Everything Wine Magazine Issue 3
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Everything Wine Magazine Issue 3

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In issue 3, Everything Wine takes a look at Dragonfly Hill Vineyards, one of the premier wine estates on Vancouver Island; Guy Delacourt begins his journey across northern Spain, in search of wine, ...

In issue 3, Everything Wine takes a look at Dragonfly Hill Vineyards, one of the premier wine estates on Vancouver Island; Guy Delacourt begins his journey across northern Spain, in search of wine, food, and life.

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Everything Wine Magazine Issue 3 Everything Wine Magazine Issue 3 Document Transcript

  • the lifestyle surrounding the glass Walking the Camino A Pilgrim's Journey Across Spain Taleggio Dragonfly Hill Vineyards ISSUE #3 Jul-Aug 2009
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 2 Contents Decanting 3 A walk in the market Editor Jason Sych i'vE only bEEn to Spain the produce, past the fish Assistant Editors once, and most of the counters displaying more Jasmine O'Brien finned and tentacled things time I don't even admit to Contributing Writers it. My reluctance to admit than I knew existed, were Guy Dalcourt to spending time in Spain is the food stalls, serving ev- A Pilgrim's Glass Dave Ramsden because for the three days erything from papas gadita- nas (small potatoes with saf- Everything Wine's own Guy Gina Savard I was on Spanish soil, I never fron and pine nuts) to olleta Dalcourt journeys across the Jason Sych left the centre of Barcelona. Of course, there was a rea- de cordero (lamb braised North of Spain to explore the Camino de Santiago, as well Contributing Photographer son... with cured ham in red wine). When I travel, I spend a Some stalls offered a coun- as the wines along the way. Adelio Trinidad ter to sit and eat at, while www.adeliotrinidad.com great deal of time learning p.8 about how a culture views food and wine. Understand a culture's table, and you're The vegetable stalls at the entrance to the Boqueria. at others you just took your cordero away on a heavy paper plate to eat while a good way along in understanding that culture. Mar- leaning against a wall in the sunshine. Everything Wine kets can't be beat for learning about how people relate My time at the Boqueria gave me a great snapshot of Taleggio #131-2401 Millstream Road, to their food, and in Barcelona is the stunning Boqueria, the Catalan food culture. But to truly get an idea of any Langford, BC V9B 3R5 a veritable food and wine heaven. The market itself is culture takes time, which is why the idea of a pilgrimage, The supreme cheese of (250) 474-3959 the size of a train station, and sells every manner of pro- such as the one featured in this issue, is so appealing. Northern Italy, Taleggio is duce, meat, fish, wine, charcuterie, and cheese under its Walking through a country gives the time to breathe in stinkiness lurking behind a 998 Marine Drive gigantic roof. Walking in was like walking into a Blueray that culture slowly; it allows time for not just one plate of mild persona. North Vancouver, BC V7P3C4 movie--everything seemed almost too vivid, too real, to cordero, but many plates, each slightly different, giving p.23 (604) 929-7277 www.everythingwine.ca be real. a broader picture of what cordero, and the culture that At the front were the produce stands, full of so much made it, is all about. Understand the cordero, and you'll fresh, local everything that any chef would ovulate just understand the culture. entering the market. But at the rear of the market, past ~Jason sych Dragonfly Hill From grape growing to vinify- ing--one of Vancouver Island's Questions or comments for Everything Wine Click here to Search magazine? own garragistes shares her views on wine, and what is im- portant to her vineyards. Please forward any correspondence to over 3000 wines online p.24 jsych@everythingwine.ca at www.everythingwine.ca
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 Words 4 A caseophile shares his passion lost Max MccalMan, the maître fromager at last seen in my the restaurants Picholine and Artisanal in New York, is an expert on cheese. He lives, wine cellar on breathes, and eats it in vast quantities; he has May 15, 2009, even coined the term "caseophile" to express how a love for cheese can be as envelop- shortly before ing as a love for wine. In The Cheese Plate, my son's May McCalman has put his experience, knowl- edge, and passion for cheese into a book long weekend any cheese lover will identify with. party. He begins with the basics of cheese: its his- tory, how it is made, the major families of cheese, and what it is that makes cheese so... If you've seen cheesy. He continues with a guide on how to properly taste cheeses, how to recognize this bottle, if cheeses are ripe or past their prime; how or know its to pair wine with cheese; as well as giving a guide to some of the best cheeses in the whereabouts, world. Informative, insightful, and entertain- please call ing, this book is truly created for those who share McCalman's passion for cheese. 555-8247 "Many of the best cheeses in the immediately. world smell like something you'd rather not have in your house; they taste strong and spoil quickly...They make us turn up our noses, crinkle our eyebrows, clack our gums, pucker our cheeks, reach for a glass of...something--anything. Some of them launch a sneak attack: they tiptoe across our tongues, then explode at the back of our mouths with a tangy wallop. Others mount a full frontal assault, then melt sub- limely away toward the back. In the end, the great ones always titillate our taste buds." The photographs titillate as well; they almost constitute "cheese porn". In short...if you or someone you Luckily, we have more. know loves cheese, this book is a must-have...in fact, its almost as enjoyable as spoiled milk. Because we truly are ~Jason sych Jason sych, along with running the Vintage Room at the Vic- toria Millstream Everything Wine store also considers himself The Cheese Plate....................................$46.99 a caseophile...so much so that when he first came across that word, he didn't even have to look it up.
