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.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10:00am to 5:00pm
(May to Thanksgiving)
10:00am - 5:00pm
(Thanksgiving to May)
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.
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.
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
Since May of 2013 Blue Mountain's Brut Sparkling has been available in Quebec's SAQ.
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.
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
May to September: 11-5 daily
October to April: 11-4 daily
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.
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
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.
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
The Okanagan Falls Winery Association’s annual Party in the Park is back & tickets are on sale now!
Come join us and our neighbouring Okanagan Falls wineries for an authentic Southern-style BBQ dinner prepared by The Chef Instead, live music by local minstrels Uncorked, and wine tasting by 12 Okanagan Falls wineries (Blasted Church Vineyards, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, Krāzē Legz Vineyard and Winery, Liquidity Wines, Meyer Family Vineyards, Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery, Painted Rock Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard, Topshelf Winery, Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery)
Also, Blue Mountain Winery is giving away 2 tickets to the event. To enter, find your way to our Facebook page, "like" us (please!), like our post about the Party in the Park event & share it with your friends. Simple!
When is it?
Friday, July 11th, 2014 from 5pm till 9pm
• 5 to 7 PM taste and learn about each winery’s specialty
• 6:30PM – 9 PM dinner buffet & live music
• Wines by the glass will be available at a nominal fee
How much is it?
Tickets are $50 + tax and can be purchased at the following locations:
• Member winery tasting rooms
• Penticton Visitor Information Centre
Where is it?
At Kenyon Park in Okanagan Falls (on the shores of Skaha Lake behind the IGA)
Accommodation discounts are offered for your convenience subject to availability
• 12% off rooms at the Ramada Inn and Suites Penticton, email Gord at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-492-8926 (mention Okanagan Falls Winery Association or Party in the Park when booking)
• discounted rooms at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, book online or email Courtney Fossett at email@example.com
Participants must be 19 years of age or older. For more details on the event check out OFWA.ca