The Future of B.C. White Wine?
Averill Creek’s cool-climate white is well suited to an increasingly warming climate.
The Okanagan started harvesting grapes last week and while at lot of people are talking about how it might turn out to be a near perfect vintage, I’ve heard more than one winemakers confess that they’re concerned about such early picking, not because the wines won’t be good, but more for what it means for the long-term viability of making fresh and well-balanced wines in the decades to come.
For the longest time, Vancouver Island wineries had the opposite problem—they often couldn’t get their grapes to ripen quickly enough, and I’m fairly confident they’ve never had a harvest that began in August. The result is that in tough years the wines can thin and weedy, but in good years they express a great acidic backbone that give them real character.
This bottle of Gewurtz from Averill Creek has that balance in spades. It checks in at 13.5% but it’s a tight, lean wine that has none of the slack softness that can sometime bedevil this grape. My only concern is that die-hard Okanagan Gewurtz fans may find this a bit austere, but to my tastes it hits a nice flinty clean note. And who knows? In 20 years they may be picking these grapes in August.