Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Van Westen Vineyards Vivacious

Van Westen Vineyards

2005 Vivacious, Home Lot Vineyard
(Okanagan Valley)

Raised by a family of Naramata fruit growers, Robert Van Westen took a sabbatical from farming to dropout of high school and work in construction. In 1999, at the age of 33, he returned to the family’s farms to run the newly planted vineyards. Viticulture took such a hold on him that, after courses in the Okanagan and study tours at New Zealand and Australian wineries, he opened his own winery in 2005. By combining his meticulous grape growing with help from a good consulting winemaker, Van Westen debuted with wines that made it immediately onto the wine lists of Vancouver’s top restaurants. His limited production adds to his rising cult reputation.

Vivacious is his take on Pinot Blanc, a wine combining both tank fermented and barrel fermented wines in order to build more complexity than is usually found in Pinot Blanc. This wine has fresh fruit and floral aromas, with flavours of apples and melons and a lemony tang on the dry finish. The sur lies portion of the blend gives added weight and texture to the wine. 87 points.

Reviewed August 28, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Van Westen Vineyards
Vineyard: Home Lot Vineyard
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Vivacious
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Pinot Blanc (96%), Pinot Gris / Grigio (4%)
Price: 750ml $17.90

Review Date: 8/28/2006

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.