Painted Rock Estate Winery

Painted Rock Estate Winery
400 Smythe Drive
Penticton BC, Canada, V2A 8W6

Painted Rock

The Painted Rocks

The Wines

2011 Chardonnay $26.70

This Chardonnay is a great food wine. The oak does not overwhelm on this wine because of its nice restrained use. I wish more Chard producers would be this careful with their use of oak. This is not a buttery Chardonnay by any stretch of the imagination. Nice minerality to it. I always have a bottle or two in the wine rack as it is an excellent go-to wine for dinner.

There were three micro harvests on the Chardonnay. The first harvest of golden clusters was approximately 20% of the fruit, five days later they harvested 60% and another six days later they harvested the remaining 20%. These wines were then made separately and blended after five months in new French oak. We tasted a difference in these in the spring, but the blend has worked for this vintage. The first harvest underwent malolactic fermentation and the others did not, so some nice acidity and structure.

Tech Stuff Residual Sugar .1, PH 3.33, Acid 7.5g/l, Alc 14.3% Aged 5 months Sur Lie 100% New French Oak

Syrah 2009 $36.54

Painted Rock has two different blocks of Syah and we tasted both blocks separately this spring from the barrel and thought that they had a winner here. They won a 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC wines for this wine. I think of this wine as old world styled Syrah . Great purple color in the glass , blueberries, dark cherries and purple plums on the palate. It the spiced notes, and the white pepper notes that we like from the upper part of the Okanagan valley. You will love the nose on this wine. The perfect wine for a nice peppered steak. This wine does not need food to smooth it out at all and we have been known to drink it without food, as an evening sipper.  A great wine at good price point.

Tech Stuff RS 2.0g/l, Acid6.1g/l, PH 3.75, Acl 14.3% ,70% new French oak and 25% new American oak 18 Months

Red Icon 2009 $49.02

The nose has some bell pepper, black currants, cedar and a herbal note of mint. The palate has some dark chocolate, coffee with some big fruit, blackberries, and currants from the Cabernet. A big, structured wine with lots of tannins. I have tasted some older vintages of this wine and believe there is a huge aging potential here. Think steak with this one. Winner of A 2012 Lieutenant Governors’ Award for Excellence in BC Wines. Blend 30% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Sirah, 1% Syrah. The Cab Franc we tasted in the barrel was just a blockbuster. Now if we can just convince John to bottle it on it own?

Tech Stuff  Acid 5.0, PH3.69, RS 2.0 g/L Alc 14.3% 95% New French Oak 18 Months


John Skinner and his team have spared no expense in equipping the winery with all of the best possible equipment and gear. This press is one of the best you can buy for a low production producer. As you can see, it can only handle small batches and the press rate and pressure can be controlled to very small increments.

Gabriel Reis the cellar master is taking a vat sample of the Chardonnay for us in this picture.

Most these barrels iare quality French Oak along with  some American Oak. Very expensive French oak. The oak treatment in all of the Painted Rock wines shows a lot of restraint, we find, with just the right amount of oak  and aging that we have come to expect from all the Painted Rock wines.

It may be hard to tell from the picture, but each one of these vines is pruned differently.  Painted Rock is pruning each individual vine to its optimum bud count so that each vine is producing according to what it can ripen most effectively. The individual vine pruning will also  help the vineyard be more consistent in  future years. Here is a quote from John Skinner when I asked for more info on the pruning “It was to tax the less successful plants less, to balance the vigor and carry the right proportion of fruit . Over time it will be one of the important initiatives that we have undertaken to create as a perfect balance as we can in the vineyard”

One thing that is very easily forgotten when drinking a great bottle of wine from a quality producer such as Painted Rock, is that this is a farm. Not only do you have vintage variation, but nature sometimes conspires against you. This picture is a of  electrified bear fence. One year a tribe of black bears decided that they liked Merlot, a lot. Then ate twenty tons of it. The bear fence was installed shortly there after.

