The Grape Count

In Vino Veritas- "In Wine there is Truth"
Grapes to try to date: 200

Grapes tried: 104
Grapes to go:

Monday, October 31, 2011

#85- Pinot Auxerrois

I am a proud Canadian so it always gives me a bit of a thrill to find a wine that I love and can't wait to brag about. Plus, I have a cool connection to the winery.

The grape is the Pinot Auxerrois and goes by several names depending on where it's grown. In Alsace for example it's known as Auxerrois Blanc. But in Canada it's known as the former. It's not a grape that is commonly grown in North America. There is one winery that is known for their Pinot Auxerrois and that is Gray Monk in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

Way back in 1996 I lived in Kelowna for my radio practicum. My two classmates- Karen and Leanne and I packed up and moved to the Okanagan Valley for 4 months to work at three separate radio stations for our last semester of college. We were working for free so we figured we'd go someplace warm to do it. So Kelowna was our chosen destination. Just to give a nice point of fact here- Kelowna had one of the coldest and snowiest winters they'd had in 20 years that winter. It's almost as if we brought winter with us! Can't win em all I guess.

In any event, in late April, we got to do a wine tour and the very first stop on our wine tour was Gray Monk Winery. At the time there were very few wineries in the region (not compared to the 200 + now that call BC home) so we became familiar with the local wineries. Gray Monk has always stayed in my memory as one of my favourites.

Back to the grape. The parents of the Pinot Auxerrois is the Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir. Wine fact- it is a full sibling to the Chardonnay grape as they both have the same parents! (I'm taking a good whiff of it now and I can certainly see how it relates to its sibling. Its character does indeed remind me of a chardonnay on the nose).

But it doesn't taste anything like the chardonnay grape at all. This one is buttery and creamy with great notes of peach and other orchard fruits (in Canada, many of our fruits come from this valley). On the tongue, I capture honey before any of the fruits such as lime and a tinge of apple. It is a very delicious combination. I am very reluctant to keep any for Craig though I bet he'd very much like this wine. It's not very acidic and moderate in alcohol, this is a wine that is great to drink on its own or to pair with white meats. I had barbequed chicken and side vegetables with the wine and found it to be a perfect pairing.

I do recommend this wine and am a huge fan of it for summer barbeques. It's also a reasonably priced wine and you can find it in most stores for under $20.

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