep cheeses.  Started in 1994, they made cheese for 2 years and then started selling it in 1996. Known for their chèvres, they also make several other types of goat cheeses (feta cheeses, surface ripened cheeses, and even a hard cheese).

The cheese is made at their farm on Salt Spring Island, off Canada's west coast, and while you can buy their cheese as far east as Toronto, you are encouraged to come to the island, wander the farm and taste the cheese fresh for yourself.

On Reynolds Road, about 2 kilometers from Fulford Harbour, and only a short detour on the way to Ruckle Park. Also at the Saturday market in the grace point park on Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when the market's open.

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc and Chèvre goat cheese were made for each other.  Any of the chèvre made at Salt Spring Island cheese would go beautifully, however the simplicity of the Flower Chèvre really brings out the brightness and acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc.

Gamay Noir - This mild blue cheese from Salt Spring Island called Blue Juliette is the perfect accompaniment on a cheese board and would be delicious on a sunny afternoon with either a slightly chilled juicy Gamay Noir or a Pinot Noir.  The earthiness in the wine is complimentary to the same characters in the cheese. 

Pinot Gris - Blue Juliette's sister cheese Juliette is made the same way only no blue mold is added.  This goat camembert loves the crisp acidity and lush stone fruit flavours of the Pinot Gris.  Have it with some apricot jelly and your cheese board will sing!

Salt Spring Island Cheese Farm Shop
285 Reynolds Road
Salt Spring Island
(250) 653-2300
May to September: 11-5 daily
October to April: 11-4 daily

 

Julie Planiden
 
July 29, 2014 | Julie Planiden

BC Pinot Noir Celebration 2014 - Tantalus Vineyard

 

 

The second annual Pinot Noir Celebration will take place at Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna on August 31, 2014.  For anyone who attended last year's event at Meyer Family you will know to get your tickets early.  This was an awesome inaugural event and everyone had a fabulous time tasting great Pinot's from around the world and around the Okanagan Valley.  Wine makers were on hand to answer questions and generally celebrate this grape that grows so well in the Okanagan and is revered throughout the world.  Tickets will sell out for this event so book yours early and get ready to enjoy some great food and Pinot Noir!

The celebration aims to bring together passionate Pinot Noir producers in the province in an interactive and fun atmosphere - giving guests an intimate experience with our winemakers and winery principals whilst building education and excitement about BC Pinot Noir.

16 participating wineries:
Tantalus (host location), Meyer Family, CedarCreek, Quail's Gate, Howling Bluff, Blue Mountain, Liquidity, Black Cloud, Seven Directions, Mission Hill, 50th Parallel, Eau Vivre, Averill Creek, Orofino, Lake Breeze and Carson.

Event program:
The day will consist of a Sparkling Blanc de Noir reception and welcome address from Tantalus winemaker and president of this year's celebration, David Paterson. A keynote address from internationally-acclaimed wine educator and author Karen MacNeil ("The Wine Bible") will kick off the day.

Two breakout sessions will follow offering guests one-on-one interactions with winemakers from across British Columbia:
The first session takes guests "Behind the Bottle" into Tantalus' winery tank hall for a sit-down look at three key regions for BC Pinot Noir by way of a winemaker-led blending activity with insights into BC Terroir and regional development from Vancouver-based sommeliers Michaela Morris and Michelle Bouffard of House Wine Girls (ISG &WSET diploma-certified).

A second session will focus on "Cellaring BC Pinot at Home" - with a dip into the cellars of three of BC's oldest, most well-established wineries for a taste of the rewards of cellaring BC Pinot Noir.

Each guest will have the opportunity to experience both breakout sessions.

Following this, guests will move to our garden tasting salon where you will have time to revisit with the winemakers and taste a wider spectrum of each winery's Pinot Noir offerings. Tantalus will also be hosting short, casual vineyard walks at this time for guests to get up close with their Pinot Noir blocks - both young and old.

An al fresco dinner, featuring a salmon bake and porchetta roast from celebrated Kelowna Chef Mark Filatow will ensue with live music from Vancouver's "Tainted Lovers" and dancing under the stars to top off the celebration.

(Please note each ticket includes the full program as listed above, including two seminars, the tasting salon, buffet dinner and dessert - with wines to accompany dinner - as well as the evening's entertainment and all taxes and gratuities. A cash bar will accompany the entertainment portion of the evening.)

To avoid disappointment purchase your tickets today: www.bcpn2014.eventbee.com

Julie Planiden
 
August 28, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Kootenay Alpine Cheese

Nestled in the Creston Valley of British Columbia is an alpine cheesery modeled in the European tradition. These artisan cheese makers use raw milk from their own certified organic herd making delicious cheeses unique to their region.  Continue »

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