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 Ford Motor Cars has 41 Vintages. Accompaniments 7 We have roughly 684. in thE WinE World it is normal to describe a wine’s balance and finish, to pay attention to the region in which the fruit was grown, and to describe the nuances And ours are drinkable. of taste and scent within the wine; not often do you do that when describing a chocolate bar. But Thomas Haas choc- olates are not your run-of-the-mill choco- late bars. A fourth-generation pastry chef from Germany, Haas has won numerous worldwide accolades for his pastries, choco- lates, and desserts. In 2000, he and his wife started their own business in Vancouver, with the goal to create the best chocolates from the finest raw ingredients. All the recipes are hand crafted--no assembly lines or mass production--and do not use any preservatives or artificial flavours. The bars were created with the focus on cocoa: its origin, purity, and nuances of flavour. The beans for the chocolate are blended in the specific percentages needed to achieve the desired finish. The 37 (each num- ber refers to the percentage of cocoa) is milk chocolate yumminess (there's no other way to describe it); creamy with a nutty undertone, and a truly smooth finish. The 67 (my fa- vourite) is a dark chocolate bar made from criollo and trinitar- io beans (two highly prized varietals of cocoa); robust and full bodied, it carries hints of mango and banana on the nose. It's a true delight on its own, or with a glass of Amarone. Of course, so is the 83, a dark chocolate filled with bold flavours of concen- trated fruit liquor and a dusty earthiness. Regardless of your choice, you won't go wrong with these fine chocolates. ~gina savard Gina Savard is the Events Coordinator at the Millstream Everything Wine store, and has a secret love triangle--herself, chocolate, and Amarone. Come in and check out our Vintages room. Thomas Haas Chocolates..............................................$4.99
  • A Pilgrim's Glass thE caMino dE santiago runs 780 kilo- metres across northern Spain, winding its way through the wine and cuisine of countless towns, villages, and cities before reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Finisterre. Everything Wine's own Guy Dalcourt tied on his hiking boots, grabbed his pack, and headed down the road where the Camino passes though the wine regions of Ribera del Duero, Bierzo, and Galicia, experi- encing not only the culture of the pil- grim trail, but the culture of the wines, food, and people along the way. by guy dalcourt PhotograPhs by guy dalcourt & barry byErs
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 10 11 W hy thE caMino? Vega Sicilia In 2001, when I turned 60, Put ting Ribera del Duero my inner voice kept asking, “ on the Map What next? If you look into the Vega Sicilia is undoubtedly one of the greatest wines of future what do you see?” I saw Spain. A combination of exceptional artistry, marketing, and blurry visions of a sedentary old rarity, the wines of Vega Sicilia are among the most sought- age, arthritic life on a sofa, and after of the Ribera del Duero. Extremely low yields, late I thought that there had to be a harvesting, and rigorous cellaring, ageing, and bottling prac- different path for me; hence the tices all help to create the legend surrounding this wine. The walk along the Camino, a pil- 1994 vintage of Vega Sicilia had to be recalled, due to a grim road that [ would take me massive problem of cork taint. Since then, the wine makers at through three great wine regions Vega have become obsessive about avoiding taint from any of Spain], and ends at Santiago source--even ensuring that the steel bands around the de Compostela, on the Atlantic ageing barrels, the barrel wedges, and the barrel coast. palettes are all stainless steel. The Unico Gran I had, for quite some time, con- Reserva is aged a minimum of 10 years be- templated walking the Camino fore release, and is the hallmark of the de Santiago in Northern Spain. Vega Sicilia brand. Riedel even pro- Santiago, or St-James, is said to duced a glass created especially have visited Galicia: after being for Vega Sicilia in 1995. beheaded, his friends managed to sneak his body from Palestine, vEga sicilia unico and took it to Northern Spain, gran rEsErva or so the legend says. He was 1995 buried in Compostela, where he $431.99 lay virtually forgotten for centu- ries. However, in the 9th century, the church seized on the idea of a pilgrimage to his tomb, to help Santiago de Compostela S S Carrión de los Condes O Cebreiro S SBurgos PrEcEEding PagEs: A view towards Santiago de Compostela from the ruins of an old villa. abovE lEft: The stunted-looking AMadrid Tempranillo vines of the Ribera del Duero.
