Photo: Township 7's Mike and Lori Raffan
Township 7 Vineyards & Winery has
pulled off a coup by being selected to produce the official wines for Calgary
Stampede’s centenary this summer.
The Stampede got samples from a number of
wineries and, after tasting them, settled on a Chardonnay and a Merlot from
The Centennial Chardonnay is $21.99 and the
Centennial Merlot is $26.99 in British Columbia,
where the wines are available at Township 7’s wineries in Penticton
and in Langley.
The wines, selling for a couple of dollars less in Alberta,
are available in several leading Alberta
private wine stores. They will also be sold on the grounds at Stampede Park
during the Stampede, which takes place during the first two weeks of July.
Calgary is familiar stomping ground for Township 7 proprietor Mike Raffan.
A Vancouver native, he lived in Calgary from 1998 until he bought Township 7
in 2006. In Calgary,
he was a partner in the launch of several restaurants, including three
Mike says that he has “great memories of
all the fun Stampede activities and of the exceptional Calgarian spirit.”
Township 7 is getting into that spirit in a
big way. During the Stampede, it will host a number of food and wine seminars
As well, it plans Stampede parties at its
two wineries. There will be a “Western Roundup Anniversary” at the Penticton winery on July
7 and 8, complete with barrel tastings with winemaker Brad Cooper. There will
be country music and barbecue food paired with the Centennial wines.
On the following weekend, there will be a
comparable party at Township 7’s Langley
winery, this time including a $20-a-ticket country and western concert on the
evening of July 14. The winery is encouraging guests to break out their western
attire and get into the spirit with Township 7.
Meanwhile, Township 7 has just released two
excellent reserve wines. Both are in limited quantities and should sell out
7 Reserve Chardonnay 2008 ($24.99 for 228 cases).
The grapes in this wine are a blend of Similkameen and Black Sage Road fruit from two excellent
vineyards. Winemaker Brad Cooper, something of a Chardonnay specialist, aged
the wine 18 months in French oak.It is a big, rich Chardonnay, with aromas of tangerine and buttery oak. On the palate there is great spoonful of tropical flavours - tangerine, guava -supported by, but not overwhelmed by the oak. 90
Township 7 Reserve 7, 2008 ($34.99 for
217 cases.) This is a blend of 75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8%
Cabernet Franc, aged 25 months on French and American oak. It is a big, ripe
wine, beginning with a dramatic aroma of black currant and vanilla. On the
palate, there are flavours of black currant, plum, chocolate and vanilla. The
texture is rich and concentrated and the finish is very long and satisfying.