Today is International Grenache Day. As itâs not a common word thatâs heard around BC wine country, Iâd suppose there are a few who will say âWhat the hell is a Grenache, and what does it do?â
It might sound like a foreign car from the 1960âs, but itâs actually a grape. In fact, itâs the most widely planted varietal in the world. Originating in southern Spain, Grenache is also known as Garnacha and new-world professional wine-o types are coming to seeÂ that this grape is a fundamental building block in blending; something old-world wine-o types have known for years.
Visit www.grenachesymposium.com for more information on this, the international day of Grenache. You know you want to. As our BC vineyards arenât overflowing with the dark-skinned, robust fruit, itâs up to us to seek out samples at local retailers. Go find some in the name of research. It’s all educational.
Back home in the Okanagan, our vineyard folks are starting to see the fruits of their significant labours. Itâs been a not-ideal summer for grape growing, from the extended cool, wet start to our early cool, wet fall. I know several wine makers who have done sunshine dances. They shall remain nameless; but you all know who you are. We thank you.
Today, the crew at Tinhorn Creek are harvesting their Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, grapes used in their ridiculously delicious 2Bench White. Sources tell me their Pinot Gris should make its way to the crush pad on Monday. La Stella is also harvesting their Muscat today, and Stagâs Hollow in Okanagan Falls will bring their Muscat in by early next week with their Sauvignon Blanc quick on its heels.
Some grapes ripen sooner than others, and Muscat is one of them. I hear itâs almost as hard to keep the employees at Tinhorn away from the sweet fruit as it is to keep the local bear and her cubs out of the vineyard. Apparently those bangers â the things that make loud noise in vineyards in the hopes to scare away uninvited guests â donât have quite the same effect on people. We can use earplugs.
So while a few of our vineyards are bringing in their bounty, weâre still waiting for that intense fall frenzy that is harvest and crush for our Okanagan grape growing and wine making friends. Tanks and cellars are super clean; hoses are checked and re-checked…then checked again. Waiting.
Itâs not over yet. The weather forecast says sunshine is coming our way, and our Okanagan valley is waiting with fingers, toes and hoses crossed. Well, maybe not the hoses. Hats off to each and every one of our BC wine makers and grape growers. Soon enough it will be time for them to un*wine*d with a glass of their own. Meanwhile, letâs get the party started for them.