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 13 prevent the people of northern looked onto the gothic Cathedral Spain from falling back on their pagan ways. The pilgrimage was of Burgos--it was in the cathedral’s sacristy I had my pilgrim passport Gazpacho a resounding success, and it is es- stamped to witness my point of 1 kg ripe tomatoes, de-seed- timated that upwards of 500,000 departure on the pilgrim trail. The ed and skinned people walked the Camino in a custom is that everywhere a pil-  baguette, crust removed span of 200 years. Today, there grim stops along the way, be it a 2 cloves garlic has been a revival of the camino restaurant, an albergue, or a cafe, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar walk, with close to 100,000 peo- they have their passport stamped  cup extra virgin olive oil ple making the trek each year. to verify their pilgrimage. The fol- sugar In 1982 the Pope paid a visit to lowing morning my trek would salt Santiago de Compostela, and by start...but that night I enjoyed the pepper 1993 UNESCO had added it to wine, food, and atmosphere of green onoin tops its World Heritage Site list. Burgos. 1. Crush garlic with a mortar i bEgan My trEk in suitable fashion: duE south of my starting point and pestle, then combine with In the Barrio Antico, or historical lies the fastest developing wine re- the tomatoes, diced bread, centre, of Burgos, at a restaurant gion of Spain, and the first region sherry vinegar, and olive oil in named Rincon de Espana. I was I would walk through. The Ribera a food processor, and blend having my last “civilized” dinner, a del Duero is Spain’s premier wine until very smooth, about 1 meal that began with a cool gaz- region, producing such famous minutes. pacho, followed by white aspara- wines as Vega Sicilia, Pesquera, 2. Taste, then adjust seasoning gus covered in a warm béchamel and Pingus. It averages about with the salt, sugar, and pep- sauce, followed by bacalao a la 1000 metres above sea level, and per. Chill in fridge for at least Viscania, a traditional dish of cod the summer temperature reaches an hour before serving. with julienned steamed vegeta- extremes, with very hot days (up 3. Garnish with sliced green bles. Burgos lies in the region of to 42 degrees), and cool nights. onion tops. Castilla y León, whose wine fame This provides the vines the po- is usually associated with inexpen- tential to create wines with great tion began in 1076. It has recently sive reds; however, this region structure and longevity. been converted to an hotel with also produces crisp, clean whites After a few days of walking through a 2-star restaurant that features and wonderful rosés. Naturally, I the blistering heat of the Ribera wines primarily from the Ribera del tried a wine I’d never had before, del Duero, I decided to have an- Duero. I arrived at Carrion de los a bottle of a wonderful Rosado Pe- other last “civilized” dinner. Car- Condes at night, walking straight nascal, a rosé that was vibrant, re- rion de los Condes is a small town to the albergue (translation: a hos- freshing, and crisp. The pilgrimage about 75 kilometers west of Bur- tel for pilgrims that sleeps at least is a journey of discovery, after all. gos, and it has where I arrived at 10 to a room, with lots of snoring “Let discovery be a key strategy night has an old Benedictine mon- guaranteed) for a cold shower, for life,” I thought. From my table, I astery, San Zoilo, whose construc- and a fresh t-shirt. Suitably clean,
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 14 I walked back through the streets of los Condes to San Zoilo for din- ner. I started with ensalada de arrúgula y langostinas, or a salad of arugula with langoustines. The wine list went on and on, and I distinctly remember selecting a bottle of Pesquera Crianza, which was outstanding. To this day I actu- ally cannot recall what I had for my main course that evening—which I blame directly on the wine. Most meals, however, were not like this dinner. Usually a bunch of peregrinos would either eat at the albergue if there was a kitch- en, or go to the village restaurant where a menu for pilgrims ranged from 4 to 7 euros, often including a small pitcher of wine. The wine consumed at these pilgrim dinners was simply the local wine, no De- Ensalada de Arrúgula y Langostinas nominacion de Origen, no fancy pedigree--most times they usually Arugula Salad with Langoustines came from a plastic drum under If arugula is out of season, this salad can be made by substituting mus- the counter—and no label. Most tard greens and baby lettuce for the arugula. times they were very palatable as well, simple and without preten- 3 langoustines per person sherry vinegar sion. In other words, perfect for a 1 lemon olive