Column: Introducing Valley Commons, from volleyball to grapes


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Valley Commons Winery launched on September 8

The BC wine industry is certainly not suffering from stagnation! Each year, more and more wine estates develop, creating a dynamic and evolving wine culture. The center of the wine industry is the Okanagan Valley with 186 wineries, or 65 percent of the British Columbia total.

On September 8, Valley Commons Winery launched. It is located in the new District Wine Village (DWV), the first of its kind in Canada and includes 13 wineries, a brewery and a restaurant. Located near Oliver, the Wine Village is home to small, artisan producers who can run their businesses without having to invest in their own locations.

Among the wineries are familiar faces like Nk’Mip, Eau Vivre and TIME, as well as several exciting new faces like Valley Commons whose motto is “Where we meet”.

Former members of Canada’s national women’s and men’s volleyball teams Kyla Richey and Rudy Verhoeff turned their dream of owning a business into reality; people gathered, tasted delicious wine and food in an informal natural setting. Being part of DWV is an ideal situation as it is a community made up not only of the cellar, brewery and restaurant workers, but also the many tourists and visitors who come to enjoy a glass of wine, beer. artisanal and good food. .

During the construction of Valley Commons, Mark Simpson of BC Wine Studio produced the first vintage. From the 2021 vintage, the wines will be produced by winemaker Bill Adams and consultant Pascal Madevon.

Currently, the 2020 vintage is offered for tasting and purchase at the estate. They include Harvest Table White, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, and Garden Society Red.

Among the Valley Commons wines I sampled, the 2020 Harvest Table White ($ 25; 90 points) and the 2018 Cabernet Franc ($ 35; 91 points) really stood out.

Harvest Table White is a blend of 56% Muscat, 22% Viognier and 22% Chardonnay grown in the South Okanagan. I normally find Muscat to be powerful, but the other two grapes in the mix temper it. The white mixture

has a medium gold color and its nose is generous with floral and exotic scents as well as tree fruits and citrus fruits.

With a medium body, there is an appealing blend of flavors: lychee and roses, apple, quince and orange, well balanced with crisp acidity and ending on a dry fruity finish. Harvest Table White pairs well with sushi and Halloumi to cleanse the palate of wasabi and salty cheese.

The 2018 Valley Commons Cabernet Franc 2018 ($ 35) is a very dark red hinting at its rich character. The aroma is generous with ripe red and black fruits and a hint of oak, thanks to a 20-month aging in French oak barrels.

On the palate, a medium heavy body, unfiltered taste but with smooth tannins. There are fresh, ripe flavors of raspberries, Boysen berries and black cherries with a good balance of sour fruit.

The Cab Franc was delicious with Chinese braised beef and shrimp. It can also successfully accompany a duck or four cheese pizza. Visit https://valleycommons.ca/ to order wines as well as the benefit of joining their wine club. Valley Commons Winery is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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About Michael Brafford

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