Subscribe to our blog to keep up to date on what is happening at Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars.
On July 18th we were invited to pour our NV Brut Sparkling wine at an inaugural and exclusive Sparkling Wine-only event. This Gatsby-themed event got hosted by Joy Road Catering at Linden Gardens in Kaleden with pours from some of the Okanagan's favourite sparkling wine producers and food pairings from Joy Road.
Sumac Ridge Stellar's Jay
Gruyere Gougiere with House Cured Prosciutto
Herbed Truffle Omelette
Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad with Thai Basil, Humpback Shrimp, Peanuts & Cilantro
Blue Mountain NV Brut "Gold Label"
Wild Salmon Caviar with Crème Fraiche Chantilly & Chives
Purple Potato Chips
Bella Sparkling Rosé
Puff Pastry with Heirloom Tomatoes Anchovy & Caramelized Onion
Elephant Island Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine
Pork Belly Steam Buns with Apple, Cabbage & Picked Pink Onions
8th Generation Confidence
Salt Cod Fritters with Local Espelette Aioli
Haywire The Bub
Browned Butter Halibut Cheek
Cauliflower, Fried Capers, Lemon & Parsley
Orofino Muscato Fizzante
Freshly Shucked Outlandish Shellfish Oysters with Strawberry & Cracked Black Pepper Mignonette
On April 24th 2014, the Blue Mountain Winery tasting room staff had the opportunity to visit some of our neighbours in the Oliver area as part of our annual staff training. This was a good opportunity to get to some of the wineries we haven’t been to and also find out what each of them have to offer.
Our first stop was to see Jessi Collins at Black Hills Winery. Black Hills Winery offers a sit down guided tasting using varietal specific Riedel glassware. This is an educational and enticing wine tasting experience and includes their current releases along with some of their library wines. Follow this link to reserve a tasting.
As of June 20, 2014 you will have the opportunity to enjoy a glass paired with fresh, handmade food made with the freshest ingredients from local producers at Black Hills Winery. They opened a first-of-its kind Vineyard Kitchen in an eco-friendly Shipping Container; a new partnership between Black Hills Estate Winery and Joy Road Catering. Visit www.blackhillswinery.com for more info or to make a reservation.
Open daily 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from April 26th to November 30th.
Our second stop of the day was at Church and State Wines, where we enjoyed a very relaxed sit down tasting in their tasting room with a clean, modern design looking into the barrel room.
We got to try their Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Church and State Wines
4516 Ryegrass Road,
Oliver, BC ~ 250-498-2700
April: Open Friday – Sunday, 11:00-6:00
May – October: Open Daily, 11:00-6:00
We then stopped in to see Jen at Stoneboat Winery. We got to try their Piano Brut (sparkling wine made from Pinot Blanc and Müller Thurgau), 2012 Chrorus Blend, 2012 Faux Pas Rosé, 2011 Pinotage, 2011 Solo Pinotage Reserve, 2011
Verglas and 2012 Pinotage Icewine.
Open daily April 1st to December from 10:00am - 5:30pm.
(The view from the Hester Creek Villas overlooking the Valley)
We then enjoyed a lovely lunch at Terrafina Restaurant. We will tell you more about this mouth-watering experience in our Terrafina Restaurant Blog in July.
We stopped in at Hester Creek Winery for a quick visit and got a tour of the breathtaking Hester Creek Villas.
The last stop of the day was to see Mike at Le Vieux Pin. We tried their 2012 Ava, 2012 Vaila Rosé, 2012 Syrah and 2010 Equinoxe Syrah. Mike took us on a tour of their barrel and tank room.
May 16th - Sept 30th: 7 days a week 10am-7pm
We would like to thank all the wineries for their hospitality, thanks for making us feel so welcome. We look forward to sending visitors to all these unique wineries this season.
Available in Ontario are two of Blue Mountain's wines. Found mainly in Vintages, the LCBO website is an excellent place to look up availability and find an outlet near you.
NV Brut Sparkling reviewed by Beppi Crosariol in the Globe and Mail recently had this to say:
"There is more than a whisper of Champagne finesse to Blue Mountain's sparkling wines. One reason has to do with Raphaël Brisbois, the former winemaker at famed French house Piper-Heidsieck, brought on board in the early days to help craft the wines. Back then, you pretty much had to be on an exclusive mailing list to find this superlative B.C. bubbly. Now, it's available in Ontario as well as in stores in the West. It shows tart green apple, light toastiness and great depth of flavour, with high-tension acidity."