oil pilgrimage, and perfect for shar- 1 cups white wine arugula (or other greens) ing with others who are doing the lemon juice chopped almonds same, because a great plus on the Combine the lemon and white wine in a pot large enough to hold the Camino is the opportunity to meet langouostines, then fill the pot  full with water. Bring to a boil, then people from all over the world. poach the langoustines until cooked, about two minutes. Remove from One evening I had dinner with the water and place on a plate to cool slightly. Toss the arugula with three other travelers: an Austra- the chopped almonds, place on a salad plate, and sprinkle with the lian, a Malaysian, and a Belgian. oil and vinegar. Arrange the langoustines on top of the arugula, and I rounded out the group, and kept enjoy. referring to that evening as The
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 16 17 Four Continent Dinner. Our small cal straw roofs, built by Celts in the pitchers of wine quickly became Middle Ages. O Cebreiro also has multiples thereof, as we listened to the only pre-Romanesque church hilarious stories about the Belgian fully intact on the Camino route, as Navy (the total fleet, according well as a lodging house for pilgrims to our expert in residence, is quite that has been in operation since consistent—it has had in service, the ninth century. However, getting on average, somewhere between there is considered the most difficult one submarine and none over the ascent on the entire Camino. But it last 60 years). is worth the difficult climb, because when you get to the top and des- during thE night in los Condes, perately need a refreshing drink, however, despite the wonderful you then realize the village is right wine, I experienced anxiety at- in the middle of Bierzo, a somewhat tacks. Was I going to make it to lesser-known wine region. Lesser- Compostela, was I giving it my known, but wonderful; Bierzo wines all? The Camino, as a pilgrimage, give many a cause to celebrate. is truly a challenging experience, Bierzo is in the northwest corner both physically and spiritually. That of Castilla y Leon, and is half way night I dreamt that my left foot had between the dry heat of Ribera del three large blisters. The dream Duero and the humidity of Gali- was so vivid that the next morning cia. The most dominant red grapes I began walking with a limp. grown are Mencia and Alicante, The terrain began to get quite and the white grape of choice is hilly the closer I neared Galicia, Palomino. The reds make fragrant although noticeably more lush and and fruity wines that tend to age green than the Ribera del Duero. well in oak. They also lean more to- And since the Camino is the same wards the rustic style of traditional pilgrim trail that has existed for Spanish wines, but are smooth and over 1000 years, it tends to follow usually not more than 12% alcohol. the topography of the land—in These are very good, affordable other words, there is no highway wines that are unfortunately not cutting through the mountains here, very well known in Canada. or bridges spanning the valleys. O Cebreiro is a lost village that thE rEstaurant in o cErbrEio was sits around 1,300 metres up the serving the region’s wine but only side of a mountain. It is noteworthy joven, meaning a young wine made because it has a collection of pal- for immediate consumption. The jo- lozas, oval stone houses with coni- ven wines have not been oaked,
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 18 making them light and refresh- ing, and not too acidic. Another reason O Cebreiro is worth the ascent is for the view. This is the When you go... boundary between Castilla y Leon Walking the Camino--some things to know and Galicia, and the views from O Cebreio are breathtaking—the dusty ruggedness of Castilla y Walking the Camino is more than just a long walk across Leon one way, and the lusher val- Spain; it has been a spiritual quest, as much as a physical test, for centuries. The modern pilgrim trail traditionally begins in leys of Galicia in the other. So now, with a glass of joven in St. Jean Pied-de-Port, in the foothills of the Pyrenees just inside the French border. From there pilgrims cross the mountains into Ordering my hand as I await dinner, I stand at the border of Galicia. Tomor- Spain. The journey across Spain takes around six to eight weeks to complete, and by the time a pilgrim reaches Santiago, they wine online row I will set foot in it. I have now walked approximately 350 kilome- tres from Burgos, through both the will have travelled over 780 kilometers. To qualify for the Compostellana, the certificate which is as simple as Ribera del Duero, and into Bierzo. I am ahead of schedule to meet states a pilgrim has indeed traveled the Camino