British Columbia

B.C. wines can sparkle with the best of 'em, columnist says

At a competition in London, On The coast's Master of Wine Barbara Philip judged B.C. sparkling wines, and she found they held up well against international offerings.

Check out Barbara Philip's picks for this week

Wine grapes are harvested in the Okanagan. On The Coast Master of Wine Barbara Philip says B.C. is producing excellent sparkling wines these days. (CBC News)

Is there a future for sparkling wines in B.C.?

According to On The Coast's Master of Wine Barbara Philip, absolutely.

Last week, Philip was in London for the Decanter World Wine Awards where her panel spent four days judging Canadian wines.

She found B.C. can make bubbles that stand up well against those from other parts of the world, especially when the wines are made according to the traditional method, where the second fermentation happens in the bottle.

"Traditional-method sparkling wine from the Okanagan Valley is always a treat to try as the wines are fresh and complex," she said. "I hope to see more and more produced in the future!"

Here are Philip's picks for sparkling wines from B.C.

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut. Okanagan Valley. $24.00

"The Mavety family has been making European-inspired serious wines in Okanagan Falls since the mid '70's and the Gold Label Brut is definitely one of their signatures.  It is primarily a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a small amount of Pinot Gris. It spends two-plus years resting in the bottle after second fermentation to gain complexity and finesse."

Haywire "The Bub." Okanagan Valley. $29.90

"Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are sourced from cool vineyard sites in Oliver and Summerland for The Bub. It is fresh and apple-scented and makes a perfect aperitif."

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc. Okanagan Valley. 2012. $40.00

"Chenin Blanc from the Golden Mile gives this wine a ripe apple and floral character while 27 months resting on the lees after the second fermentation brings toasty nuances."

Summerhill "Cipes" Brut. Okanagan Valley. $23.49

"First released in 1992, the Cipes is a delicious blend of organic Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Zingy acidity balances the slight sweetness and backs up the classic orchard fruit character."

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast