Blog

 

Enter your email address:

Chris Stenberg
 
September 21, 2012 | Chris Stenberg

Wine Barrel Selection at Blue Mountain

Ian and Matt pay careful attention to the type and quality of barrels used at Blue Mountain. In the video above, Ian explains some of the technical aspects of coopering, and the reasons behind the choice in French Oak barrels for the Pinot Noir. 

While the oak for the barrels may come from several different oak forests in France (mainly Vosges, Tronçais, and Allier) the cooperage for the barrels used here maintains consistent density throughout the barrel. The barrels are also divided into different toast characteristics whether they be light, medium, or heavy toast. 

The selection of the wine barrel has a significant impact on the flavour profile of the wine, so we hope you'll enjoy this video if you're interested in learning about some of the behind the scenes decisions here at the winery. 

 

 

Time Posted: Sep 21, 2012 at 7:25 AM Permalink to Wine Barrel Selection at Blue Mountain Permalink
Christie Mavety
 
September 18, 2012 | Christie Mavety

How to Make Sparkling Wine

Our Brut Sparkling wine is made in the traditional method, or Méthode Traditionnelle as it is in Champagne.  
 
The blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris is fermented with yeast in the bottle to create the bubbles. Over the aging process the bottle is riddled (rotated) through a series of positions until it eventually ends up top down, or sur pointe, as they say in France. 

The yeast ends up settling in the neck of the bottle where it is then disgorged; the removal of the yeast plug. The wine is topped up with a dosage, which can be anything from wine, to sugar water, and is then corked and ready to sell. 
 
The entire process typically takes 3+ years from start to market. If you're keen on understanding more about the process Ian gives a detailed explanation in the video above produced by our friend Chris Stenberg at Vine & Beach
 
Salute!  

 

Time Posted: Sep 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM Permalink to How to Make Sparkling Wine Permalink
Julie Planiden
 
September 15, 2012 | Julie Planiden

Harvest 2012 - Week 1

 

The first Pinot Noir grapes for our Sparkling Wine have been handpicked on this cool September morning by our amazing Mexican crew.   And they look beautiful -- clean, evenly ripe, and with the needed acidity for Sparkling Brut.

In the early morning hours on Thursday we started unloading approximately 49 bins of fruit, or 7.8 metric tonnes from our Horse Thief Vineyard planted in 2007.   Before we started up the press all the staff gathered for a traditional toast to the new vintage, with sparkling wine of course! 

With Charles transporting the fruit from the field, Christoph and Felix running the forklifts, the fruit was fed into our membrane press and whole cluster pressed. The first run juice or Cuvee makes up 75% - 85% of our crush.   The berry remains or pomace were returned to our compost pile and the free run juice was put into stainless steel fermenters. 

 

We whole cluster press to get minimal skin contact as these Pinot Noir grapes are destined for our Brut Sparkling Wine. We keep all the fruit separated in these tanks, not only by vineyard, but by different sections within each vineyard, while the grapes ferment. This is to try and best preserve the unique terroir of each site.  Matt oversees it all; keeping everything organized by labeling the unique lots of fruit.


After pressing, the juice is pumped into tank to let the solids settle. This clears the juice and prepares it to be racked tomorrow. If you come and visit us, you’ll see our bins of Pinot Noir grapes lined up where our visitors usually park, where they’ll stay nice and cool in the evenings, and be close enough to continue pressing in the early hours of the morning.
Looking ahead this week we will harvest Chardonnay and a small quantity of Pinot Gris all from our Horse Thief Vineyard.  These will be used to make up the blend for our NV Brut.


Although it hasn’t been as long of a day as many we will face in the coming weeks, it has been a very exciting first week of vintage!  Welcome back to Blue Mountain vintage veterans Charles and Felix, and for first-timer Christoph, who was very much appreciated in the cellar. The Chocolate Chip Cake was delicious and appreciated during the busy day.  Thanks Jane! All in all it has been an excellent start to the 2012 Harvest.

To be continued....

