In the Okanagan judging the Lieutenant Governor's Awards

I’m in Canada’s Okanagan Valley judging the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards. We’re assessing 750 wines from the province over two days. It’s really nice to hang here with a great group of Canadian judges. Of these wines, around 200 got bronze, 100 silver and 60 golds. We’re currently judging the gold medal wines to find […]

Okanagan (5) Anthony Buchanan Wines

Anthony Buchanan (above) is the winemaker at Desert Hills, but since 2014 he’s been making wines under his own label, Anthony Buchanan Wines. He began in 2014 with 56 cases of Pinot Noir, and last vintage (2018) he was up to 1000 cases. In 2019, he’ll be doing 1500 cases, with a range of six […]

Visiting Niagara, Canada (2) Queenston Mile

Queenston Mile is a new producer in Canada’s Niagara region. It’s a side project of the Creekside winery, who have been making wines from this 50 acre vineyard in St Davids Bench for 20 years. Creekside’s focus has been on Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah, but the focus at Queenston Mile is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. […]

Visiting Niagara, Canada (1) Henry of Pelham

The modern history of Henry of Pelham dates back to 1982, when Paul Speck Sr and his wife Bobbi bought some contiguous parcels of land in what is now the Short Hills Bench area of the Niagara Escarpment. This was early days for Vitis vinifera in Niagara, and in 1984 they began planting Riesling and […]

Okanagan (4) Martins Lane

Shane Munn, Martins Lane

Martins Lane is a stunning high-end winery in the Okanagan Valley that focuses solely on making single-vineyard wines from Riesling and Pinot Noir from the north of the region. When I first visited the region in 2014, the winery was an enormous hole in the ground. It’s right next door to […]

Okanagan (3) Mission Hill with Ben Bryant

Mission Hill is possibly the most famous winery in Canada’s Okanagan Valley. It’s owned by Anthony von Mandl who made his money from the Mark Anthony Group. He purchased the property in 1981, and has gone on to transform it into one of the most impressive destination wineries in North America. Over this period, the […]

Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (1) some leading Ontario Chardonnays

I’ve just come back from the i4C (Ontario’s Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration) where I tasted a lot of Chardonnay. These are my notes on some of the Ontario Chardonnays I tried.

Leaning Post The Fifty Chardonnay 2017 Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Textured and ripe with nice citrus and spice notes. Has nice freshness and some depth, with a mealy […]

Okanagan (2) Time Winery

Time is an urban winery located in downtown Penticton, and it opened its doors in summer 2018. Previously, was located in Oliver in the south of the Okanagan, where it had 60 acres of vines in a beautiful setting. This setting appealed to the well-heeled Richter Bai when he was deciding where to put […]

Canada's Okanagan Valley hits London

High-end London department store Selfridges has just listed a bunch of wines from Canada’s Okanagan Valley. Chief buyer, Terry Threlfall, hails from British Columbia, so it’s nice to see him supporting his own crew. As someone who has spent a lot of time getting to know Canada’s wine regions, I think this is an exciting […]

Okanagan (1) Sage Hills and Keenan

Sage Hills is a relatively new Okanagan winery. The vineyard, beautifully situated on a lake-facing hill in Summerland, was purchased by Vancouver property developer Rick Thrussell in 2006. At the time, it was a rather run-down apricot farm that had been abandoned for a decade, and Rick planted 7 acres of vines on the site, […]