Photo: Hester Creek general manager Mark Sheridan
On October 4, during the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, Hester
Creek Winery is hosting its third annual garlic festival.
Here is a chance to sample and buy locally grown garlic; and
to taste wines paired with garlic-influenced dishes prepared by the winery’s
in-house chef, Roger Gillespie.
This event – admission by donation – is a fundraiser for the
Farm to Table Lunch Program at the Oliver elementary school. Twice a week, the
students are treated to lunches made with ingredients from local farms.
Mark Sheridan, Hester Creek’s general manager, calls it a
“terrific” program. “It promotes the use of ingredients from our local
producers as well as healthy eating,” he says. “It also helps raise awareness
in the next generation of Okanagan residents.”
They don’t, of course, get a taste of Hester Creek wines,
which will be poured during the garlic festival, as well as in at nearby
Terrafina Restaurant. And the current Hester Creek releases include an exceptional
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, one of Hester Creek’s neighbours on
the Golden Mile, also has a suite of events to show off its newest reds – a
2012 Cabernet Franc and a 2012 Merlot. Both also are outstanding.
No doubt, the chef at Tinhorn Creek’s Miradoro Restaurant will
use the occasional garlic clove in the recipes there as well. The events
include an October 2 dinner, Hops, Grapes and Grub, which involves beer
pairings as well as wine pairings. It is a recipe for a boisterous evening.
There is a good chance there will be a bit of garlic around
on October 10 when the winery hosts the 18th
of the 20 events to celebrate its 20th
anniversary. This is a dinner at Miradoro prepared by guest chef Angus An (of Vancouver
Restaurant) and Jeff Van Geest, Miradoro’s chef.
Even if you don’t go, here are notes on the three red wines.
You can find them in private wine stores and the Liquor Distribution Branch. All
are made in good volume. And all three are made with grapes from older vines, which
accounts for the generous and satisfying texture of the wines.
Cabernet Franc 2012 ($24.99 for 4,782 cases). The vines were 19 years old
in 2012. The wine explodes with aromas of raspberry and blackberry. Rich in
texture, the wine has flavours of blackberry and black cherry. There is a
subtle note of oak here; the wine spent a year in two and three-year-old French
and American oak barrels. It is a delicious wine. 91.
Tinhorn Creek Merlot
($19.99 for 7,790 cases). Once again, bold aromas of black cherry,
black currant and plum roar from the glass. It is a big ripe (14.9% alcohol)
wine with flavours of plum, prune, black cherry and vanilla. The texture is
generous, almost fleshy. The wine, which aged a year on American and French
oak, is quite satisfying to drink. 91.
Hester Creek Block 2
Reserve Merlot 2012 ($28.95 for 800 cases). Hester Creek has some of the
oldest vines on the Golden Mile; the plantings began here in 1968. The Merlot
in Block 2, if not that old, certainly has been producing for a couple of
decades. This wine is also bold and ripe, with enveloping aromas of plum,
vanilla, coffee bean and sage. Rich and soft in texture, the wine has flavours
of black currant, black cherry, plum and vanilla. This wine was aged between 12
and 16 months in French (75%) and American (25%) barrels. 92.