 

 


 

Time Posted: Sep 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM Permalink to Harvest 2012 - Week 1 Permalink
Chris Stenberg
 
September 10, 2012 | Chris Stenberg

2011 Blue Mountain Gamay Noir


Ian Mavety gives some insight into the Gamay Noir varietal, and in particular the 2011 vintage at Blue Mountain Winery. Typically Gamay can be a lighter red wine crafted in the Beaujolais style, but can also be a slightly heavier wine like a Beaujolais Cru, as the 2011 vintage at Blue Mountain is. 

 

Time Posted: Sep 10, 2012 at 8:01 PM Permalink to 2011 Blue Mountain Gamay Noir Permalink
Chris Stenberg
 
September 5, 2012 | Chris Stenberg

Heirloom Tomato Wine Pairing

Someone once told me that you know you're from the city when you don't know what a tomato should taste like. While that may be quite a sweeping statement, I fully understood what they meant when I bit into my first heirloom tomato.

Compared to the commercially grown tomatoes I had been eating from my local grocery store, these typically farm fresh, somewhat mutant looking tomatoes had such a rich texture and flavour.

Heirloom tomatoes lack a genetic mutation that allows them to come out looking "perfect" like the commercially grown tomatoes found in most grocery stores. The shelf life of an heirloom tomato is also considerably shorter than that of the other varieties, so it must be harvested and eaten in a short time frame. This results in only the freshest of tomatoes, and the best taste!

Some of the more popular types of heirloom tomatoes around the Okanagan include the Green Zebra, Black Krim, Brandywine, Early Girl, and the Ida Gold.

Pairing tomatoes with wine can be a bit tricky, but something that compliments the acidity and fruitiness of the tomato without overwhelming it is key. On the white side of things think Chardonnay, or a white with a rounder mouth feel. Pinot Blanc may also be a better choice than Pinot Gris as it tends to be a little less acidic. A dry style sparkling wine can also compliment heirloom tomatoes well.

If you're in the Okanagan around the end of August into mid-September, be sure to check out our farmer's markets for the best selection of heirloom tomatoes and be sure to sample all of the beautifully odd looking varietals.

 

Time Posted: Sep 5, 2012 at 12:23 AM Permalink to Heirloom Tomato Wine Pairing Permalink
Julie Planiden
 
September 3, 2012 | Julie Planiden

Best of the Okanagan

Every year thousands of visitors descend upon the Okanagan Valley looking for that little piece of what many of us take for granted.  We live here and we can visit these places anytime but even within the valley we all have our favorites.  We thought it would be fun to come up with our own list of the best kept secrets in the Okanagan.  So we surveyed a few of our staff and asked them to share the best things about being a local in the Okanagan.  We hope if you are here for a weekend or a week long holiday you will enjoy having a few insider tips on where to go and what to do.

Favorite Place to while away an afternoon?

Julie: On any of the lakes in the valley.
Christoph: Okanagan Beach, Penticton.
Felix: Horseback riding in Summerland.
Christie: The mice

Favorite Ice Cream flavour and where you go to get it?
Julie: Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel –Tickleberry’s
Christoph: Chocolate- Tickleberry’s, Ok Falls
Felix: Lemon and Passion Fruit Sorbet at Tickleberry’s, Ok Falls
Christie: Chocolate Chip Mine – Ogopogo’s

Favorite hill to ski or snowboard on in the valley?
Julie: Silver Star Mountain in Vernon
Christie: Mt. Baldy

Best summer event in the Okanagan?
Julie: Feast of Fields
Felix: My birthday so far…
Christie: Feast of Fields

Best view?
Julie: Anarchist Lookout above Osoyoos looking north or south on a clear day.
Christoph: the view from Blue Mountain Vineyards over Vaseux Lake
Felix: Blue Mountain View of McIntyre Bluff
Christie: I am biased….

