A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 888: White Night, Vancouver and I4C

Saturday, July 15th: White Night event on Henley Island.

Our table

Preparing appetizers

The wines

Steve Gill prepares the cheeses

Sunday, July 16th: Flew Porter Airlines to Vancouver to visit Annabel and our grandson Declan. We took Porter Airlines from Pearson Airport – a most enjoyable flight; check-in was easy, it left on time, baggage arrived intact, and the flight attendants were very obliging. Annabel and Declan met us at the airport. We had booked an Airbnb within walking distance to Annabel’s house in East Van. We had brought Declan, who is soccer crazy, a Lionel Messi soccer jersey, socks and pants which he would wear morning, noon and night during our three-day stay.

Declan in his Messi jersey

Went for a walk in Pacific Regional Park, a magnificent forest of old trees. Played chess with Declan and enjoyed a bottle of Rocco delle Macie Campo Maccione Vermentino 2021.

Chess and wine

Monday, July 17th: Lunched with Annabel at a Teriyaki Sushi restaurant while Deborah visited an old school friend. Picked up Declan from Soccer Camp and took him for ice cream.

Ice cream time!

Annabel’s dog Pedro

Tuesday, July 18th: Annabel drove us to Granville Island Market, where we watched an escapologist work his way out of a straitjacket and chains before lunch at a seafood restaurant (oysters, dim sum and a bottle of Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2021).

Granville Market fruit

Vancouver skyline from Granville Island

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2021

Dinner this evening with our friends Marie Franco and Vaughan Bowser and several old friends who have accompanied us on our annual May wine tours. Dinner was served in the garden. I brought along a bottle of Norman Hardie Chardonnay Caillerets 2020. The wines were fantastic (see magnums menu).

Wednesday, July 19th: Flew back to Toronto. By the time we picked up our car at the Park ‘N’ Fly lot and drove home it was 1:30 am.

Thursday, July 20th: Up at 6:45 am to prepare for I4C’s School of Cool, held at White Oaks Conference Resort. The Keynote speaker was Michelle Cherutti-Kowal, an MW from London. Her theme was “Learn To Taste Like a Master of Wine – A Study in Chardonnay – 2.0.” We blind tasted eight Chardonnays from BC Chablis, Maçonnais, New Zealand and Ontario.

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW on screen

Session Two was entitled “Blend Like a Winemaker.’” We sat down to three pairs of wines as four winemakers discussed Barrel Ageing of Chardonnay, Place – the terroir effect, and the differences between wild yeast and commercial yeast.

Session Three, “Filling In the ‘Blancs’.” Michelle Cherutti-Kowal chaired this final session about sparkling Chardonnay which dealt with “the world of lees, base wine choices, reserve wines and the differences in Vintage and Non-Vintage sparkling winemaking.” We tasted eight wines: 13th Street Blanc de Blancs N/V, Blomidon Estate Brut Reserve 2016 (Nova Scotia), Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs N/V, Greenlane Estate Blanc de Blancs 2019, Marcel Cabelier Vintage 60 (Jura), Oyster Bay Blanc de Blancs N/V, Winzergenossenschaft Konigsschaffhausen Chardonnay Sekt B.a Troken *Bs* (Baden).

Friday, July 21st: Drove into Toronto to deliver a talk at the National Club for the Rotary Club – a charitable event. It was billed as “Footprints in My Wine – My Journey in the Wine World.” Took the train back to Burlington and Deborah picked me up there.

Saturday, July 24th: Deborah dropped me off at the Niagara College parking lot, where busses were available to drive participants to the Clos Jordanne vineyard, where winemaker Thomas Bachelder was on hand explain the structure and soil of the Clos Jordanne vineyard sites. Here I tasted Jackson-Triggs Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos 2020 and Chardonnays by Thomas Bachelder.

Thomas Bachelder

The hat that says it all

Other wines tasted: Bartier Bros. Piquette and Piquette Rose – two low-alcohol (4.2%) sparkling wines in cans that make great summer sippers.

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