Wine Discovery Articles


Video - A Year in the Vineyard: the Four Seasons

Videos and notes covering a year's activities in the vineyards on the Beamsville Bench:


Up the Similkameen to Seven Stones Winery

  • We had been swirling, sniffing, sipping and spitting our way down the Okanagan from Kelowna for almost three full days. The heat was tremendous ( a "dry heat", you know), but the car was cool. The vistas were spectacular but we were getting tired, and the prospect of visiting a large and very commercial winery near Osoyoos was unappealing. (Continue)

Discovering Hidden Bench

  • Of course we visit wineries for the wines themselves! But while I was anticipating the wines of Hidden Bench, most of which were new to me, I was also looking forward to meeting Jay Johnston, the associate winemaker. (Continue)

Big Reds at Marynissen: a visit with winemaker Jeff Hundertmark

  • My perception of Marynissen Estates was as a producer of fine red blends, but my knowledge was limited since I had only visited the winery once some years ago. So when the winemaker, Jeff Hundertmark, kindly invited Jeanne and me to visit, taste and learn ... (Continue)

Karlo Estates: A County Story

  • Imagine driving down a tiny country road. You see a perfect dry stone wall, and twenty feet behind is an old weather-beaten red barn with its door wide open. What’s inside that open doorway? A wine tasting bar beneath the loft, several welcoming cats, and the soothing smell of clean straw. “The County” --- what an easy place to fall in love with! (Continue)

An Introduction to the Art of Blending: our attempt to blend a Semi-Dry Riesling at Vineland Estates

  • Recently, winemaker Brian Schmidt extended an open invitation to his Twitter friends to participate in an exciting exercise: a hands-on blending session to create a prototype of the Vineland Estates' 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling. Five of us were able to join Brian for this fascinating event. (Continue)

"Sweetness" Perceptions in Riesling

  • Riesling can be made in a wide range of styles, from dry to sweet, and it can be frustrating for producers to communicate, and consumers to understand, what to reasonably expect when they open a bottle. Until this topic came up in Twitter conversations in the past few months I never thought of this as a real problem. (Continue)

Vertical Syrah Tasting at Lailey Vineyard

  • On Saturday May 8, winemaker Derek Barnett and his assistant Ed Haddon put on another fine customer tasting event at Lailey. This time it was a vertical tasting of Syrah from 2003 through 2008, with barrel samples from 2009, all from the same vineyard. (Continue)

Phenolics, Riesling and Winemaking: A Visit to Vineland Estates Winery

  • We recently spent a wonderful morning with Brian Schmidt, the winemaker at Vineland Estates. In addition to Brian’s extreme generosity in spending time with us, there was an intriguing background story. (Continue)

Tasting at Thirty Bench Wine Makers

  • We have a fondness for Thirty Bench that extneds beyond the fact that they make stellar Rieslings and interesting nuanced reds. For it was here, years ago at an unplanned one-on-one tasting with friends, that our mild interest in wine began to turn into a passion. (Continue)

Lailey Vineyard's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Tasting Event

  • Lailey’s celebrated winemaker, Derek Barnett, led an audience of about 25 participants through a fascinating tasting of Lailey Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. (Continue)