THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 7 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 9 383
The cradle of winemaking is in the Transcaucasia of Georgia. Its fertile
valleys and protective slopes have been home to grapevine cultivation and
wine production for at least 8,000 years, pre-dating Egyptian winemaking
by about 4,000 years. With wines from its native grapes such as the ancient
Saperavi, and using modern winery techniques, its wine industry is on the
rise again. A couple of examples can be found at larger LDB outlets. Russia
produces wine in the North Caucasus regions of Krasnodar and Rostov, as
well as in the currently disputed areas of Crimea.
There is a bit of wine production in Japan. In China, where wine production
dates back over 2,000 years, large tracts of the Gobi Desert are being
turned into irrigated vineyards in joint ventures between the Chinese government
and companies such as Rémy Martin and Pernod Ricard. When
they come into full production and if they can maintain reasonable quality,
a flood of wine may arise around the world. Keep a glass handy.
India has a well-regarded wine industry. Some of its wines, particularly
from Sula Vineyards, are finding their way to B.C. Their Viognier, available
through the LDB, is particularly tasty. The industry has its roots from the
Portuguese and English colonial periods.
We finish our tour with Australia and New Zealand, where wine production
is well known and widespread. But new wine regions are being developed,
particularly in Tasmania with its emphasis on Burgundian varieties
and Canberra with its emerging styles in Australia, and at Waikato on the
north island in New Zealand.
The only continent left unexplored on this tour is Antarctica as, so far, it
has no wineries not even ice wine? – Ed..
I have probably missed some wine-producing areas, and you can let me
know which ones. With spring in full swing, I offer some refreshing whites
and good BBQ reds from around the world.
DA SILVA VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY 2016
BC VQA Okanagan Valley $25.00 plus taxes
While this winery is located in Penticton, the grapes for this wine are from
the Stumpy Vineyard, the only one actually located in the Town of Oliver.
Fermented in stainless steel and aged partly in oak for two months, this
rather delicate Chardonnay has aromas of baked apple, with hints of citrus,
and the flavours on its lifted palate are of apple, lemon, white peach and
some tropical fruit all mixed with vanilla and a bit of butter that creates a
creamy mouthfeel and long finish. It is a perfect match for BBQ prawns or
crab or lobster with drawn butter. Available online or in person from the
winery, or at other private wine stores.