At Terravista Vineyards, their new winery,
Senka and Bob Tennant have scored another Canadian winemaking first by
releasing a white blend from two Spanish varietals, Albariño and Verdejo.
When they were partners at Black Hills Estate Winery, that winery released the
first Carmenère in Canada.
Carmenère is old Bordeaux red that is
practically extent in France
but flourishes in Chile.
Black Hills was sold in 2007. Bob and Senka took a little time off before
buying a small property on the upper Naramata Bench. They decided to do
something different again by planting these two Spanish whites. A neighbour
also planted a few acres.
The new Terravista winery, with a capacity
to produce only 1,700 cases a year, was completed last year, introducing the
first of the two whites – and the only wines – that they plan to make.
The initial release was a 2010 vintage
called Figaro, made with purchased Roussanne and Viognier. Their own vineyard
was not yet in production.
Now, Terravista has released both whites
from the 2011 vintage – another Figaro and the new blend of the two Spanish
whites from their own vineyard. It goes by the catchy name, Fandango.
Figaro is $24 a bottle and Fandango is $25.
They are being offered by the case (or mixed case) on the winery’s website.
Terravista does not have a wineshop.
I have not had a chance to taste the new
Figaro. I expect I will find it at least as impressive as the 2010, which I did
Senka and Bob were the first to plant
Albariño and Verdelo in the
Okanagan. I believe a little more has been planted since, but there will never
be enough to spark an “anything but Albariño”
movement. In fact, the fine Terravista wine is likely to spur others to plant
is grown primarily in Spain
and typically goes into white blends. You might see some Australian Albariño but it turns out that the Australians were erroneously sent
cuttings of a French white called Savignin.
Verdejo also grows mostly in Spain and is
used for sherry as well as white wine. It is logical that Senka would grow both
for a blend because the varieties are quite complimentary – the Albariño brings the structure, the Verdejo brings aromatics and fullness.
On my recent Russian river boat vacation,
the house wines on the ship were both Spanish. The white, undoubtedly a blend
using these two grapes and perhaps others, was particularly good. There was not
a day when I did not have a few glasses. So you might imagine I was looking
forward to Senka’s wine. Yes, it took me back to cruising again.
Here are my notes on Fandango.
Fandango 2011 ($25). Fairly pale in colour, the
wine begins with a lovely floral perfume … honey suckles, rose blossoms … to
draw you in with a springtime freshness. There are layers of flavour on the
palate, beginning with lime and lemon and going on to melon and apple. The
fresh, crisp finish and the touch of minerality give this wine a laser-like
focus. A marvellous white! 92.