Black Hills Wine Experience Centre Tasting is Extra-Sensory
Nota Bene, the cult wine from Black Hills Estate Winery, is an important wine. It's one that founded and proved Black Sage Bench in Oliver as a premium Okanagan terroir and ripener of the red varietals found in a Bordeaux. Their Cabernet Sauvignon in particular, a grape that had previously been thought impossible in our northerly region, is one that has been ripening to glorious fruit that takes its often dominant part in the coveted Nota Bene since it's first vintage in 1999.
Since then many vintages of the Nota Bene and various other special wines like the locally rare Carmenere have come through the hands and cellars of Black Hills Estate Winery, each year selling out. The winery began with it's winemaking facility, where a short tasting season allowed visitors a small and valued window of opportunity. The real chance to buy the sought-after wines and attend the special events like the Nota Bene Release Party was through joining the Black Hills Wine Club.
To bring the Black Hills wine experience to more wine lovers and travellers of the region, the winery decided to build a second building dedicated entirely to this special experience - The Black Hills Wine Experience Centre, opened June 21, 2012. Glenn Fawcett and team have been creating the ultimate wine tasting, honing it through articulations via their extensive Riedel glassware collection engineered for specific varietals, through their pool and vineyardside patio and cabanas, and their newest addition to the property - a vineyard kitchen in a state-of-the-art fully outfitted shipping container run this season by the exceptional talents of Joy Road Catering. This locally adored culinary team has worked its artistry in creating ideal pairings for the nuanced wines. The Black Hills team at the Wine Experience Centre are all trained sommeliers and aptly named The Wine Evangelists.
Our story today takes you through the phenomenal experience that I had during the Black Hills wine tasting, via photographs and a few words. I'll leave it to you to visit Black Hills Wine Experience Centre this Okanagan Fall Wine Festival season for this must-experience tasting so that you can find the joy in finishing the story with your own tasting notes.
Cheers and enjoy the photo journal below,
Tarynn Liv Parker
Editor, The Field Guide
A visitor to The Wine Experience Centre immersed in the bouquet, an experience soon to be mine
Getting to know the terroir of the estate begins the tasting
Varietals meet their respective glasses, and the tasting event begins when the tasting plates arrive
Alibi 2013 comes alive with a potato, chèvre, prosciutto flatbread
Viognier 2013 with pork rillettes, quince
Classic flavours come together with the Chardonnay 2013, corn, salmon and basil
on to the reds...
Carmenere 2012, pairs with Guanciale, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula
Syrah 2012 paired with this perfect pair of meatballs, and a chard of grand padano
Nota Bene 2012, paired with Joy Road's house made Sopressata
The Wine Evangelists, Jeff Stewart and Jesse Collins, my trusted guides through tasting
To culminate my experience, I took a walk in to the vineyard in front of the WEC for some time to further connect with this terroir known a little more by the intimacy encountered through the tasting. These are the Syrah vines... A true love of mine, I just had to get a selfie.