de Santiago (and thereby recieves a certain amount of time off purgatory), hitting a few keys. my wife, who is flying to Santiago a pilgrim must travel by foot, horseback, or bicycle, and must to meet me, where we will spend time, exploring Galicia together. travel at least 100km if walking, or 200km if traveling by horse or bicycle. As a pilgrim, the traveler is entitled, with the help Go to www.everythingwine.ca Next issue I will continue the Cami- of a 'pilgrim passport', to stay for free (or very cheaply) in the no, telling more of Bierzo and the refugios operated by towns, churches and monestaries all along the Camino. Although the refugios are very basic and, at times, wine and food of Galicia. But for now, I will rest, look out over Gali- are nothing more than a place to put your sleeping bag, quite and have wine delivered right often they also include a home cooked meal for a very reason- cia, and enjoy my simple joven. ~guy dalcourt able fee. The Camino is traveled by all manner of people--young to your home. Guy Dalcourt is a Sales Associate and old, fit and unfit, religious and not-so-much. Interestingly, the at the North Vancouver Every- pilgrims that seem to have the most trouble finishing the route thing Wine store. His favoourite Spanish wine is...well, all of them. are the young ones, presumably because they try to finish the Camino too quickly. The key to the Camino is to slow down, Try it...you may never leave the house and take it at a pace that allows you to experience the journey. And that very much includes the wine and food of the regions to buy wine again. Previous page: The palozas traveled through, as well as the scenery and history. Because of O Cebreiro, overlooking as with any journey, the true enjoyment, and learning, is in the the valley towards Santiago traveling. de Compostela.
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 20 Ribera del Duero & Bierzo our wine associates can help you decipher the world of wine Celeste 2005 Dominio de Atauta 2004 better than this can. Crianza Tempranillo Tempranillo Liquorice, black pepper, Traditional style, with ex- ripe blackberry and black pressive spice box, coffee, cherry. Well balanced black cherry, and black- with good tannins, oak, berry. Solid acidity and and solid fruit. Full bodied tannins make this wine with a long finish. elegant. $27.99 $64.99 Gormez 2007 Aalto 2004 Crianza Tempranillo Tempranillo Earthy, spicy, with miner- Ripe black fruit, floral notes, als, dark plums and black bacon, wood smoke, spicy currants. Medium bodied tobacco. This wine is ex- with light tannins and a ceptional: powerful, lay- Mainly because pleasing, balanced finish. ered, and complex. $19.99 $74.99 we can answer your questions. Luna Beberide 2006 Atalayas 2004 Mencia Tempranillo Red- and blackcurrants, Traditional in style, with Palomero 1999 white pepper, minerality, inky, dusty dark berries, Tempranillo and smoked herbs. Light cracked pepper, and vio- An exceptional, highly coffee on the nose, with lets. Firm tannins with a sought after wine, the soft tannins and a round long, meandering finish. Palomero carries a nose finish. $34.99 of cassis, earthy forest $17.99 floor, blackberries, black cherries, espresso and Partly because we Legaris 2003 Crianza Pittacum 2004 spicy oak. The palate fol- Mencia drink a lot. Tempranillo lows suit, with a smooth Smooth, dark and rich. yet complex flavour that Blackberry, raspberry, li- Black plums, blackber- is firm and powerful. Is quorice and subtle oak. And we truly ries, tobacco, coffee and drinking well now, but will Smoked herbs and spic- love subtle oak. Elegant tan- continue to evolve over es with a hint of cocoa. nins lead into a long finish the next 5 years. Sweet tannins and an ex- tinged with vanilla. $134.99 pressive finish. $27.99 $28.99
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 Taleggio 23 The Perfection of Stink subliME, softly PErfuMEd, regal, and carrying an indomitable Cheese at a Glance character--like a cheese version of Audrey Hepburn--Taleggio has somehow been able to maintain a measure of secrecy in its ex- Pronunciation istence; it is truly one of the undiscovered secrets of the cheese Tah-LEdge-io counter. Ranging from tangy to buttery in flavour, true Taleggio is made from the unpasteurized milk of the Valtellina cow of Lombar- arEa of origin dia, which gives it a resulting depth and complexity of flavour that Lombardia, Italy surpasses that of cheeses made from the milk of other breeds. It stylE of chEEsE is still traditionally aged in underground caves, and gets washed Washed Rind Cow's Milk weekly with a brine while maturing to develop a beneficial mold that is gently pressed back into the cheese surface, creating much flavour ProfilE of the pungency