Before the final products are bottled, wine producers in France host their harvest celebration with Beaujolais Nouveau Day, where crowds can sample the beverages straight out of the barrel.
The tradition has been adopted for the first year in Penticton, and a celebration for the Okanagan Nouveau will be held on Nov. 19 at 557 Artist Block.
“Wines from the Okanagan do similarly well because it has a climate similar to strong wine growing regions in France,” said Artist Block owner Vaelei Walkden-Brown. “Because the tannins in them are quite strong, since they haven’t had that aging process, you get a lot more grit in the wine, there’s a bite in your teeth and a bit more texture which is interesting.”
In France, the event is celebrated with with fireworks, music and festivals. The wine is released exactly at 12:01 a.m., as per French law, before guests are allowed to enjoy the first batches of the season.
The selection of uncasked wine will be provided by Celista Estate Winery, which has been prepared by winemaker Lee Holland. They’ll be sharing their 2015 Ortega, 2015 Rosé and the 2014 Marechal Foch.
The Ortega is a “young jovial white wine has beautiful fresh fruit aromas, like peach and under-ripe pear,” said Holland. “The subtle and savoury attributes lend gentle tones or fresh sage and tarragon. The mid-palate structure has a fantastic grittiness which amplifies both, mouth weight and texture. With pineapple and ginger on the finish, this wine pleasantly lingers in your memory.”
The 2015 Rosé is also a lively aromatic wine and holds a vibrant aura of floral characters, Holland said.
“This Rosé emulates a sense of lilac and rose pedals with a subdued resonance of rooibos tea. Cranberry textures influence the middle of your palate with striking acidity for a refreshing crisp finish.”
The 2014 Marechal Foch is a full body red wine that shows rich black cherry.
“A mixture aroma of vanilla and cedar will tantalize your emotions” that has exceptional characteristics, he said.
Holland had ambitions of organizing a local Beaujolais Nouveau event for eight years before finally teaming up with Walkden-Brown.
Wines will be paired with canapés from Brodo Kitchen by chef Paul Cecconi, and the event features live music by Dorian Goodwin.
“Wine and art seem to go together – people who like both seem to enjoy a similar quality of life.”
Tickets cost $25 at the door or $20 in advance which are available at the gallery. Admission includes one glass of champaign and three samples of wine. There will also be a cash bar.