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

Eastside Road re-opened following repairs

Section of Eastside Road closed by the Ministry of Transportation is open after repairs.

Update: Administrative error results in do-over for South Okanagan dangerous offender’s trial

Ronald Arthur Teneycke will return to Penticton court on June 5 to start the process over

Riders cash in at Okanagan rodeo

Over $12,000 given out to competitors at the 81st annual Keremeos Elks Rodeo

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain, clouds, thunderstorms and flash floods

Environment Canada forecasts dreadful weather for Thursday

Penticton pastry chef wins top honours at Vancouver’s Chocolate Challenge

Jalayne Jones creation, ‘Beer & Pretzels’, won

Nominate your favourite businesses for the Best of the South Okanagan

Join the Penticton Western News as they celebrate the Best of the South Okanagan awards

Okangan MP welcomes plan to fight human trafficking

Mel Arnold applauds Conservative plan for A Safer Canada

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Okanagan elementary schools help Chinook salmon

Kingfisher is hosting a series of field trips to release the school-raised salmon

Summerlanders urged to travel by bike

Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week run May 27 to June 2

UPDATE: Water main break in Central Okanagan causes massive flooding

Glenmore Road and Highway 97 are affected by the water main break

Summerland Giant’s Head Run features Retro ’80s theme

Event will be held Saturday, June 1 at 6 p.m.

Most Read