Lake Breeze president and winemaker Garron Elmes
This spring, Garron Elmes, the winemaker at Lake
Breeze Vineyards, was given the additional title of
president by winery owners, Drew and Barbara MacIntyre.
It is a deserving accolade for Garron who was a young South
African wine school graduate when he was recruited to Lake Breeze 18 years ago.
Over those years, the winery has four ownership changes. It
says something that none of them changed winemakers. The reputation that Lake Breeze
enjoys now has been earned with the consistent quality of the wines. If anything,
the wines have become better, a combination of better viticulture, better
equipment and accumulated experience by the winemaker.
This spring, the winery released three whites under a new
designation: winemaker series. One of them, a blend called Windfall, promptly won
a gold medal and subsequently sold out at the winery.
The series also included the first Viognier from Lake Breeze
This is one of the hottest new white varietals in the Okanagan, with more that
40 wineries now producing one. There is some evidence that Viognier, also an
aromatic white, is beginning to wean consumers away from Gewürztraminer.
popularity of Viognier “seems to be the latest trend, much like Pinot Gris
exploded a few years ago,” says Garron. Lake Breeze
released 500 cases and it is not yet sold out.
notes of wines worthy of a president.
Lake Breeze Vineyards Winemaker Series Riesling 2012
The wine has aromas and flavours of herbs, lemon and lime, with a finish that
is crisp and almost austerely dry. The racy acidity assures that this wine,
good as it is now, really should be laid down for a year or two. 89-91.
Lake Breeze Vineyards Winemaker Series Windfall 2012
and sold out). The wine gets its name not from grapes fallen to the ground but
simply from the abundance of the 2012 crop. It is a blend of 40% Pinot Blanc, 20% each of Pinot
Gris and Viognier, and 10% each of Sauvignon
Blanc and Chardonnay).
This wine begins with spicy,
floral aromas, leading to flavours of apples and citrus, with herbal notes on
the finish. The finish is crisp and refreshing. 91.
Lake Breeze Vineyards Winemaker Series Viognier 2012
This wine begins with lovely floral aromas, along with notes of apricot and
green apple. It is rich on the palate, with layers of fruit flavours, including
peach and apricot. There is a hint of spice on the crisp and refreshing fine.