this cheese is noted for. Rich, buttery, tangy Taleggio is a wonderful cheese for eating on its own; however and beefy; a mild palate it also pairs beautifully with arugula, olives, polenta, and crusty, rus- despite its nose, which is tic bread. Another skill of Taleggio is its ability to melt; perfect for reminiscent of a neglected an ingredient in risotto, gym sock. The cheese itself or to top a pizza, Taleg- looks soft, delicate, and invit- gio often finds its way ing yet this exterior hides a into the regional dishes stinkiness most people find of Lombardia--and for surprising given the look of good reason. the cheese. ~Jason Sych WinE Pairing suggEstions riEsling sPätlEsE barbEra d'asti dolcEtto Right: It is innocent enough to look at, but the pungent scent of Taleggio can be surprising..
  • Dragonfly Hill Vineyard Almost hidden away along the gentle hills of Saanich, a grape grower is creat- ing wines of distinction and character- -and shows how the essence of a wine lives within the vineyard. by Jason sych Photos by adElio trinidad
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 26 27 A bout 16 kiloMEtrEs outside grape grower, met me outside the “We’ve been growing grapes rent”. Both are red grapes, and though it is spelled “libel”, it is Victoria, just off of rolling, winding door to her “wine facility” (a small for sixteen years,” she says, lead- both are suited for cooler-climate pronounced the same). Some- Previous Pages: Carol Wallace Old West Saanich Road, lies a se- out building next to her house that ing the way towards a group vineyards. These early-ripening times, things are just meant to be. explains how grapevines need to be trained in the vineyard. ries of ponds that ring the bottom serves as both tank room, bottling of potted baby vines, all stand- grapes hold great promise for of a property. The ponds look like room, case storage site, and tast- ing like a platoon of kindergart- the climate of Vancouver Is- sErEndiPity asidE, the vines that Below Left: Carol in her tank room, your average ponds—covered ing room), on the dusty driveway ners before the teacher. “I’ve land, and Carol will be tending are closest to Carol are undoubt- enjoying a sample of her Cabernet with lily pads, trees that overhang that lead down to those dragonfly sold grapes to Glenterra up in the new grapevines to see how edly her white grape vines: the Sauvignon from the 2007 harvest. and hide the watery edges, and ponds. Seemingly ever relaxed, Cobble Hill, they bought my first they perform in the vineyards at Ortega and Auxerrois that she a cacophony of singing frogs at Carol doesn’t quite fit the image crop., then Chalet Estate for sev- Dragonfly Hill, a job she seems grows on a gently sloping hill Below: The ground cloth used to minimize weeds along the rows of dusk—but these particular ponds of the sort of person everyone eral years, and then Salt Spring to be looking forward to. And above the ponds. With these vines. also have a secret life. They are imagines a wine maker to be. But Vineyards. And then in 2005 we the vines themselves seem to be grapes she creates Dragonfly the breeding ground for innumer- then, she never really does refer started making our own wine.” destined to succeed here; as it Hill’s signature wine, a dry, per- Following Pages: The young vines able dragonflies that come forth to herself as a wine maker. She’s The platoon of grapevines are was pointed out to Carol by a fumed blend that combines Or- of La Belle and St. Laurent await pa- each year to fly silently on their a grape grower, through and a hybrid called “La Belle”, and close friend, the name La Belle tega’s fruit with the floral notes of tiently to be planted in the vineyard. four wings, capturing the atten- through, and happily admits it. another varietal named “St. Lau- means “dragonfly” in Dutch (al- the Auxerrois. The two varietals tion of those they pass with their distinctive shape and metallic colouring. They go to feast on whatever bugs it is that drag- onflies feast on (I know mosqui- toes are on the dragonfly menu, which is fantastic as far as I am concerned), and in so doing cre- ate a better life for us; less pests to make us itch, plus the child-like enjoyment of seeing a dragonfly whizz past, hover, and then dart away. It was these dragonflies that Carol Wallace thought of when she needed a name for her wine estate, situated at the top of the hill overlooking the ponds. They are a great symbol for both Carol and the wines of Dragonfly Hill Vineyard—bright, colourful, energetic, and dynamic. carol, thE oWnEr and opera- tor of the vineyard, is a down-to- earth, laid-back, self-proclaimed
  • M ay/J u n 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 2 28
