German Wine Renaissance

For some wine drinkers, German wines represent sweet wines. Bring out a tall flute bottle and most people turn the glass around and tell me they don’t like sweet wines. “I’d prefer a California Chardonnay,” they say. However, in my opinion, Germany produces some of the finest wines in the world. There was a time that the wines from the Rhine, Germany’s largest growing region, were on par with the classed growth wines of Bordeaux. But things like prohibition, sandwiched between two world wars, really put a hold on wine production. And Germany’s major export market, the USA, dried up. The grape growers needed to make money so they started producing cheap sweet wines, so the world began to know Germany for Liebfraumilch. Wines like Blue Nun and Black Tower were what was on store shelves and the reputation for this style of wines were made. But there has been a change happening over the last 15 years in Germany. The level of winemaking and the commitment to quality has increased. And with Geisenheim, one of the leading universities for winemaking and grape growing, innovation in the vineyard and in the cellars has helped to bring German wines to the […]

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10 years of Laughing Stock Portfolio

When you are standing on the crush pad at Laughing Stock winery on the Naramata Bench, you can see Glaciers. Or at least how glaciers have altered the landscape of the Okanagan Valley during the last ice age. The Naramata Bench is located in the middle of the Okanagan Valley just north of Penticton on the east side of the Okanagan Lake. The small hamlet of Naramata was once a cottage town where Vancouver people would holiday. While there are still small homesteads scattered up and down the bench, most of the land is now planted with grapes. Currently the Naramata Bench Wineries Association has 25 wineries. Owners of Laughing stock David and Cynthia Enns were at one time financial advisors and the marketing of their wines is entirely based around the stock market. From the ticker tape that shows the closing numbers of the day grapes were harvested, to the Bay Street sign in the vineyard, their previous life is evident throughout the winery. The Enns were in Toronto recently, and I attended a tasting of their ten vintages of their flagship Laughing Stock Portfolio, a Bordeaux blend. Their transition to wine making started in 2001 when David bought […]

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