Pick BC wines

for your

Thanksgiving feast!

Historically, the first Thanksgiving celebration by Europeans in North America is credited to Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew, arriving in the Eastern Arctic in 1578, on a voyage to attempt to discover the North-West Passage.

When we celebrate Thanksgiving, today, we usually feature turkey or ham on the dinner table. Almost any wine will enhance these foods.  It really comes down to what you prefer – whites, rosés and lighter medium bodied red wines will all work well.

Here in British Columbia we can be thankful for our own home-grown wines.  Many of these wines are grown in the Okanagan Valley.  Consider choosing one of these to pair with your Thanksgiving feast.

The Hatch is one of two wineries operated by Terrabella Wineries, a holding company based in Summerland, on a vineyard purchased in 2013, just north of Quails’ Gate Estate winery. As well as making a wide variety of wines, The Hatch has one of the quirkiest and most entertaining websites in the industry.

‘Bianco’ is the Italian word for white. A blend of primarily Westbank-grown Pinot Blanc with 30 per cent Viognier from the warmer vineyards of Osoyoos, Hatch B. Yanco (772285) $17.99 is bright and crisp, full of green apple and pear aromas and flavours. Viognier adds peach and honeysuckle notes.

According to ‘The Canadian Encyclopedia’ the first national Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated in the Province of Canada in 1859. It was organized at the behest of leaders of the Protestant clergy, who appropriated the holiday of American Thanksgiving.

Situated north of Kelowna, specialists in Pinot Noir and high-toned aromatic white wines, 50th Parallel Estate Winery makes wines of exceptional balance and elegance. This summer Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel opened Block One at the winery – their new regional/seasonal restaurant.

Perfectly balanced, 50th Parallel Pinot Gris (223859) $17.49 features a medley of citric notes – lemon rind – pink grapefruit and mandarin orange over a solid base of pear and fresh bright peach flavours. Twenty per cent of the fruit was fermented in French oak barrels to enhance texture and complexity.

Greata Ranch was planted to grape vines by the Fitzpatrick family in 1995.  The grapes were intended for inclusion in their Cedar Creek Estate wines.  When Cedar Creek was purchased by the Mark Anthony Group in 2014, the Fitzpatricks excluded the Greata Ranch vineyards from the sale.  In 2017 Fitzpatrick wines became available.

A romantic reference the to the miles of flowering peach trees that once lined the highway near Greata Ranch, Fitzpatrick Pink Mile Rosé (708594) $18.98 is a pretty, pink wine made from Pinot Noir grapes.  There’s a rich, creamy strawberry vein of aromas and flavours running through this Rosé that is refreshingly bright rather than jammy in any way.

The celebration featuring the uniquely North American turkey, squash and pumpkin was introduced to Nova Scotia in the 1750s and reputedly became common across Canada by the 1870s.

Planted high above the Okanagan Valley floor as a pre-retirement project by Don Triggs - who was instrumental in developing Jackson-Triggs and Vincor International - Culmina Family Estate Winery’s vineyards are dedicated to producing world class wines.

Bleeding off juice from each of their Bordeaux-red varietal lots – destined for their red Hypothesis - Culmina Saignée Rosé (126929) $31.69 

is an unusually complex pink wine thanks to the influence of these Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes. Plummy red fruit notes predominate, with dusty sage in the finish.

Light and medium bodied red wines are just as tasty with turkey and ham as whites or rosés.

An easy to like kitchen-sink blend, Diabolica Okanagan Valley VQA Red (71142) $14.99 combines Merlot, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Cabernet Franc and a splash of Pinot Noir for a 

mouthful of cherry, berry, plum and pomegranate flavours that slide into blueberries, boysenberries.

Red wine grape workhorse of the Okanagan Valley, Merlot can be luscious and lovely, despite being reviled by pernicious Pinot Noir fans.  Hillside Cellars Merlot (536839) $18.99 offers a generous medley of sweet plum and cherry aromas and flavours with a sprinkling of dark chocolate in the mid-palate.

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