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 Ortega/Auxerrois 30 NV 31 are very different on the palate, This is where Carol’s experience all the little creatures to go when The signature blend yet the blend works well. Even as a grape grower comes into there’s something going on, like for Dragonfly Hill, in the vineyard, the vines them- play, giving her the knowledge spraying. There’s snakes in here, with hints of citrus selves are diverse, as distinct visu- necessary to coax the most from spiders, beneficial types of crit- and honeysuckle. Crisp, smooth, with ally as they are in taste, even to her vines. She places an emphasis ters...this is their little hiding space.” a finish of green the untrained eye. The Ortega on utilizing organic and sustainable And speaking of critters, we apples. $21.99 seems to grow haphazardly, tufts practices in the vineyard to ensure must not forget Carol's sheep. of leaves and shoots erupting er- that it not only continues to grow “At this time of year they can’t ratically, whereas the Auxerrois each year, but acts as a wellspring come in the vineyard...as soon Chardonnay 2007 seems neat, regimented and or- of nutrients that nourishes the land as we harvest, we open the ganized in comparison. Pointing as it grows, rather than depleting gate and they come in all winter A subtle Char- to the Ortega, Carol muses, “Well, it. Black ground cloth runs be- long. And they’re really happy... donnay with just a these are Italian. And these,” she neath each row of vines, effective- all the grass is really nice, all the hint of buttery oak. Ripe stone and says, pointing to the Auxerrois, “Are ly eliminating the need for weed grapes that have fallen...they exotic fruit share French. Macho...gay. These [the killers and chemicals, as well as have a hey-day, and they fertil- place with pleasant Ortega] get a lot of growth, a lot tractor-driven weeding equipment. ize. They fertilize all winter long.” florals on the nose of fruit, the stalks are really heavy... So all the thinning, the removal of and palate. $18.99 it’s just so muscular. And with the shoots, and nixing the few weeds if thE ortEga-auxErrois is the Auxerrois...they just grow straight that do manage to grow through wine closest to Carol’s heart, up. They’re all nicely spaced, the ground cloth is done by hand. her Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot/Cabernet the shoots, the fruit...if I didn’t do And each grassy row between the blend must be closest to her soul. Sauvignon 2006 anything to them, they’d be fine.” vines has a unique feature—a punk Rich, harmonious, and unpreten- A stunning blend, Of course, a lot does have to rock haircut. Grasses and native tious, Carol's red blend demon- harmonizing the fruit be done to the vines, even ones plants are allowed to grow in a strates how her patience as a are ready to go out into the world, sharp and unorganized to taste, of Merlot and the as organized as Auxxerois. Grape centre strip down each row, act- grape grower influences her wine, even if it means she must sit on a but without doubt showing the po- structure of Cab- vines, as prolific as they are, need ing as a catch for the grass that creating a dynamic, round and fla- vintage while it works through its tential of becoming as full and fla- ernet; full of plums, to be trained and tended to en- does get cut, where it can natu- vourful wine. I mention patience growing pains. This means that her vourful as the 2006. And this is cassis, and cedar wines, upon release, are ready to quite an achievement for someone wood. $28.99 sure the quality of the fruit is high rally break down and re-fertilize because Carol will not release enough to make a brilliant wine. the ground. “And, it’s a place for her wines before she thinks they be enjoyed. The 2006 Merlot- who admits to having little practi- Cabernet spent a full year in bar- cal experience with wine making. Bumbleberry 2007 rel and another year in stainless “I didn’t become a winery own- Click here to Search steel tanks, before being blended and bottled. Its nose is rich with black fruits, plums and berries, with er because I’m a wine snob...I be- came a winery owner because I’m a grape grower, and it was a step,” Over 9 differ- ent fruits went into the blend to cre- ate a light, sweet- over 3000 wines online pleasant oak, mocha, and fine tannins rounding out the palate. The 2007, still sorting itself out in Carol says, somewhat thoughtful. “A step into the unknown, really.” Jason Sych is the Editor and writes for Everything Wine Magazine. He also yet-tart wine that pairs well with any chocolate dessert you could think of. stainless steel tanks, has the same at www.everythingwine.ca hallmarks of the 2006—still a bit manages to taste wine every now and then--but just so he can write about it.
