Firstly, let’s talk about what BC VQA is, and what it represents. Established in 1990, the BC Vintners Quality Alliance is the appellation of origin and quality standard for British Columbia wines. All certified wines must meet origin, vintage, and varietal standards which are assessed by a VQA panel, reaching a certified level of quality for their characteristics. To learn more about BC VQA wine, check out our learn section. Essentially this follows the European style (Appellation Controllee in France, DOCG in Italy, etc.) whereby each region manages their producers to ensure they follow guidelines for winemaking, growing, and location.
What does that translate to in terms of winemaking? The winery must use 100% BC grown grapes, have 95% of its grapes from within its geographical region, and use 85% of those grapes from the vintage it is releasing. 85% of those grapes also need to be the varietal the winery is labeling.
Here is a list of some of my latest finds from the many BC VQA quality wines available right now:
La Stella 2019 Fortissimo
Made to drink earlier than some other Merlots. Aromas of Bing cherries with red and black cherry fruit, some herbs, and tobacco leaves. Pleasant oak overtures showing in this delicious wine. Some Cab Sauvignon and Cab Franc blended in.
Desert Hills Cactus Red
A blend of merlot (63%), Cabernet Franc (27%), Syrah (15%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). Ripe red and dark berry flavours balance out with savoury spices in a supple and juicy mid-palate. Some trace amounts of tobacco. Pair with tomato paste dishes. Try this wine in our Weekday Warrior red subscription bundle.
Hester Creek Merlot Block 2 Reserve
The vines this wine is made from are almost 50 years old. All the fruit was fermented for 18 days in Ganimede ferments to extract optimum aromas, flavours, and colour. Chocolate, black cherry, and plum. Silky and seductive. Enjoy with chicken and mushroom sauce. Get this wine in our Adventurer red and mixed, 4 and 6 packs.
O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars – Gruner Veltliner
This vintage is a great example of this Austrian varietal. Aromas of fresh white peaches and ripe pineapple morph onto traditional herbaceous notes. Bright acidity and mid-palate of peach and pineapple, thyme tarragon, and white pepper. Has a long, rounded finish. Great with risotto, fish and chips, and herb-crusted fish. This BC VQA wine is featured in our upcoming Adventurer white 2 and 4 pack, and mixed.
Allen Ingram is the founder of myWinegenie Applications Ltd. and pairedclub.com and is a professional chef, as well as a Sommelier. His passion for the world’s best wine and food pairings has taken him all over the world for business and pleasure.