Best Beach in the Okanagan?
Julie: Powell Beach in Summerland
Christoph: Okanagan Beach, Penticton
Felix: There are beautiful hidden beaches in Naramata
Christie: 3 mile, Naramata

Favorite Drive or ride?
Julie: The old highway between West Kelowna and Vernon
Christoph: East – side of Skaha Lake
Felix: Trails in Naramata, Three Blind Mice
Christie: White Lake Road

Best place for lunch with friends?
Julie: Hillside Winery – have the duck confit sandwich!
Christoph: Barking Parrot, Penticton Lakeside Resort
Felix: The Hooded Merganser, Penticton Lakeside Resort
Christie: The Bench Market, Penticton

Most interesting tasting room experience at another winery?
Julie: Church and State Winery – love that you get to sit and relax while you taste.
Felix: Rustico Farm and Cellars

Favorite Okanagan Syrah?
Julie: Young & Wyse
Christoph: 2009 Syrah, Cassini Cellars, Osoyoos
Felix: Le Vieux Pin
Christie: Laughing Stock


Favorite Okanagan Riesling?
Julie: Tantalus Old Vines Riesling and Upper Bench Riesling
Christoph: 2011 Dry Riesling, Gehringer Brothers, Oliver
Felix: Tantalus & 8th Generation
Christie: Tantalus

Favorite Okanagan Blend? 
Julie: Blue Mountain Sparkling
Christoph: 2010 Honest John’s Red, Road 13, Oliver
Felix: Osoyoos Larose

Best Breakfast or Brunch in the valley?
Julie: Patio at Wild Apple Grill at Manteo Resort
Felix: The Veras Special at the Elite Restaurant
Christie: The Bench Market

Best Fall Wine Festival Event to attend?
Julie: Gourmet and Grapes Iron Chef Showdown at Cabana
Christie: Westjet tastings

Best kept secret about the Okanagan?
Julie: All the talented chef’s we have in the valley.
Christoph: Ogopogo
Felix: Ogopogo
Christie: Joy Road Catering God’s Mountain Dinners

Favorite Fruit Stand?
Julie: Blossom’s In Summerland
Christoph: Farmer’s Market in Penticton
Felix: Matheson Creek Farm
Christie: Matheson Creek Farm

Let us know what your favorites are and if there are some other Okanagan secrets that we haven't thought of.  

 

Time Posted: Sep 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM Permalink to Best of the Okanagan Permalink
Julie Planiden
 
August 31, 2012 | Julie Planiden

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival

 

For 10 days in late September and early October each year the Okanagan Valley comes alive with a celebration of the grape harvest.  This is the only wine festival in North America held during harvest with over a hundred events taking place around the valley from vineyard tours to winemaker’s dinners, iron chef cook offs and educational seminars. 

The Okanagan Fall Wine Festival is ranked among the top 100 events in North America and it is right in our backyard. So book early, plan ahead and take in some of the great food, extraordinary locations, amazing wine, music and people the Okanagan celebrates each fall.   This year's festival kicks off September 28th and runs until October 7th. Pick your weekend or weekday, visit and celebrate with the people who make the delicious BC wines you enjoy all year long.

A full listing of events is available on the Festival website.  Some highlights include:

September 30, 2012 Gourmet and Grapes, Iron Chef Throwdown VIII at Cabana Restaurant, 6pm

Gourmet & Grapes is a mixing, mingling and grazing event that boasts some of the Okanagan’s top Chefs.  There will be a selection of some of the areas most renowned wineries pouring alongside these Chefs.  Included in the evening’s festivities is Round 8 of Iron Chef Okanagan!  Filmed, narrated and broadcasted throughout the event. This event has become one of the most exciting wine festival events of the season.  Sells out every year!  www.cabanagrille.com

A new event this year is Alexis de Portneuf, The Young Chefs on October 4, 2012 at Infusions Restaurant, Okanagan College.

Alexis de Portneuf is challenging nine BC Interior young Chefs to get creative. The challenge is to create an appetizer, main or dessert course using cheese.  Guests will sample these creations and will vote for their favourites.  Come celebrate the young culinary talent in the Okanagan.  www.selectyourtickets.com or 250.717.5304


The final weekend wraps up with the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings October 5 & 6, 6:00 pm at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

Over 60 wineries will be pouring with over 240 wines to sample.  There will be live entertainment at this safe ride home event.  This is a great way to sample wines of the Okanagan without having to drive around.  Weekend Passes are available to make sure you get to sample everything; allowing participants to sip white one night and swirl red the next.  Tickets at www.valleyfirsttix.com info@winefestivals.com

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars is pleased to participate in a wine dinner, October 4, 2012 at the Harvest Golf Club 6:30 pm.

