The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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84 / the tasting panel / october 2009 Gold I n the coming months, more sets of eyes from around the world will be turning towards Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Games will undoubtedly shine a spotlight on Canada's hospitality, as well as one of North America's most beautiful cities. For those actually traveling to western Canada to frolic in the snow with the athletes and absorb local cul- ture, there is another treasure to be discov- ered—Canadian wines. The story of Canadian wine basically centers around two provinces, Ontario and British Columbia. Since the Games are in Vancouver, and since Vancouver is in British Columbia, it's a safe bet that Olympic fans will have greater opportunities to try wines from BC (as the region is often referred to north of the border). Within its two distinct wine-producing regions—Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley—BC is doing what any young wine industry does: plant a broad range of vinifera and hybrid grapes. According to Eric Pateman, founder and President of Edible British Columbia (a Vancouver-based culinary tourism opera- tor;, some grapes are working out better than others. "Chardonnay and Merlot are the most wide- ly planted varietals, but they are not our best wines," he says. "Pinot Blanc and Riesling are probably the archetypes of BC whites right now; and Cab Franc is our best red." Pateman is also a trained chef and is launching an Edible British Columbia cook- ing school at Hester Creek Estate Winery, in the southern Okanagan Valley. His work with Vancouver-area chefs also gives him a unique perspective on epicurean trends, and he says that despite a bit of a slowdown in the last few years (due to rising costs of land and grapes), there is a sense that the BC wine industry is headed in the same direc- Going for the When the Olympics come to Vancouver, British Columbia wines will be ready for the world by Anthony Head Liberty Wine Merchants is the largest chain of private wine stores in western Canada, of- fering an exceptional selection of BC wines. According to wine buy- er Darryl Lamb (pic- tured), demand for BC wines within Vancouver and the province is "ultra-high."

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