2012 Estate Chardonnay reviewed by John Schreiner. Here is what he had to say:
"This winery’s understated Chardonnay is designed to accompany food. It is an elegant wine with hints of citrus in the aroma and on the palate, and with a mouth-filling polished texture. The Blue Mountain style is to ferment 40% of the wine in stainless steel and 60% in a mix of new to three-year-old barrels. The wine in barrels ages there for seven months, with minimal battonage of the lees. Only 10% has gone through malolactic fermentation. The fruit flavours remain fresh, supported by a fine skein of minerals."
Be sure to tell your friends and family in Ontario about these BC wines available in their local LCBO.
A visit to Okanagan Falls is not complete without a stop at the end of your wine touring day at the colourful and busy Tickleberry's on the highway. Established in 1990 by the Hoy family, Tickleberry's makes it's own chocolate, fudge, kettle korn and stock over 50 flavours of ice cream. The line ups can sometimes be long but on a hot summer day a nice cool treat makes all the difference.
1207 Main Street
With summer in full swing it is time to release the first of our 2013 white wines.
2013 Pinot Blanc - $18
Winemaker notes: The 2013 Pinot Blanc displays complex flavours of stone fruit, white peach and apricots with a touch of honeysuckle. A full mouth feel with peach flavours leads into a long finish. The structure of the wine will allow it to age beautifully for 3-5 years.
Articles: Western Living Magazine - 12 Essential Okanagan Wines - Food and travel editor Neal McLennan picked a mixed case that covers the region’s most exciting producers and included Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc - June 2014
Reviews: "Chic, tantalizing, pristine. Last vintage Blue Mountain updated their look; these new labels have a softer classic look with a pen and ink-type illustration of their Okanagan Falls vineyard.
A common thread in all of their wines is a pristine character just like this Pinot Blanc with its crisp white fruits, grapefruit and spring blossom notes layered with honey and stony mineral. The palate is bright with a lovely weight - expect sweet orchard fruits and tangy citrus flavours. A chic white with a tantalizing mouth-watering finish" Daenna Van Mulligen (Wine Diva) - July 2014
2013 Sauvignon Blanc - $19
Winemaker notes: The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc displays complex flavours of citrus, boxwood and lemon/grapefruit, on the nose and palate. A full mouth feel with a lemon/grapefruit flavour leads into a rich long, finish. The structure of the wine will allow it to age beautifully for 3-5 years.
Reviews: "Elegant and layered, this is a Loire Valley-styled Sauvignon Blanc with a kiss of subtle oak, whose but de la vie is to deliver scrumptious, mineral-infused, citrus fruit aromas and flavours via its engaging nose and refined, balanced palate. Mouth-watering and refreshing minus any hard edges or crowd-dividing pungency. Drink now-2017" Liam Carrier (Icon Scores) - July 2014
Have you ever hiked in the Okanagan Falls area before? Our go to hiking guru Sue Mavety sure has! My aunt Sue has spent a number of years hiking around the hills in the Okanagan Valley.
How long have you lived in Okanagan Falls? What attracted you to the area?
12 years. I visited the Okanagan a lot as a child and with our children when they were young and we wanted to leave the Lower Mainland area.
What do you enjoy most about hiking around the Okanagan?
The weather is normally dry as compared to hiking on the coast where I used to live. And you get some lovely views without having to climb really high to get out of the dense vegetation that is on the coast.
Do you hike with an organized group and if so what is the name of the club?
Yes I belong to the Penticton Adventurers Club. (I am president at the moment) We are a hiking/social club for people over 55 years of age. We have over 100 members, about 70% of which are hikers. We hike 2-3 times a week and our hikes range from rambles too strenuous in difficulty.
What time of the year is your most favourite time to go on a hike?
I enjoy hiking at all times of the year, they each have their own special attributes. We hike the lower trails in the valley in the winter, but I love the snow and we do a lot of snow-shoeing with the club as well. The flowers in the spring and summer are beautiful and there are so many different varieties to see. The golden colours of the grasses in the fall are also wonderful. And we have seen deer, mountain sheep, bear and moose on our hikes.
What hikes would you recommend in OK Falls?
Being in a small town hiking is really at your doorstep. The KVR (Kettle Valley Railway) is always an interesting "walk" as opposed to a hike. There is lots to see along the lake and you can go north from OK Falls to Kaleden (just over 4km one way) or you can head south down the river all the way to the south end of Vaseux Lake (this is long probably close to 8km one way from the town site of OK Falls). It is also different from the northern route as it is along the river most of the way.