This is a great opportunity to savour the flavours of the elite wines from Blue Mountain. Treat your senses with a locally inspired five course culinary creation from Executive Chef Dan Werry and his culinary team paired with Blue Mountain wines.  Live musical entertainment. Reservations required.

Please contact Ryan Brown or Amber Kisling at 250-862-3177 www.harvestgolf.com  rbrown@harvestgolf.com  akisling@harvestgolf.com

Time Posted: Aug 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Permalink
Chris Stenberg
 
August 17, 2012 | Chris Stenberg

A Little About Chardonnay Wine Making

Chardonnay is a wine that many people either love or hate, perhaps due to the wide range of styles on the market. Our winemaker Matt Mavety explains some of the choices involved in making Chardonnay, his own personal philosophy on the varietal, and some technical aspects involved in cultivating a nice Chardonnay wine. As always, at Blue Mountain viticulture is paramount to creating the best possible bottle of wine. 

References:

You can check out the latest Blue Mountain Chardonnay vintage here, or stop by the winery for a tasting!

 

Time Posted: Aug 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM Permalink to A Little About Chardonnay Wine Making Permalink Comments for A Little About Chardonnay Wine Making Comments (1)
Julie Planiden
 
August 14, 2012 | Julie Planiden

Euro Connection

Euro Contingent

In June the Euro Cup was held in Poland and the Ukraine.  You wouldn’t think this is a big deal to a bunch of Canadians who didn’t even qualify, but here at Blue Mountain Vineyards it was. This year we have 3 staff members from Germany and one from Poland.  I myself have a British/Dutch heritage so soccer or football as they call it in Europe was very much a part of growing up.  Needless to say the discussions around the lunch table and the interaction between the guys in the cellar and the office staff were pretty focused on the games.  It made it kind of fun to all unite around a common subject. Sport. Sadly none of our teams won but we enjoyed giving each other a hard time and commiserating when our teams were eliminated. 

Two of our Euro Contingent are permanent staff.  Tomasz from Poland who does restaurant and retail sales in the Okanagan as well as helping in the office and tasting room and doing a lot of packing.  Felix is also here on a more permanent basis as well and makes up part of the German trio. Felix assists Matt with the winemaking and Christoph and Christine are here on internships until the end of harvest.   Christoph is working in the cellar and the vineyard and Christine is helping us in the office and the tasting room.  As part of our conversations I thought it might be interesting to get to know these Euro staffers a little better and so I asked them a few questions. Here is what they had to say. 

How did you become interested in wine?
Tomasz:
I first got introduced to red wine back in Poland, around 12 - 13 years ago.  At that time there was almost nothing available so when I arrived in Canada 10 years ago I was pleasantly surprised to see all the wine from around the world.
Christine: I was raised on my parents wine estate so I became familiar with working in the vineyard and cellar.  I also represented my village as a wine princess and decided to study International Wine Business.
Felix: My grandpa and uncle farm vineyards in Germany.  As a little boy I already helped out in the vineyards. 
Christoph: Grew up in a traditional wine region and worked at my parent’s winery.

Tomasz Bartkowicz 

Favorite wine region in the world?
Tomasz:
I haven’t seen that many places, but I think I like the border of Spain and France.
Christine: There are lots of great wine growing regions and to my mind each is individual and fascinating.  There are nice regions in Germany like Pfalz (palatinate), Baden especially the Lake Constance area and the Douro Valley in Portugal and of course the Okanagan Valley.
Felix: The Pfalz in Germany.  The second largest wine region with 23,000 ha and the most beautiful. The world’s best Rieslings come from there.
Christoph: Wurttemberg, Germany

 

Christine Krieger

Christine Krieger

Favorite grape varietal and why?
Tomasz:
Chardonnay because it is so beautiful and so underrated nowadays.
Christine: I really like Riesling because this grape is so changeable.  This means that you can produce brilliant dry wines which can be fruity or have mineral qualities, on the other hand it is possible to create great sweet and noble sweet wines.  Riesling has great flavours of green apple, peach, grapefruit and a high acidity which leads to a fresh wine.
Christoph: Riesling - There are many different styles and types are possible. Typical for Germany you can find it anywhere in Germany.
Felix: Definitely Riesling. No other variety is so versatile and expresses the terroir like Riesling does.

