Finally got to visit the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Beautiful wine country! Big thanks to Wines of British Columbia for sending me on a mission (media trip) to discover what the region has to offer.
I was really excited to see numerous wineries, but especially Tantalus Vineyards. I discovered their Old Vines Riesling Natural Brut, one of the most exciting sparkling wines I’ve tasted, during last year’s Riesling Rendezvous at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington. And they were the first stop on this trip. Woot! (Sorry, I know “woot” is passé, but I feel this is woot-worthy.)
Anyhoo, we were up in the Okanagan to explore wines that are now featured at Whole Foods locations in Washington and Oregon. Which is kind of a big deal as it’s been really difficult (read: almost impossible) to buy wines wines from our fair neighbor up north.
If you want to read more about the program and all of the featured wines, check out Eric Degerman’s epically detailed post on Great Northwestern Wine. And, rest assured, there will be some epicness from me as well in the form of a podcast featuring guests from many wineries represented. Stay tuned to Wine Without Worry!
But back to the Tantalus and its Riesling, which takes numerous forms at the winery. If you’re in BC and can get your hands on the aforementioned sparkling or Old Vines bottling, which are both totally amazing, do so. Seriously go to the Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar in Kelowna, where they might still have some of the latter, for a BEAUTIFUL meal.
Tantalus also makes a sensational Riesling ice wine. Even a Syrah one, too. But this post is all about Riesling, dammit!
Riesling lovers in the Pacific Northwest can focus on a bottle that’s a wonderful entry into Tantalus’ RACY, lively style at Whole Foods. Warning: it might inspire you to get into a car/plane/boat/train/landspeeder destined for BC.
You’ll first find the excellent 2012 Riesling there, which is drinking in a most lovely manner right now. I’d enjoy it at brunch, lunch, pre-dinner and–of course–with seafood. (And then keep your eyes peeled for a bit of the 2013 Tantalus Riesling once the prior vintage sells through, lucky Washingtonians and Oregonians.) Winery General Manager Jane Hatch used one word to describe their Riesling’s chief attribute: electricity.
Here’s Hatch and Vineyard Manager Warwick Shaw:
And although I was there on a gorgeous, perfectly sunny day, Tantulus sure looks pretty in the snow. Here’s a shot from their Facebook page. (I also recommend following them on Instagram at tantatuswine. That’s their Twitter handle, too.)
For more information on British Columbia as a whole, just say “Hello, BC.“