Okanagan Winery hosts Champagne legend

A Summerland winery played host to representatives of one to the oldest and most famed Champagne Houses.

A group of representatives from 271-year-old Veuve Cliquot Champagne House

A Summerland winery played host to representatives of one to the oldest and most famed Champagne Houses, not once, but twice over the last few weeks.

Two tour groups from Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin on a Canadian wine tour visited Sumac Ridge Winery on March 26 and again on April 9, touring the vineyards and enjoying a tasting with winemaker Jason James and Troy Osborne, director of vineyard operations.

It was 1772 when Philippe Clicquot-Muiron established what eventually became the house of Veuve Clicquot, though it was his son’s widow that took the firm’s Champagne production to great heights, introducing it to royal courts across Europe and establishing it as one of the most successful brands.

“We were thrilled to have guests from Champagne visiting the Okanagan and sampling our wines,” says winemaker Jason James. “It’s definitely an honour.”

The Veuve Clicquot representatives included contract grape growers and producers for the two hundred and forty-year old brand who were in the Okanagan for an educational wine tasting trip. Along with Sumac Ridge, the trip also included stops at Grey Monk, Summer Hill and Blue Mountain wineries.

“They really enjoyed the products, they found it quite interesting,” said James, adding that the groups tasted a range of the winery’s sparkling wines, including a sparkling Gewurztraminer as well as the flagship Steller’s Jay Brut, which is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. Like Champagne, the bubbles in Sumac Ridge sparkling wines are produced via the classic method, while fermenting in the bottle. After the tasting, the group made a symbolic exchange of each other’s special sparkling wines.

“We exchanged bottles. For each tour group I got a bottle of Veuve. I’ve already drank one, but I am keeping the other one,” said James, adding that the visit was over very quickly by the time they had done a tasting and toured the vineyard.

“I think they were fairly impressed with it, just the diversity of the Okanagan. It was sort of hard explaining to them because we had to go through an interpreter. But Troy Osborne, the director of viticulture, he explained about all the different vineyard sites in the valley and the different soil types,” said James. “The one thing they did notice was our fruiting zone is quite high compared to where they put their fruiting zone, low to the ground, so they have a lot more back breaking labour. I think they keep them close to the ground so they don’t get cold, frost and so on.”


Just Posted

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Penticton Bantam Elks hockey win league title

The Penticton bantam Rec 1 BPO Elks team won the South Central Bantam Recreation Championship

Strong showing for local gymnasts

Local competitors do well in provincials

Okanagan-Similkameen region’s natural beauty subject of photo contest

The South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club invites regional amateur photographers to submit their photos

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

Most Read