In wine lover circles, the pinnacle of the wine world are the exotic dessert wines made in small and rare quantities, often with a high prices attached to them. Cherished by the well-heeled and lucky few, this style of wine is made in several parts of the world and is as varied in style as the passionate people who make them.
The wines I am talking about are the elusive Hungarian fruit wines and brandies, the Austrian fruit schnapps, the ice ciders and ice wines of Canada, the organic, fortified mistelles of North America’s West Coast and more locally the exotic tropical dessert wines of Thailand.
These great wines and liqueurs appeal to not only to the east Asian affinity to sweeter wines with clean and fresh aromas but also offer a pure expression of terroir from the land that produces the fruit and grapes to make these fabulous elixirs.
The Ganadpuszta wines of Ipoly Valley in Hungary where gentle climate and expert cultivation guarantee highly aromatic fruits is a prime example of a passion for quality dessert wine production that is hard to fathom until the wine are experienced. There is an ancient tradition of winemaking and distillation from a wide variety of wild and cultivated flowers and fruits in that region that has been going on uninterrupted for centuries. Continue reading →
About five years ago, I made the decision to move to Victoria, BC. Coming from Medicine Hat, Alberta with winters that dropped down to -35 degree Celsius, it was an easy sell. There are plenty of hidden secrets here. Vancouver Island is approximately 480 km long and 80 km in width. Although it is just a small island, you can lose yourself quite quickly here.
Throughout my time on the Island, I have briefly started to explore the Sooke area. Combing Botanical Beach with friends, witnessing a pod of 50 Orca whales swim right by, picnicking on Mystic Beach and watching surfers— are all memories that I tie to Sooke.
Vancouver Island Wineries & Vineyards
Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are both located on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is a hidden gem within Canada’s wine industry. This wine growing area enjoys long hours of sunshine and warm temperatures in the summer months. Vancouver Island area boasts the mildest weather of Canada. These months can also be a mix of cool intermittent shifts in the weather conditions which promotes wines higher in acid and more aromatic. The Cowichan Valley, Victoria and the Gulf Island regions have the highest concentration of vineyards and wineries of this area.
The soils of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are nutrient rich and with high organic material. The soil is a mixture of mainly limestone and sand, with some clay. There are many microclimates throughout the islands. You will find the wineries scattered from all over among lakes, rivers, mountains, forests and gripping the ocean’s edge.