Friday, August 25, 2017

Closed for Event

Sometimes writing a blog can be very difficult. The fact that wineries often close for special events I find very annoying.
Right now I am finding it difficult to express why I feel this way. I have twenty-five years of experience in the hospitality industry but granted none as a winery manager or owner.

I realise it’s a quick and profitable means for the winery to have a special one-day event. But what about those people who planned a visit to a winery that day and find it closed. Closed because the winery does not have the space or staff to run a special event and greet their regular customers at the same time? DO you sacrifice the public’s trust that you are open on the day your Facebook page and website say you are? Are people who arrive at your door and find you closed unhappy perhaps even angry with you?

I just know I would be very upset if I came to your door and found you closed. I have experienced it a few times. A few years ago my wife and I planned a trip to Vancouver Island. I check with four wineries to see if they would be open. According to their website, all four would be open.  We drove through the back roads of Saanich Peninsula searching for the first winery only to find it closed. So was winery two and three. We did not bother going to the fourth winery.  

Posting a notice on Facebook saying your closed that day for an event is not good enough! Not posting correct hours on your website, unforgivable.

Will the people who arrive at your door to find you closed willing to return, studies have shown the majority do not. When they go to the store ready to purchase wine for diner do they deliberately avoid your wine because of the disappointment of discovering your doors were closed that day? DO they tell others about their frustration at finding you closed Yes they do!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wines we seldom Buy

Pictured above is one of my favourite grapes when turned into wine Ortega! I love the smooth rich refreshing taste of this cold climate wine. Sea Star Vineyards on Pender Island makes a very good Ortega as does Larch Hills and 49 Knots. Among the best is Beaufort Vineyard & Estate Winery on Vancouver Island. The WineAlign National awards clump Ortega under single white varietals. These include such varietals as Semillion, Gruner Veltliner and Petite Milo.

On the opposite end of the scale is Riesling. Perhaps Ontario's most popular grape.  Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines.  Very popular when producing icewine.

Another good wine producing grape we seldom hear about is Zweigelt.  Gary Oaks on Salt Spring island won Gold at the Nationals Arrowleaf Cellars also makes a good one.

Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, most notably in France and Australia. Sémillon is one of the few white varieties (Riesling is the other) with a spectacular ability to age. La Frenz produces a very good Semillion.

Carmenere is a rare one indeed in Canada. A variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot. Moon Curser in Osoyoos produces this wine and says "We're kind of known for swimming upstream and thinking outside of the box.  This grape is just another example of our steadfast refusal to play by the rules."

Perhaps my all time favourite seldom seen wine around the dinner table is Bacchus. The signature wine of Domaine De Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley British Columbia. In BC Bacchus grape production is less than 1 % of all grapes grown in the province. Arrowleaf is another BC producer of Bacchus. Blue Grouse on Vancouver Island as well.