Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Van Westen Vineyards 2006 Viognier, Orlando Vineyard (Okanagan Valley)

Van Westen Vineyards

2006 Viognier, Orlando Vineyard
(Okanagan Valley)

Since opening this small winery in 2005, Rob Van Westen has established a branding philosophy by coming up with a name for each of his wines that begins with a V. As in Vino Grigio (Pinot Grigio), Vivacious (Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris blend) and Voluptuous (Merlot and Cabernet Franc). Fortunately, he also grows a varietal that begins with V, Viognier. So far, however, his plantings do not include Verdello or Verdicchio, whites that might do well on his Naramata Bench location and would extend his branding.

Van Westen is a member of a family with Dutch roots that has grown tree fruits near Naramata for about 50 years. He took time out to work in construction until a passion for wine led to the conversion of some of the family’s orchard to vineyards. He is esteemed by wineries that buy his grapes. The excellence of his viticulture shows in his own wines.

This wine, a lovely light gold in colour, begins with alluring aromas of peaches and melons. The fruit flavours unfold in layers on the palate – citron leads to pear leads to pineapple, with a touch of honey and a good mineral backbone. The finish, fruity but ultimately dry, lingers. A delicious wine. 91 points.

Reviewed January 17, 2008 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Van Westen Vineyards
Vineyard: Orlando Vineyard
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Viognier
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Viognier
Price: 750ml $24.90

Review Date: 1/17/2008

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.