Is B.C.’s Future a $20 Wine from an Obscure Grape?

Stag’s Hollow remakes the idea of what BC wine can be.

April 17, 2015

The Okanagan Falls Winery Association was in town last Wednesday and there’s nothing like getting a gaggle of BC wineries together to appreciate the insane diversity we have. There was everything from a rosé made from Zinfandel (which, not matter the dryness level, is still technically a white Zinfandel) to a dense Bordeaux blend that needed a few years to mellow out some (actually there were a few of these). But the most exciting wine? A $20 Dolcetto from Stag’s Hollow.

Was it the best wine in the room? Not likely, but it’s the best $20 Dolcetto in the Province—from anywhere. If I gave you $20 to buy the best Cabernet Sauvignon you could find what are the odds you’d buy a Canadian wine? Exactly. What about Merlot? Or Syrah? Make it $25 and the answer would still be the same. But with this wine made from the third best grape in Piedmont Larry Gerelus of Stag’s Hollow can compete (in the admittedly closed game of the BCLDB) with anyone from anywhere at this price.

He’s not alone in this quest—Chris and Beata Turner of Moon Curser make an Arneis (the white grape of Piedmont) that at under $25 can likewise compete at that price level with any other Arneis in our market. Senka Tennant at Terravista makes an Albarino that can go toe-to-toe with the Spanish imports, but at a lower price point. The key to all thee wines? They don’t require a buyer sympathetic to the Okanagan to help sway them, just a price sensitive consumer (is there any other  kind?) with an open mind.

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