Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coming of Age

The Fraser Valley is fast becoming one of British Columbia's most exciting wine regions. The wineries extend from Chilliwack right into the heart of the City of Vancouver. One area of the Valley is a major tourist route; extending from the Mt Lehman region near Abbotsford to the wineries of Langley Township.

During the past month, Barbara and I have visited two new wineries, Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery in the Mt Lehman region and The Glass House Winery in Langley Township. A few days ago I dropped by one of our favourite wineries Blackwood Lane Estate Winery on my own.

I was met at the tasting room door with enthusiasm by owner and winemaker Carlos Lee.  I was aware there was patio expansion happening, which was confirmed by the noise of the tractor working behind the tasting room. Carlos showed me his plans for the new patio and viewing area.

This was very exciting as Barbara and I have enjoyed time spent on the patio in the past and will be looking forward to more good times when the upgrades are completed.

The patio offers a wonderful view of Mt Baker and the surrounding countryside where deer and horses wander freely.

The patio provides an outdoor area to enjoy wines, cheese boards and pizza in a very relaxing atmosphere. Aside from being very knowledgeable about the different wines the staff also provides excellent patio service.

But the best part about the winery is still the wines! I enjoyed a couple of hours tasting the latest vintages with Carlos and his Manager, Kim. Believe me, these are not your average wines. The quality is amazing, which is reflected in the price.

We began with the Vicuna Roja a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from their Osoyoos vineyards. The wine has a nice aroma with dancing fruit flavours on the taste buds.

Followed by a 2013 Cabernet Franc with a very smooth and light taste with flavours of strawberry, a most enjoyable wine.  The 2012 Merlot Special Addition offered up a nice sweetness.

Carlos then poured his amazing Reference, an expensive wine but one every collector will want to have in their cellar, John Schreiner (well-known wine critic) awarded it a score of 96.

The bottom line is when you tour the Fraser Valley you will not want to miss Blackwood Lane Estate Winery and all that it offers.

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