What you like best about being in the Okanagan?
Tomasz:
Once the summer arrives, there is no better place to be in the world. First class outdoor activities, mountains, wine, lakes...everything is here.
Christine: Friendly people and customers, beautiful landscapes and nice weather.
Christoph:The friendly, helpful and relaxed people.
Felix: Meeting new and interesting people. Beautiful landscape and good wine.

Felix Korb

What do you miss most from home besides your family?
Tomasz:
Homemade perogies and white borsch over smoked sausage.
Christine: German breakfast, driving without a speed limit.
Christoph: My fantastic friends!
Felix: Beer, sausage and sauerkraut and my girlfriend of course.

 

Christoph Klopfer

What do you hope to learn from your experience at Blue Mountain Winery?
Christine:
To get an insight  into the Canadian way of producing and selling wine and the wine market. To get to know some new wines with a different style.
Christoph: How to produce high quality wines and how to manage all of the important sequences of work.  Also to improve my English.
Felix: To make good wine, getting more independent and more experience. To gain insight into a successful run winery.


So if you see them in the tasting room or out on a tractor say hi or give them a wave.  They are happy to share their experiences and talk with visitors.  Thank you to all of our Euro connection for being such great sports.  I am sure we will learn as much from them as they are learning with their Canadian experience. Hopefully their time here will leave them with a soft spot in their hearts for Canada in the future.  Go Canada go! 

Time Posted: Aug 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Euro Connection Permalink
Julie Planiden
 
August 7, 2012 | Julie Planiden

How to Make Truffle Popcorn

Food and wine pairing can be complicated.  It takes lots of practice and if you get it wrong it can be mediocre at best.  If you get it right the experience can be magical.  There are lots of excellent food pairings that have a history of going well together.  Things like Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese, Pinot Noir and Duck or Wild Mushroom Risotto, Pinot Gris and Oysters.  Here is an easy one to get you started on your road to food and wine pairing success and to wow your friends or family the next time you are hosting an event!  Makes a great light starter especially if people are arriving at different times.  Serve with well chilled dry Sparkling wine and celebrate life!

How to make truffle popcorn!

Popcorn- we pop ours in an air popper
Melted Butter - about 2 -3 tbsp
Truffle Oil - start with a little and taste regularily until you get the right amount.  It can be very strong so a little goes a long way.
Salt - we use sea salt infused with fresh thyme
Fresh cracked Pepper

Pop your popcorn in an air popper into a large vessel. We use a large pail so we can distribute the butter, truffle oil, salt and pepper evenly.

Drizzle with ⅓  of the melted butter. Shake or toss. Repeat a couple more times.

Drizzle with a small amount of truffle oil. Shake or toss. Taste and repeat if necessary.

Grind salt in a spice grinder with fresh thyme infusing the salt with the thyme flavour.  It will look bright green to begin with but as it drys out will take on a dried green colour. You can make a fair amount of this and store it in an airtight container for future use.

Sprinkle with thyme infused salt. Shake or toss.

Sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Shake or toss.

Enjoy!  Particularly with Sparkling wine or a buttery Chardonnay.

Why do these two very different items go so well together?  The yeastiness of the Sparkling and the earthiness of the truffle oil marry well as well as the saltiness of the popcorn and the refreshing effervescence of the sparkling.  Try it ...we think you’ll like it....alot!

For a sampling of Truffle Popcorn visit us on Friday afternoons and taste it with our Blue Mountain Sparkling Brut.

Time Posted: Aug 7, 2012 at 3:50 PM Permalink to How to Make Truffle Popcorn Permalink

Instagram Feed

Our latest tweets

paulrickett profile
@wino_bc I'm going to put winery and wine type rather than vintage, reserve, etc in the Calendar. Then people can… https://t.co/ZIL1fjfrKQ
MFVwines profile
RT @stock_guy1: Having some friends over for dinner on Saturday. Wines are ready. Great BC wines. @BlueMtnWinery @checkmatewinery @ClosduS

Join us

Share or like Blue Mountain at the following social media sites for all of the latest updates.