Special edition podcast with Jeannette Montgomery of Okanagan Writing Services
Frank Zappa said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. So what do we do when we want to tell someone about wine? Or write about it?
This week we feature a special one on one conversation about communicating wine with Jeannette Montgomery, a local writer, blogger for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society, and full-time wine enthusiast living in the south Okanagan. In this podcast, we chat about ways wines are described in traditional media versus more common perceptions of wine. And if that wasn’t enough, we even take on wine as an art form. In depth discussions like this sometimes get helped with a little wine and this was no exception – we open the 2008 Auxerois from Gehringer Brothers.
Posted by winecountrybc . Click on Link for Podcast.
The Naramata Bench has a lot of wineries in a relatively small area. Most wineries on the Bench are small production, boutique-style wineries. Red Rooster has the appearance of a boutique winery but is actually owned by Andrew Peller (who also have Sandhill, Calona, Peller Estates, among others), although they started out originally as a boutique winery on property that is now home to Therapy Vineyards.
There is a real sense of community within the wineries on the Bench. In the short history of BC’s wine industry, they were the first region to really band together to promote the Naramata Bench as a wine tourist destination. The result was the Naramata Bench Winery Association which promotes member wineries at special tastings and hosts annual events such as the Tailgate Party every September.
Joie Farm Noble Blend 2008
However, not all wineries belong to the Association. Noticeably absent are wineries from the Holman-Lang group (Lang, Soaring Eagle, Zero Balance, etc), Ruby Tuesday (whose owners are the original founders of Red Rooster) and Joie Farm, who have always been a bit independant in their methods since starting in 2004. They have recently been named Wine Press Northwest’s BC Winery of the Year for 2010 and have a dedicated and loyal following among foodies in the know.
That sense of independant spirit is a large part of what makes Naramata special and something that you can easily experience first hand when you visit. And when you do, don’t forget to bring your camera.
[LFAW Editor’s Note: Highly recommended also is Joie Farm’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2009. It “squeaks with cleanliness” and at the same time is medium-bodied with ripe, pear-like fruit.]
Painted Rock started selling their first wine late last summer. The buzz has been building ever since. This is serious wine with no compromises. Their vineyard gets sunlight until 9:25pm in the summer. Rocks surrounding the vineyard collect and radiate heat. The air drains evenly through the vineyard over the cliffs into Skaha Lake. Not a detail has been overlooked with how this vineyard has been set up.
So how does the wine taste? Well, let’s just say their modest line of 5 wines – Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Cab Sauv (now sold out) and Red Icon (meritage blend) – easily stand out. I first tasted their wines at a trade tasting at last fall’s wine festival. Aaron and I were tasting whites in the ballroom of the Ramada when we found that there were other wineries in the smaller room opposite the ballroom. Upon entering said room, we were greeted by a lady who came right up to us and said something like, “Here, try this chardonnay” to which we replied, “Um, thanks. Who are you?”
She told us a bit about Painted Rock and their products and in truth, I remember nothing of what she said. I was so taken by this chardonnay – its complex aromas and depth – that everything else was kind of tuned out for a minute or so. That’s when I looked up to see that Aaron was paying as much attention to the wine as I was.
Suffice it to say that when we came back to try the reds (again after having tasted much of the reds in the bigger ballroom) we were again knocked out by the same complexity as the chardonnay. I had to know more about this winery.
The result is this podcast. I recently sat down for an interview with Painted Rock owner John Skinner about the new winery and the marketing that has helped create buzz about the winery that won “Best New Winery” at the 2009 Fall Wine Festival.
As mentioned in the podcast, Painted Rock will be opening their temporary wineshop in the last week of April 2010. They plan to be open all summer until the fall festival. Check out their website for more info.