Owners John and Trish Skinner

Vineyard Manager Barry Green

Cellar Master Gabriel Reis

Acreage 25 Acres

Planted 2005

Average case production 5000

Painted Rock Estate Winery

400 Smythe Drive
Penticton, BC, Canada, V2A 8W6

Wine shop open from May 1 to Oct 15 11-5 pm daily
Driving Directions

Tel: 1 604 306 1107 or 1 250 493 6809



by Frank Haddad

Posted in barrels, BC Wine Institute, BC Wines and Wineries, Cabernet Sauvignon, canadian wines, Chardonnay, food and wine pairing, oak, Painted Rock Estate Winery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebbiolo King of Piedmonte



Nebbiolo is considered to be one of the classic grape varieties of Italy. Nebbiolo is also the only grape grown in the great Barolo and Barbaresco DOCG’s. In my next post, I will discuss the Barolo region and the different wine styles being produced there. But for now, we’ll concentrate on the grape itself. Nebbiolo, unfortunately does not seem to travel well from its northern Italian home. There ARE small amounts planted throughout the world, but these plantings fail to live up to the standard Nebbiolo achieves in Piedmont. Another interesting fact; despite the high regard accorded Nebbiolo, it only accounts for 6% of the total vineyard area, even in its primary residency of Piedmont.

The main regions that use Nebbiolo are Barolo and Barbaresco and, even more to the north, Gattinara and Ghemme. For a softer, more approachable and less expensive interpretation, try a Langhe and Nebbiolo d’Alba Doc as an alternative to the big burly Barolos.

Nebbiolo has a very long history. It is probably the oldest vine planted in the Piedmonte. It was first mentioned in 1303 as growing in Canale d’ Alba’. It was actually known as “Nebiolo” even at that early date. In the fifteenth century, you could lose a hand if you cut down a Nebbiolo vine. If you got caught twice, you may have been hanged. They obviously thought quite highly of Nebbiolo even then. As I see it, anyone with the bad grace to cut down a Nebbiolo vine should be hung anyway.

Inferno Vineyard Valtellina

Nebbiolo, as with most old grape varieties, is prone to mutations. There are approximately forty different clones of Nebbiolo, some much more successful than others. Of these original forty, three clones are now widely grown. These three are Lampia, Michet and Rose. Rose, however, has fallen out of fashion due to the light colour of the wines it produces. Some of the minor clones are planted elsewhere in Italy. Picoutener is preferred in the far north, while in Valtellina it its Chiavennasca.

Nebbiolo is fussy about climate and where it puts its feet. It buds early and is late ripening. This grape needs south-facing slopes to ripen properly in the continental climate of northern Italy. Nebbiolo does get the best growing areas of the Laghne, because of the

Fog in Piedmonte

prestige it has in this region and elsewhere in the world. It is thought that Nebbiolo gets its name from ‘Nebbia’, the fog that happens in the Piedmonte in October, when the grapes are finally ripe. Unfortunately, Nebbiolo is also quite prone to Colotura, or poor fruit set. For that reason, it must be sheltered from the winds.

Nebbiolo produces huge wines with full extract and tannins and even more tannins. Did I mention that they have tannins? Surprisingly, these tannins are extracted from very thin skins. The tannins are complimented and balanced by the high acidity of this grape variety. The tannins and acids are essential and enable these wines to age for years. The classic tasting note is black cherries, tar, roses and leather. I prefer the French term goudron, a rather more elegant term than tar. These are not jammy, fruity wines. Think spicy, floral and savory. They become very complex with a little age and defy description at times. Also with age, they take on a brick red on the rim, along with notes of truffle and wild herbs, losing the rose and floral notes. Think big foods with these wines; roasts and game. Wines crafted from Nebbiolo can age for decades, and hold up well with plenty of body and taste. I have had some fantastic wines that were over forty years old. Oh, and that is going to be expanded upon in an upcoming post.

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Stag’s Hollow Winery and Wines


Stag’s Hollow Winery

2237 Sun Valley Way
Okanagan Falls, B.C.
V0H 1R2

Stags Hollow Tasting at The LIft Bar and Grill

We have been doing barrel samples for the last few years at Stags Hollow,
and have always thought that this is a quality winery. The impression we have
always come away with has recently been confirmed, as Stags Hollow has been
declared BC Winery of the year. Today, we had the opportunity to taste these
wines in their proper context, with food. Here are our favorites of the day with the
food matches.

