How did you become interested in wine?
Although my country Serbia has a long wine tradition, the idea of working in the sector came somewhat later for me. As a member of dance group I have had the opportunity to travel each year to France for a tour. We visited many different wine regions and wine was served each lunch and dinner. And that is when I started understanding wine and how people appreciate and admire it. The choice to work in the wine industry was rather logical and therefore for my Bachelor studies I opted for viticulture and fruit pomology where I found a further profound interest in vine & wine. During my Master studies which I did in France and Germany, I just confirmed my passion for wine, and got the opportunity to broaden my knowledge, experience, travel and discover the beauty of the wine world.
Favourite wine region in the world?
There are so many great wine regions in the world and each of them being so special in its own and unique way. I still need and want to discover more, but if I have to name a single one, at this moment it would be Douro region in Portugal. I was really impressed by its views, vineyards, terraces, river and wine of course.
Favorite grape varietal and why?
My favorite red variety is definitely Pinot Noir! A very delicate grape that needs a lot of attention, but when properly managed it gives great wine and lot of pleasure. It is a very special variety that plays an important role in many sparkling wines, and is also used in red or rose wines. Riesling is another grape variety that I appreciate as it has great acidity which gives wines an aging potential, and it can be used for either very dry or sweet, botrytis styles. Chardonnay is the third variety I prefer, as it can be grown in many different places around the world and can express itself in so many different ways depending on the country, region, terroir or simply winemaking technique.
Similar reflection as to the question about grape varieties, as I prefer Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay wines. Besides those I also like some full bodied and more powerful reds such as Bordeaux, Australian Syrah or South African Cabernet Sauvignon. I could always have a glass of good sparkling wine as well. Some indigenous grape varieties could also give very interesting wines and reflect the country from where they come from (think of Eastern Europe...).
What you like best about being in the Okanagan?
Beside wine, I love being outside in the nature and enjoying great views and lakes.
What do you miss most from home besides your family?
As I am already four years studying and travelling in Europe and around the globe, I have become used to being away from home, but in my heart home is never far away. Most of all I miss my boyfriend (coming from the same country and the same town, but currently in France) who is with my family, my biggest support all these years. Of course I miss some of my closest friends as well.
What do you hope to learn from your experience at Blue Mountain Winery?
Besides handling and making great white and red wines of Blue Mountain winery, traditional method of sparkling wine production is something that I am really looking forward to learning even more about in the upcoming period. The winemaker Matt Mavety and his wine and life philosophy and approach to all different situations is something that I really appreciate. I am sure to learn many more things about vine & wine from him and the whole team over the 2014.
What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now?
I would like to travel a bit more to gain more experience and discover other important wine regions in the world. There are three projects where I could see myself in the future and those closely reflect what I am interested in and want to do in my life:
2. Wine sensory analysis
Winemaker anywhere in the world that you most admire and why?
There is no winemaker that I admire the most. All of them that I have been working with up to now, I admire for some particularity and different reasons. I appreciate a lot their passion, philosophy, and winemaking! Being able to express yourself through wine and in the same time having great results and success is something definitely to admire!
Favorite wine memory?
I love wine tastings and I really enjoy participating in blind tasting. There are always great surprises when you don't see the outside of the bottle, rather just taste what is inside it. Every souvenir from wine cellars, likewise tasting some special or old vintages left a strong impression on me. Traveling around the world, getting to know the regions and their wines, people and wine culture of the country - that is my favorite wine memory and my passion!
Busy planning your Easter dinner? You should also think about wine pairings. Here are a few food suggestions that will perfectly pair with wines from Blue Mountain.
Smoked Salmon and Scrambled eggs or
Baked French Toast with Salmon, Bacon and Veggies
Ham with a pineapple/ orange glaze or
Apricot Glazed Ham
Wine pairing - Blue Mountain 2012 Pinot Gris
Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Chicken
Wine pairing - Blue Mountain 2012 Chardonnay
Barbecued Lamb Chops or
Garlic Leg of Spring Lamb with Mint
Wine pairing - Blue Mountain 2012 Pinot Noir
Do you have another wine pairing to recommend for Easter? Share it in the comments section below.
Approximately 100 Bighorn Sheep spend the spring in the Vaseax Lake area and many are found on the slopes and the grassy areas along the drive to Blue Mountain winery. They are a recovering herd that has bounced back after a pneumonia epidemic that reduced populations throughout the Okanagan in the late 90's. Known for their large curling horns and the charging they do during mating season these majestic beauties are placid herbivores that live 6 - 15 years.
These are all images of our resident Big Horn sheep here at Blue Mountain. Should you get any great pictures of the sheep on your way to visit us please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and post them on our facebook page. To help you identify what you are seeing, here is a sketch of the various horn shapes as the sheep age.
Classification diagram for Bighorn Sheep from Geist 1971 (Mountain Sheep: a study in behaviour and evolution)
For more information: South Okanagan Bighorn Sheep Inventory 2013
A big thank you to Aaron Reid, R. P. Bio Wildlife Biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations.
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