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We just received the first of Joie’s 2010 vintage – unoaked Chardonnay and their rather delicious Muscat. Noble Blend and Riesling will be in shortly too.

From Joie website
“MUSCAT 2010

Muscat holds a fond place in our travel memories to the north of Italy. There are many different types of Muscat but we particularly prize the fine white and yellow varieties. For our home vineyard, we chose to plant 2 acres of Moscato Giallo, also know as Goldenmuskateller or Yellow Muscat, depending on from where you originate. The 2009 vintage represents our first crop from our home vineyard. Muscat is an intensely aromatic varietal, both floral and fruity. While most other grape varieties seem to be at their best mimicking a broad spectrum of diverse flavours the true charm of Muscat is that it tastes as though you are actually enjoying the grapes themselves. That is why we call our Muscat “The Pure Grape”. “

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As an aide-memoire for everyone who came to our BC Wine Fest or the Unusual Grapes tasting here’s a list of the wines you may have sampled.

BC Wine Fest Aug 13-15

Friday Aug 13

Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc ’08 – successor to the very popular ’07 vintage. Lots of depth and some strawberry. Will cellar well.

Tinhorn Creek Merlot ’08 – big, robust merlot, typically BC. Great comments on this from tasters.

Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer ’09 – round and quaffable. very easy drinking Gewurz

Stag’s Hollow Sauvignon Blanc ’09 – softer than the ’08 version. Very nice easy to drink wine

Saturday August 14

CedarCreek Proprietor’s White ’09 – neat little blend, excellent & economic patio sipper.

Dirty Laundry Unoaked Chardonnay ’08 – easy drinking chardonnay for those who don’t like big oak.

Dirty Laundry Woo Woo Gewurztraminer ’09 – another really nice Gewurz. More classical than the Tinhorn. The Woo Woo is the middle of DL’s range of gewurztraminers.

Dirty Laundry Hush ’09 – Rosé blend that is 50% Cab Franc, 30% Pinot Noir, 9% Pinot Blanc, 5% Cab/Merlot & 6% hush hush – the BIG hit of the weekend.

Sunday Aug 15

Joie Farm Unoaked Chardonnay ’08 – very Burgundian, lots of mineralality. My favourite of the weekend’s chardonnays.

Blasted Church Revered Chardonnay ’09 – The People’s chardonnay choice with lots of oak. Tasters really enjoyed the chance to compare unoaked and oaked at this session.

Joie Farm Riesling ’09 – As one taster said, “very Alsatian” which is exactly the region that inspires Joie’s wine. Raised a few eyebrows about how good Riesling can be  for those that think of it as sweet wine & certainly won some converts to the noblest of white grapes.

Blasted Church Gewurztraminer ’09 – Our #1 selling Gewurz this year and for good reason. Great price/value. Any of the three gewurz we opened over the weekend are ideal introductions to the grape. Think spicy asian food with these Gewurz.

Joie Farm Rosé `09 – Latest edition of this very popular pink.

Unusual Grapes #2 – Greece, Saturday Aug 21

Boutari Moschofilero ’09 -a white wine for P.Gris/Grigio & Sauvignon Blanc fans. Richer than the Lafazanis below.Thessaly is the area this is grown.

Lafazanis White ’09 – made from the Rhoditis grape, grown in the Peleponnese. Super value 1 litre bottle,  this wine is an excellent patio sipper – made for Greek salad too!

Lafazanis Red ’09 – from the Agiorgitiko grape (also Peleponnese area), a light red similar to Gamay or Pinot Noir. The grape is known as the ‘noble’ grape of Greece. Also in 1L bottles. Think lanb Souvlaki.

The Lafazanis wines were a huge hit with tasters, great value and tasty summer wines.

All the wines tasted over the two events are in regular stock now or will be back within 2 weeks.


In our annual customer survey we asked a series of questions about BC wine. In addition, we put up an on-line poll using SurveyMonkey and asked twitter followers to vote on one of the questions and to nominate their favourite three BC wines. Across the two polls we received 105 responses to this question.

“Compared to wines from other countries, do you think 100% BC wines offer good value for your money?”

39% of voters categorically agree that BC wine provides good value. Another 39% believes that there are some good value wines out there. This is good news for BC wine. On Bowen the ratio of the Yes/No votes (a “No” means the buyer is unlikely to buy BC wine at all) was 4:1 in favour of BC, but on twitter 2:1 against. It would have been nice to know if a larger response on twitter would have changed the ratio but it is a pointer towards the turbulent winds buffeting the BC wine industry in the past year.

Respondents were also asked to name up to 3 favourite BC wineries. Ranking of the responses is the simple count of mentions of the winery name. 51 wineries received a mention, a creditable spread as that accounts for about 1/3 of the total wineries in BC! Of these 51, 19 were unique to the twitter response set and 10 were unique to Bowen Island customers. The rest received mentions from both sets.

So, with a flourish of the drums, let me introduce…

Top BC 10 Wineries – A Popular Poll

#1                   Burrowing Owl

#2 (tied)    Mission Hill, Quails Gate

#4                   Cedar Creek

#5                    Joie

#6 (tied)      Gray Monk, Hester Creek, La Frenz, Sumac Ridge, Township 7

Tied votes are presented in alphabetical order. Burrowing Owl was #1 on Bowen and Quails Gate #1 on Twitter.

Sundry Notes & Observations on the Poll

  • 75% of the total voters are 40+ years old, 42% of the twitter voters are under 40 years old
  • Median price of wine purchased is $15-$20 in both sets of responses. 60% of voters say their average expenditure per bottle is in this range.
  • 40% of all voters and 77% of twitter voters visited a BC winery in past 12 months.
  • Total response was 105 (79 Bowen Island, 26 twitter).  While results from Bowen have some statistical accuracy, none can be claimed for the twitter responses – so the outcome does not necessarily reflect an accurate opinion on the BC wine industry.

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