  • J u l /au g 2 0 0 9 EvErything WinE MagazinE issuE 3 32 On the Road... Cantina Tours in Tuscany, Continued by Dave Ramsden Last issue, Dave Ramsden gave for the evening meal, we visited a us a taste of the Cinque Stelle wine couple of other places down the tour in Tuscany; this issue Dave valley for more wine and socializ- takes us further up the mountain, ing. They all served brilliant wine, to where the other half of the tour but none had the character of the awaits. first two. And after we visited those few places...we visited a few more. aftEr thE cinquE stEllE, we Such were the days we spent drove further up the mountain, hit- before Christmas in Italy. The house ting snow two-thirds of the way to we were staying at, in Pontremoli, our destination. We remained un- was right in front of the cathedral. daunted. At the top of the pass sat And on Christmas Eve, while ev- a chalet, our next stop on the tour. eryone is getting ready for mid- As it was shortly before Christmas, night mass and dinner afterwards, and there was to be a large feast the men headed out around seven that evening, we naturally ordered in the evening for the bar a few the meal-of-the-day at the chalet. doors down from the church. Not This consisted of bread, chunks of even on Christmas Eve could the Parmigiano, tiny marinated porcini, cantina tours be forgotten. The start of the post-cantina tour feast. So picture a large room with a genuine Parma prosciutto, and of course, a beautiful dry white wine. vaulted stone ceiling, a giant fire The Parma ham is pink and melts in your mouth, awesomely blazing in the wooden stove at one end, suffusing an inde- delicious, and nothing like I’d ever had before. The second scribable warmth over everything. Imagine long wooden course is, naturally, more wine, along with a wonderful torte tables of fifteen or more men and women laughing and baked from hazelnut flour, which is ground from the nuts of sipping white and red wine from small tumblers while free the trees which grow in profusion in the area. food, homemade salami, prosciutto, and bread is brought Many Italians still make their own wine, and often have out to the tables. Then imagine as four men silently stand a still into which they put their failures. After distillation, at their table, and begin to sing a cappela in beautiful they mix the resulting alcohol with fresh fruit to make many harmony, their songs for the coming service. kinds of liqueurs; to finish off the meal, the owners of the Now that's a cantina tour. chalet brought out Fragolino, a liqueur made from local ~davE raMsdEn wild strawberries. An explosion of summer flavour in the mouth awaits; and being Italy, the meal was washed down with a great espresso. Dave Ramsden started his career in science, but turned to trading stocks online during the Tech Boom, which he survived. He has discov- As we headed back down the mountain, the sun had ered that white wines can be really good, particularly if they have a set and the Cinque Stella was packed (men only, they say). Grand Cru designation. He still trades online, and having survived an- Build it and they will come. But before we headed home other big crash, is now a trusted name in finance (last man standing). Have a wine story to share? Send us your stories and we'll choose one to feature at the end of each issue. Stories can be emailed to jsych@everythingwine.ca, with the caption "Wine Story" in the subject line. See your story here, next issue!