It was for the love of pinot noir, and over a pint of beer, that three local wineries were inspired to launch the annual BC Pinot Noir Celebration. Today, the three reflect on how the event has instigated collaboration among the region’s best pinot noir producers to give a collective voice to the varietal that is quickly becoming one of the region’s definitive grapes.
On Saturday August 22 the third annual BC Pinot Noir Celebration will see 26 of the province’s best pinot noir producers delight the palates of more than 250 guests at the Linden Gardens in Kaleden.
Meyer Family Vineyards winemaker Chris Carson had experienced varietal celebrations in other corners of the world. Igniting the spark, in 2012 he proposed the idea to proprietor JAK Meyer, alongside Luke Smith of Howling Bluff Estate Winery and Tantalus Vineyards winemaker David Paterson. It didn’t take long, or many beers, for the visionaries to imagine what could be, and start planning.
“Our goal for the event was for it to be interactive, and to represent and showcase that pinot noir in B.C. is an expressive and distinctive wine,” says Meyer. “The addition of international guest speakers including Decanter Magazine’s Steven Spurrier this year and previously Karen MacNeil author of The Wine Bible, gives the event wonderful credibility.”
The BC Pinot Noir Celebration showcases wineries up and down the Valley and across the province to demonstrate pinot noir’s breadth of expressions.
“We’re seeing more of an emphasis and a thirst for the delicate, subtle, elegant pinot noir,” says Howling Bluff Estate Winery’s Smith. “More than any other wine, it reflects the terroir authentically, meaning the dirt it is grown in and the seasons. It is a very difficult grape to grow, requiring lots of attention and control.”