Viognier 2010 $21.99
This wine while still in the vat blew us away with its aromatics.
In the bottle it tastes of peaches, stone fruit and some floral notes with well
balanced, medium-plus acidity. Nice finish. All in all a great example of what
British Columbia can do with Viognier.
Tech Stuff: 100% Viognier, TA7.0 g/l, ph 3.45, RS 2.0L, Alc 13.9%
Spec listing

Renaissance Pinot Noir 2010 $35.00
The winery only does Renaissance wines in great vintages. This Pinot definitely
fits into the great year category. Nice ruby color, red cherry, extremely well
balanced. Rich but not drying tannins. Bordering on an intense style for a BC
Pinot. The alcohol is well balanced with the other components of the wine. All
Estate grown fruit.
Tech Stuff: 100% Pinot Noir, Clones 115 667, TA 6.0 g/,l ph 3.65, RS
2.0g,/l Alc 14.2 Spec Listing,,

Both of the above wines were matched with Roasted Scallops and a Chanterelle
and Leek Risotto. The Pinot Noir with the Risotto was a perfect match as a
complement, while the Viognier was a contrast I thought.

Renaissance Sauvignon Blanc 2011 $24.99
Lemon and lime notes leaning to what I would call citrus with a sweet note. I
thought this wine had a little more residual sugar than the tech notes state. A
little bit of pear to smooth out the citrus. A very skillful light touch of oak. Long
finish. The Winemaker’s notes describe a nervy palate with minerality, a better
description than I could come up with.
Tech Stuff: 91% Sauvignon Blanc 9% Semillon, TA 8.0g/l, ph 3.15,
RS 2.og/l Alc 13.3% Spec Lisitng

Con-Fusion 2011 $17.95
This is a very aptly-named wine. I always get confused trying to pick out the different
grapes involved in it’s production. But who cares. This wine is just for fun and is
very easy to drink. A great patio sipper on a sunny day. They must have had a lot of fun blending this one. Check out the tech notes.
Bad day picking out the RS. I thought it had less than the tech sheet shows. The
sugar and acidity are very well balanced.
Tech Stuff: 46% Gewurtz, 35% Semillon, 8%Muscat, 7%Sav Blanc,
3% Chard, 1% Viognier TA 7.4g/l, ph3.4, RS 7.0g/l, Alc 12.5% Spec

The food pairing was a Mesclun green salad with a pear Vinaigrette and Chevre
Crumble. Both wines complimented the food quite well. The Sauvignon Blanc
had a slight edge, matching the cheese.

Cabernet Franc 2010  $27.99
We were very taken with this Cab Franc from the barrel samples and have been
waiting for the release.
This is great British Columbia Cab Franc, one of the best in the market. Let’s just
say WOW for the tasting notes, and we will be buying a case.
Tech Stuff: 100% Cab Franc TA 6.5g/l, ph 3.75,RS2.0g/l, Alc 13.2%

Syrah 2010 27.99
This winery does Syrah extremely well. It reminds me of Rhone wines with
lots of white pepper and smokey, spicy notes. Lots of dark fruit and blackberry.
Lovely tannin structure. I would not say rough tannins but you know the tannins
are there. Very dark purple colour, probably helped by the Viognier fixing the
colour, Rhone style. A perfect wine with meat dishes. We are getting used to
and expecting this style of Syrah from the OK Falls region, which is quite different
to the Syrahs from Oliver. Not better, just different. This wine will age for quite a
few years, if you can resist the temptation.

Tech Stuff: 91.5% Syrah 8.5% Viognier, TA 6.6g/l, h 3.76, RS 2.0g/l Alc 13.2

The folks at the Lift Grill  and Bar matched both of these wines well. A Cannon of Beef and
Bacon Wrapped Venison Loin with glazed carrots and a Marchand de Vin. Too busy eating and tasting to take a picture of this course.

The wines from Stags Hollow just get better every year. We are looking forward
to tasting in the barrel with Dwight Sick, the Winemaker, next year.

