Jen Oishi’s mom loves the Pinot Gris and her mother-in-law is partial to the rose.
Oishi, the winemaker at Gray Monk in Lake Country, is discussing the wine preferences of these important women in her life because it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.
“My mom has always been a fan of the Pinot Gris we make here at Gray Monk,” said Oishi.
“She’s also always liked the Ehrenfelser. My mom has to work on Sunday, so unfortunately we’ll just have a phone call. But we’ll definitely be able to have wine together another day. On Mother’s Day we’ll be taking my mother-in-law out for a picnic and we’ll be taking a bottle of the Gray Monk rose along.”
Oishi is also a mom herself to Nolan, 3.
Oishi is proud of the 2021 vintages of both the Pinot Gris and the rose.
“The trend in the Okanagan is to paler roses, so at Gray Monk we just put the Cabernet Franc and Merlot fruit into the press and press right away to get a light pink colour,” she said.
“It’s incredibly crisp and fruit-forward and is a really nice brunch, lunch and patio wine.”
The Pinot Gris is a white wine, but has a bronzy-pinkish tint.
“Pinot Gris juice is white, but the grape itself is purply-blue when ripe,” explained Oishi.
“What we do here at Gray Monk is crush the fruit and let it sit on the skins for six to 12 hours before pressing to get that little extra colour. As a result, the wine also has beautiful texture, while still crisp and fruit forward. It’s definitely Gris-style rather than the really light Pinot Grigio-style.”
Today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to
5 p.m., Township 7 Winery on the Naramata Bench is having a Mother’s Day Weekend to release its 2021 Provenance Series Rose ($27).
Enjoy a glass of the new rose with sweet and savoury bites for $30.
Reservations at Township7.com.
The timing of Mother’s Day in early May means fresh white, rose and sparkling and light red wines are apropos for gifts, brunch, lunch, dinner or patio sips with your mom.
These 11 Okanagan wines all fit the bill:
— Upper Bench 2021 Riesling ($26 ), Naramata Bench
— Corcelettes 2021 Gewurztraminer ($22), Keremeos
— Black Widow 2021 Oasis aromatic white blend ($27 ), Naramata Bench
— Black Widow 2021 Pinot Gris ($26)
— Black Widow 2021 Sparkling Web ($28)
— Township 7 Seven Stars Equinox Sparkling Rose (wine club exclusive), Naramata Bench
— Hester Creek 2018 Old Vine Blanc de Blanc Brut ($35), Oliver
— Gray Monk 2021 Pinot Gris ($20), Lake Country
— Gray Monk 2021 Rose ($20)
— Corcelettes 2021 Pinot Noir ($31), Keremeos
— Stag’s Hollow Tragically Vidal 2021 ($20)
Spring wine fest is here
The first Spring Okanagan Wine Festival in two years launched Thursday promising a post-pandemic return to normal with lots of sensational wines and events.
There are still some last-minute, $109 tickets available for tonight’s Valley First Spring Wine Tasting at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna.
The fest is also going big for Mother’s Day with special events Sunday at Volcanic Hills in West Kelowna (sabre a bottle of sparkling); Bubble & Brunch at Time Winery in Penticton; Picnic in the Blossoms at The View in East Kelowna; and free tastings for mom at a myriad of wineries up and down the valley.
On May 12 at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna it’s From Cellars to Classics, a wine tasting interspersed with classical music from Okanagan ChamberFest.
At Summerland Waterfront Resort on the afternoon of May 15, it’s Blush & Bubbles (tickets: $99), an indoor-outdoor lakefront party featuring rose and sparkling wines with chef stations and passed canapes.
Tickets at TheWineFestivals.com and individual wineries.
Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover and Canadian wine scholar. Email: [email protected].