Although the 1970s and ‘80s saw Covert fostering nearly two hundred acres of hybrid grapes to yield wines with names such as “White Diamond,” today is a much different story. Gone is the “Okanagan Riesling” in favour of much more exotic (and palatable) white varieties such as Semillon, Viognier, and Roussanne. Thanks to some digging through the cellar by Derek, we had the opportunity to enjoy a four year vertical of the Amicitia White blend following the newest 2014 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon, a fuller-bodied, mineral and citrus presentation of traditional grassy Sauvignon Blanc.
A small percentage of both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is included in the Amicitia but this rare blend is predominantly Rhone whites, with Roussanne unexpectedly leading the way over and above Viognier’s smaller contribution. Although a handful of 2007 and 2009 Amicitia was discovered at the winery, it was terrible in Derek’s honest opinion; but some unlabelled 2008 made it through the years intact. As a result we were able to compare a relatively aged version with the more recent 2012-2014 vintages. Oxidative character was readily apparent in the golden, straw-coloured older wine, with an intensely flavoured, viscous palate present upon tasting. The younger vintages showed Roussanne’s strong influence, presenting stone fruit flavours amongst hints of greenery and even petrol, with a similar generous body.
The Amicitia Red blend further demonstrated the range of grapes grown in just twenty-five acres, this time assembled into a traditional Bordeaux configuration. The 2013 we tasted reflected an increase in Merlot now that the winery produces varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, bringing together a slim majority of Merlot, plus smaller proportions of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. A nicely balanced, fruit forward, and understandably complex medley of juicy fruit was the result; perfect with the selection of Les Amis du Fromage cheeses and charcuterie available on the side.
When Stefanie and Bernd Schales decided to call their winery “8th Generation” they really meant it. Their families have been making wine in Germany since 1783 – that’s a lot of history!
Stefanie studied architecture while Bernd followed the family tradition by becoming a winemaker. He studied at the State Academy for Viticulture & Oenologie of Weinsberg in Germany, and went on to make wine in Germany, New Zealand, and South Africa.
After immigrating to Canada from Germany, Stefanie and Bernd purchased their first vineyard, in Okanagan Falls, in 2003. In 2007, they bought the winery in Summerland. Our BCWAS September bus tour has been there twice, and each time the stop was one of our highlights!
8th Generation makes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Meunier Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah as well as two Frizzante-style sparkling wines and their flagship Rieslings. Stefanie is bringing 12 wines with her, so we’ll get to taste almost everything – we can hardly wait.
Wines being poured include:
2015 "Integrity" White Frizzante
2014 "Confidence" Rosé Frizzante
2015 Riesling Classic
2014 Riesling (Best Riesling in Canada at the 2015 All-Canadian Wine Championships)
2013 Riesling Selection
2015 Riesling Selection - tank sample
2015 Pinot Meunier Rosé
2012 Pinot Noir
2015 Red One
And because we know how much you love your wine and cheese, we’re also going to have a few platters from Les Amis du Fromage.
Date: Thursday April 21, 2016
Place: De Dutch Pannekoek House, Vancouver Convention Centre West, located in the western corner, lower (seawall) level, near the Olympic Torch.
Directions (transit): It’s a short walk from both Burrard and Waterfront Stations. From Burrard Station: walk down (north) on Burrard to the new Convention Centre. From Waterfront Station: walk west to the new Convention Centre. You can either walk west along Waterfront Rd to the Olympic Torch, then go across the plaza towards the water and down the stairs, or, follow the seawall along in front of the Convention Centre until you come to the restaurant.
Directions (driving): You can park under the Convention Centre West. Follow the signs for the seaplane terminal. Use the doors closest to the Tap & Barrel. Parking can be expensive, though. You may be able to find cheaper parking a few blocks away. As always, we recommend that you take transit, and we will provide you with a free ticket home.
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Please make sure you have a safe way home: take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take transit home.
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