Winery Information

Ownership: Linda Pruegger & Larry Gerelus

Vineyard manager: Larry Gerelus

Winemaker: Dwight Sick

Average case production: 7,200

Designated Viticultural Area: Okanagan Valley

Year founded: 1995

Vineyard Acreage: 9 acres in production, 18 acres newly planted

Phone (250) 497-6162
Fax (250) 497-6152

Toll Free 1-877-746-5569

Wineshop hours

May to October
11:00am to 4:30pm daily.


Posted in BC Wines and Wineries, canadian wines, food and wine pairing, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, VQA, west coast wines | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shipping Canadian Wine Across Borders, Bill C-311 and Free My Grapes – Natalie MacLean

See on Scoop.itIn The Glass Wine and Spirits News

See on

Posted in BC Wines and Wineries, Bill C 311, Canadian Wine law, canadian wines | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bill C311 Wine shipping in Canada or Cowboys and Indians

On Tuesday May 29th bill C 311 was posed to pass it’s third reading in Canada’s Parliament. Introduced as a private members bill by Dan Albas, this bill  supposedly had support from all the parties and was sure to pass. The wine industry and Canadian consumers were holding their breath and getting ready to pull some corks and celebrate. Finally after eighty years, shipping wines between provinces was going to be legal. Free My Grapes was going to happen. Our Nell was going to become an honest woman !

Lets tell this story through media articles and what happened on social media. To start let us look at an article from lawyer Mark Hicken  There was also an article in the Penticton  Western News  titled  “Politicians rally around wine bill”, with pictures and everything of everyone standing around drinking wine and smiling, it is all going to be good, right. It is always going to be good when the pols are drinking wine. At least they where drinking B.C. wine . Expectations were high. Even I felt the glow. It was all going to have a happy ending.

No corks pulled, no celebrations. It had all gone sideways. No B.C. wine for you Ontario. I will still have to smuggle wine back and forth across the country.  The bill had stalled.  The earliest possible time to pass would be in the fall, or perhaps never . Our poor Nell was tied to  the railroad tracks with the train speeding ever closer. The Villains dressed in black sitting on the side lines, laughing maniacally. Our hero was similarly  trussed up and could not save our poor Nell.

Our Poor Nell

So what happened ?  How did our poor Nell get tied to the tracks ?  At best, was she going to have to  go back working in the Saloon  serving Cellared  in Canada wines? Here is a great article from BC Wine Lover on how it all went wrong. Stalled by a political filibuster.

Instant anger and a sense of how could they do that to our Nell. Then all hell broke loose on social media. Facebook and Twitter went nuts. There is a weekly forum on twitter with the hashtag #bcwinechat. BC Wine chat is hosted by Sandra Oldfield from Tinhorn Creek every Wednesday night on Twitter at 8:00PM PST. Here is link to the conversation . Here are some of the stats, all in a forty eight hour period. There were 1500+ tweets with 2.5 million impressions, 358 contributors in that hour alone during #BCwinechat. Meanwhile the #freemygrapes hashtag on twitter had 1031 tweets with 345 contributors with 1.5 million impressions. There were also over 250 (I stopped counting) tweets directed at Thomas Mulcair to get his party on board to let the bill pass. I do not need to comment on the numbers, but the audience was booing the villains from their seats.

Meanwhile the press, in another scene, were commenting on the Villains’ behavior. An article from the National Post  The national media was commenting on the cynical games, and why our poor Nell was tied to the tracks and about to be run over.

Wait, fade to black, another scene at the zoo, I am sorry it was on Parliament Hill, wrong movie. The villains say they did not mean it and offered to untie our poor Nell. It was all a mistake, a misunderstanding.

I will let the hero of our story tell us what happened next. He was all tied up, but wait, an unlikely group, the Indians, come and help out and offer to untie our hero and rescue our poor Nell.

Stay tuned for next week as our hero and the Indians are rushing to the train tracks to save our poor Nelll. The villains have said they are putting on their white hats and will not stop our hero from untying our poor Nell.  Will our hero make it in time ? Are the Villains really going to help before the train runs her over. Wait ! There is another group that can force our poor bill back to the saloon.  Like I said stay tuned !

Here are some some more comments on the story of our poor bill.

Posted in Bill C 311, Canadian Wine law, Tin Horn Creek Wines, VQA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment