On Tuesday, June 20, Quails’ Gate Winery hosted a unique event aimed at recognizing the remarkable quality of Okanagan Valley Chardonnay. A panel of esteemed wine journalists and wine professionals were invited to partake in a blind tasting, meticulously evaluating and benchmarking Okanagan Chardonnay from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 vintages against some of the finest examples from around the globe, including Quails’ Gate’s own Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay and Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay.
The purpose of this tasting was to create an engaging platform for stimulating discussion, reciprocal learning and ultimately putting Okanagan Chardonnay into a global context. The blind tasting comprised three flights designed to represent cool-climate expressions, warm-climate expressions and diverse winemaking styles. Each flight was accompanied by lively discussion moderated by renowned wine critic, Anthony Gismondi enabling participants to delve deep into the intricacies of the wines, share valuable insights and rate the wines based on the 100-point scoring system.
Our flagship white wine, the Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay is locally beloved and internationally renowned with a reputation for quality and consistency. Grown on the volcanic soils of Mount Boucherie, these premium chardonnay grapes have been whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented in a mixture of new and neutral French oak. Full malolactic fermentation and regular battonage was carried out to enhance the mid-palate. Aged in oak for 10 months.
This sophisticated white wine is full-bodied and rich with vivid aromas of vanilla bean, butterscotch and toasted hazelnut. The palate showcases flavours of crème brûlée and summer peaches while displaying an elegant buttery charm and a lengthy finish.
Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay is named for and dedicated to our mother Rosemary and her role in creating our family’s winery. Situated on the north side of Boucherie Road at the Quails’ Gate Estate in West Kelowna, Rosemary’s Block vines produce some of the best Chardonnay grapes in the Okanagan. This beautifully crafted white is graceful and refined with an impressive intensity at its core.
This elegant and complex wine offers aromas of lemon, pear and white flower. The oak is subtle and beautifully integrated, adding notes of almond and biscotti. The palate is medium-bodied with bright acidity and a stony minerality ending with a long smooth finish.