Michael Bartier and David Scholefield

A duel done with the best intentions

La Dolce Vita: by Lorne Eckersley, publisher of the Creston Valley Advance, a Black Press publication

The smack down currently underway at Okanagan Crush Pad won’t likely end the friendship and business partnership between Michael Bartier and David Scholefield. That’s a good thing for wine enthusiasts, who are enjoying OKC’s growing reputation as a player in the B.C. wine industry.

The smack down (unlike the battle currently rating between the provincial government and the auditor general) is all in good fun. Bartier is a masterful winemaker and Scholefield has one of Canada’s most highly respected wine palates. They work together like, well, hand in boxing glove.

The boxing gloves are actually part of the smack down theme, as OKC invites customers to poeticize their preference of either of two Rosé wines. The Bartier- Scholefield’s aptly named BS label has been pitted against the Haywire label.

Same winemaker, same grapes from the same source. So why the competition?

Well, it’s a fun way to promote the Rosé wines that do offer a bit of a twist. The grapes were treated in slightly different ways in the winemaking process, and each of these wines is from the 2010 vintage. OCP chose to hold back some of the production from immediate release because the principles were convinced 2010 was a vintage that would allow the Rosés to age well. Keep in mind these typically light wines are usually best shortly after they are released.

A survey of six people, myself included, revealed that four preferred the Haywire product. I was a bit surprised, because I thought it was the less typical Rosé of the two, more old world in style. The BS was a bit lighter, thinner and fruitier and the majority of tasters expressed a preference for the Haywire, with it’s rounder body, more complexity and longer finish. For the record, I was among the majority.

Here’s what OCP has to say about the Haywire:

“This wine is 100 per cent Gamay Noir grown by the Wise Brothers at Secrest Mountain Vineyard in Oliver. The block gave us fresh, bright Rosé, bursting with cherry and cranbrerry, and somehow with a finish that hints of coffee. We did a fourteen hour cold soak to extract its lovely pale colour and to achieve a hint of tannin. Then we stirred it to the right until the next full moon, and then to the left until our arms were really, really tired. It easily fulfills Rosé’s purpose on this earth which is … ‘refreshing acidity to prepare the palate for the bowl of steamed clams and mussels’ … or ‘to daydream the afternoon away while floating on an air mattress on Okanagan Lake.’”

Of the Bartier-Scholefield:

“BS is 100 per cent Gamay Noir from the Wise Brothers in Oliver. Skin contact with the juice was allowed for a few hours, followed by a bit of a warm ferment (not typical practice – but it worked!). The wine is very Rosé like with strawberry and truffle characters somehow occupying the same glass. Very intriguing, very good.”

In recent years I have become a great fan of Okanagan Rosé wines. They pair well with a surprisingly large variety of foods (including our favourite Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles with Chicken dishes) and also make great patio sippers.

We plan to test them out with our Easter turkey dinner this year and I suspect they will stand up very well to the many flavours on the table. They look nice, too, which is an added bonus.

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read