On the nose, this is Gewurztraminer at its bombastic finest. Lychee, poached pear, mango and dark honey. On the palate, this is lighter and more elegant than many of the versions available, more Northern Italian than Alsatian in style. Flavours of pink grapefruit, ripe apple and mandarin orange with hints of ginger. This would be the perfect companion to takeout Chinese food or a flavourful red curry.
The homeland of this grape—which literally means Spice (Gewürz) Traminer—lies in the foothills of the Alps. It originated in Germany but over several hundreds of years it has completely circumnavigated the Alps including Italy, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, France and Slovenia. While Gewürztraminer has high natural sugar, it can be made from bone dry to intensely sweet in style. With its inherent aromatics of lychee, ginger and tropical fruit, Gewürz is a fabulous pairing with Indian and Asian cuisine. It has become a sought-after variety in BC, as the altitude and cool evenings help to maintain acidity as the grapes ripen.
Skaha Bench is a mountainous subregion of the Okanagan Valley, in the heart of British Columbia. The days here can be extremely hot, which allows for full phenolic ripeness. The glacier-fed Skaha Lake forms a protective microclimate bubble during the cool evenings, which helps maintain the acidity necessary for balance. This region, near Penticton, is home to some of the most iconic wineries in Canada.
Vistaridge was the original estate vineyard. Set against the stunning backdrop of glacier-fed Skaha Lake and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the soil is a mix of loose sand, silt and stone-free glacial sediment. The vines are planted north to south to get the most of the midday sun, in the seldom-used Lyre trellising system.
Grapes are hand-harvested and hand-sorted. The finest grapes are gently pressed into stainless steel for a temperature-controlled fermentation. The wine sits on its fine lees for 2 months to garner mouthfeel and complexity, followed by a gentle filtration before bottling.
For over 40 years, this family-owned winery has farmed the majestic slopes of the Brenta Dolomite Mountains, next to historic Lake Garda and at the foot of Castel Madruzzo. Growing on steeply-terraced slopes that require Herculean efforts and hand-harvesting, these wines are singular in style and a totally different experience from other Northern Italian regions. Some of these vineyards rise as high as 3500ft above sea level. Pravis has plantings of the autocthonous Nosiola, existing only in a few small parcels in this region and nowhere else in the world. There are an array of other aromatic whites, such as Kerner, Muller-Thurgau and Gewürztrmainer. The reds are exposed to intense daytime sunlight, as the Dolomites form a natural cloud barrier, with temperatures dropping dramatically in the evening. These diurnal shifts allow full phenolic ripening of the grapes, while retaining acidity and freshness. These are red wines of both power and elegance.