The hike up Peach Cliff area gives some wonderful views of the valley both north to Penticton and south past McIntyre Bluff. You do not even need to go to the top to get some great views. There are many trails but they are not signed or flagged. They are animal trails that we humans have now used enough that they are very apparent. There is also an old mine in the area with some tunnel openings and an old quarry filled with water where they did some open-pit mining. An old rapidly deteriorating shed with core samples is also in the area. We usually see deer and often mountain sheep in this area as well.
Thank you for sharing with us Aunt Sue!!
A boutique cheesery nestled amongst the vines with a spectacular view of Okanagan Lake, on the Naramata Bench, in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Visit the cheesery at Poplar Grove to experience their fine cheeses directly from where they have been lovingly handmade.
Wine and Cheese Pairings:
Pinot Gris - Double Cream Camembert - This is a match made in heaven, add some pear slices and you have a delicious afternoon snack.
Gamay Noir - Bench Blue - This "beginner’s blue" is mild and surprises many anti blue cheese consumers. Great melted on a "just off the BBQ" lamb burger. Summer is complete!
Pinot Noir - Harvest Moon Wash Rind Cheese - this salty creamy pungent cheese is not for the faint of heart, a welcome addition to any cheese board and well suited for the earthiness of Pinot Noir.
Cheese Shop Hours:
April and May: Weekends 11-5
June through October: Daily 11-5
Join the Community Celebration in the heart of Okanagan Falls at Kenyon Park!
Covert Farms has always been a busy place, but in the last few years there is a whole lot going on such as: Farm Field Dinners, an event called the Freakin Farmer, Wine tastings, U-pick fruits and vegetables. As well home delivery is available so that you can get the freshest vegetables delivered right to your door. They even have summer camps for young farmers. All of these things add up to a whole lot of activity going on. And it is all organic.
Tucked up above the north end of Oliver is a hidden gem of the Okanagan. Covert Farms, at the foot of McIntyre Bluff is a 600 acre terrace that has been growing organic produce since 1959. A large organic farm and country market that features in season organic produce fresh from the farm, in the setting of beautiful vegetable and flower gardens, a patio and playground.
Those who love recreation dually appreciate the location of Covert Farms, as it is positioned at the gateway to the iconic Okanagan Landmark, McIntyre Bluff, and makes a great place to picnic after a bike ride or hike.
Covert Farms is about tasty and healthy food and the relationships that are necessary to bring that about in a sustainable way. The relationships of the land are many and complex and most have yet to be discovered. As these complex relationships are discovered so is interest, intrigue, humility and of course great food. Good food is not just about taste. It's not just the nutrient value. It’s about life, learning and exploration. Visit Covert Farms, explore; learn about your food; and experience a place bustling with life and diversity.
Try Pick-your-own. Friendly staff in the fields can assist you with your selections and guide you if you so choose. Over 40 different crops to try and experiment with. If you don’t care to pick, they have harvested produce in their market. Most crops are available till mid-October or till first frost.
Looking for more one-on-one. Take a guided tour with a farmer. Explore the vineyards, fields, and the special places around the area in a vintage 1952 Mercury Truck. The tour ends with a private wine tasting accompanied by small bites from the kitchen. Max 10 people per tour.
We invite you to join us on July 18th at Linden Gardens in Kaleden for an "Evening of Effervescence". Get ready for the party of the summer: an art deco celebration of Okanagan Bubbly!
When is it?
Friday, July 18th from 6:30 - 9:30 with pours from some of your favourite sparkling wine producers Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars, Bella, Sumac Ridge, Therapy Vineyards, Orofino, 8th Generation, Elephant Island & Haywire!
How much is it?
Tickets are $99/person and can be purchased at http://www.joyroadcatering.com/contact.php
Where is it?
Linden Gardens in Kaleden
Fabulous food pairings by Joy Road Catering.
Costumes are required (think Gastby!) and you'll be glad you dressed up for an elaborate setting of antique cars, food and wine stations hidden throughout the gardens, and vignettes for photo ops from Vintage Origami.
We have put together some clothing ideas on Pinterest, check our Pinterest page for inspiration.
Chef Dana Ewart at Joy Road Catering was on CTV Vancouver on June 9th, 2014 making some tasty bites and telling the big city about the "Evening of Effervescence" event at Linden Gardens, click here to watch the video. Joy Road Catering also got featured on Breakfast Television this past Tuesday and Chef Dana made a delicious asparagus hazelnut pesto.
Come celebrate Okanagan bubbles in style!