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Column: Jump into Spring with juicy Spring wines

Citrus and floral wine recommendations for Spring
Spring Wines
A South African white and a Kootenay rosé will match this weekend’s weather.

This week spring has sprung with sunny days and higher than normal temperatures and the warming trend will continue through the weekend! It’s time to reach for spring wines that will put you in a sunny mood to enjoy the outdoors.

The French call a spring wine vin de soif – refreshing and thirst quenching. They should have a crisp amount of acidity, and be light in body and alcohol. And they should be served chilled. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before sipping to enhance the wine’s personality. Your thirsty guests will come back for more!

Today’s first spring wine is Protea 2020 Chenin Blanc from South Africa ($14.99 at all three Richmond BCLStores.) Unsurprisingly, the spring season gets its name from the verb "spring." It's a nod to the flowers and plants springing up, springing open, and bursting into blossom. And Protea is very much a spring wine.

It looks like spring with its white flowers on the bottle; Protea is the national flower of South Africa. It smells like spring with its sweet floral aroma with hints of honey and citrus wafting out to the glass. And it tastes like spring with ripe honeysuckle and quince with its lively spicy complex flavours of apple, pear citrus and its tangy acidity. And I enjoyed the tangerine finish. Easy drinking, thirst quenching, “Here’s to spring!”

Another tasty choice for the season from is Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery in the Kootenays. The winery honours the region’s pioneer, William Baillie-Grohman who had a vision in the 19th century that the area along the Creston Valley could become a rich agricultural region. The winery opened in 2009 with owners Bob Johnson and Petra Flaa with their son Wes Johnson as the winemaker.

The focus of the winery is on cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.  This is very similar to what is planted in the northern Okanagan in Kelowna and Lake Country near Vernon.  

My second Spring Wine choice is their Baillie-Grohman 2020 Florence Rosé, ($21.00 available at the VQA grocery store at Ironwood.) named after Baillie-Grohman’s wife, Florence.

Made from Pinot Noir grapes, it has the look of a Provence rosé with a salmon -orange hue. The bouquet reveals roses, red fruit, and tangerine. The flavour profile has strawberry and rhubarb, with a delicious tangy sweet-and sour taste and an off-dry finish. Put some prawns on the barbie and add some BC salmon to the grill. The Florence rosé is another wine meant for this weekend with all its gorgeous spring weather.

The Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Tasting Room is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday until the May Long Weekend. For more info on the winery and ordering wine by the case with free delivery, check out their website: