Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Brief Wine News from Canada & Surpise! I'm going to Austria

Well, it's been a week since I've contributed to the blog, and that's because I was away out of town, in Canada to be exact, and had limited access to the Internet. It was a nice visit with family, and I even got to drink some wine and visit a vineyard. The wines I drank included a 2004 Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo which I brought with me to give to my dad as a retirement present, and we ended up drinking together, and a British Columbian Pinot Noir called 2006 Red Rooster Pinot Noir from the Okanagan area, which we enjoyed in a restaurant on Vancouver Island. The Barolo was excellent - I had it previously - it is a flavorsome, silky, elegant wine with fantastic texture and a balance flavor profile, not a lot of tannin or grip, but instead great texture in the mouth and nice fruit that was anything but over-the top. The Red Rooster Canadian Pinot Noir was a bit light and non-descript, not too complex, showing a bit of oak on the palate that could have been from oak chips, but it was easy to drink and we did finish it between three of us. But over all, I think I would take a Spatburgunder over it any day.

The vineyard that we visited was on Vancouver Island in the city of Nanaimo. The name is Chateau Wolff, and the winery closed in 2005 with the passing of its founder, Harry von Wolff. His son, Michael, now owns the property and since has been farming the grapes but not making wine. We got a tour of the vineyard and the dormant winery and let me say the spot is beautiful - the gorgeous Mt. Benson in the backdrop, the hillside sloping vineyard, the cliff edge of stone that warms the vineyard - even with the vines still bare at this stage just before bud break it was a beauty to behold. I brought for owner Michael a bottle of California's 2005 Huber Santa Rita Hills Dornfelder because one of the varieties he grows is Dornfelder, and he gave us a bottle of their Pinot Noir, which I believe he said was the 1999 vintage. It was a fun exchange. I think he might be open to selling the vineyard and in my fantasy of fantasies it would be fun to own it, but that's more of a fantasy than anything. Well, who knows. They say never to say never.

At any rate, fast forward to this week, I'm back from vacation and boss Randy has just booked me for a trip to Austria in a month. That's right - one month from today, I'll be back on the plane giving my Passport a workout. No need to put the luggage back into storage. No moss is growing under those puppies. I'm headed to Vienna for a Vie Vinum event. I have never heard of this event before, but a quick google search shows that it is "a classy bi-annual international wine tasting event that takes place in the elegant Imperial Palace. Over 500 internationally acclaimed wine producers, among them over 400 boutique Austrian wine makers and 100 acclaimed international wineries will showcase their best wines in this aristocratic setting." Sweet!

I'm going with the folks from WineWise, which is a distributor of Terry Theise wines. After the Vie Vinum event, we'll be heading out to the countryside to visit Austrian producers. Names that I have associated with great Austrian wines will come alive and make more sense than they ever have. Can't wait!

Well enough for tonight. I'll blog more tomorrow.


Samantha Dugan said...

Sounds like you had a lovely trip and visit with the family! I think it is so cool that you and your father share a love for wine and that Barolo sounds fantastic.

Congratulations on the trip. Those things can be grueling but they are so valuable for us. How long are you going for? This is your first trip to Austria right? I for one am super excited for you lady! Cant wait to read all about it.

Nancy Deprez said...

Hi Samantha

Yes, first time to Austria! Who knew I would be going there next!!

Going for a week, 3 days in Vienna, then trucking off to the countryside for about 4 days and that's about it. Really looking forward to it and learning more about Austrian wine and having that all come alive for me.

peter said...

Tough life Nancy! ;)

Nancy Deprez said...

I know, Peter, I know! At this rate, I tell my boss, I'm going to be working for him FOREVER...