Our destination in the Okanagan was Foxtrot Vineyards, where we helped harvest their fat, juicy Pinot Noir grapes last October.
The grapes are slowly ripening in the heat and we are looking forward to joining the harvest again this year.
But August is time for peaches, and we were generously allowed to take all we could carry of these honeyed, aromatic marvels.
Translucent yellow plums, too. This is just to say...
Our real reason for visiting Foxtrot was an opportunity to barrel-taste the 2009 Pinot Noir. Kicki and Anna-Marie were very generous with their time, helping us understand what we were tasting. The different toasted oak barrels and yeasts impart very different flavours and characters, but in each sample there were the tell-tale signs of their famous Foxtrot Pinot Noir. Soon it will be bottled and then released some time in 2012. We can't wait to open a bottle of wine whose grapes we helped harvest.
Foxtrot's Pinot Noir has been awarded one of the few extremely prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. Anyone who has tasted this amazing wine will know that the recognition is well-deserved.
From John Shreiner's famous blog:
"Seventy-one wineries submitted 281 wines for one of the toughest of British Columbia’s wine competitions. A maximum of 12 awards are available. This year, 11 awards will be presented to winemakers at the end of July by Lieutenant Government Stephen Point..."
With our car full of fruit and a couple of mixed cases of wine from the Naramata Bench and Black Sage Road, we made our way home. In the heat it was hard to resist stopping for a swim at Bromley Rock Provincial Park, so we didn't. The water was the coldest of the whole trip, but it felt wonderful. Aya bravely managed a full dip, to her screaming delight.
Just one last stop in Chilliwack for a dozen ears of sugar-sweet corn, and then we were home. Five thousand kilometers in eleven days.