February 5, 2019
There’s a scene in the cartoon food film Ratatouille where the protagonist rat is tasting flavours; strawberries and cheese. He marvels at how unique each one is, but that when combined, they’re even better.
That’s the imagery Quail’s Gate Winery’s Tony Stewart invokes to explain why food and wine go so well together.
“It's about the whole food and wine picture,” remembers Stewart of the movie, noting it’s a great metaphor for life, “Wine can be the hub of almost any gathering because whether you're doing desserts or canapés or main dishes, there's a wine for each one of those situations.”
Quail’s Gate has been making wine in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley since the 1980’s, and the brand’s Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Quail’s Gate Chasselas Blanc Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Old Vines Foch and Quail’s Gate Merlot are all available in Alberta at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
It’s no secret B.C. and its distinctive wine regions are growing in popularity, not just in Canada, but globally. Part of what makes the Okanagan’s wines so unique is the growing area is located on the tip of a desert.
“It's the northern tip of the Sonoran desert,” explains Stewart, “The property itself is quite unique. One thing to know about the property is that Boucherie Mountain is an extinct volcano, and so a lot of the soils that are on the property are volcanic soils that were created millions of years ago, and they tend to be very fertile soils. What that does is creates lots of flavour in the grapes; good concentration.”
The winery is named for, not surprisingly, the ground-nesting bird that’s frequently found on the property.
“My brother and sister-in-law were going through a whole bunch of names and she came up with the name Quail’s Gate, which really was meant to be the imaginary spot on the property where the quail would hang around and sit on the gate—and that's the picture that's on the label. It's amazing how many quails are actually on the property when you're there.”
Stewart thinks wine drinkers who might be new to Quail’s Gate products will easily be able to find something to fit their tastes, but if like Ratatouille you like to experiment and be adventurous, he’s got some suggestions.
“A nice tenderloin with the Foch, or a rack of lamb with the Pinot Noir. Those are some great easy natural pairings,” offers Stewart, “The Old Vines Foch also holds up to any steaks that you can make. I also love braised slow cooked short ribs with the Merlot or Old Vines Foch, and grilled scallops with rosemary paired with the Chenin Blanc or the Chasselas Blanc Pinot Gris.”
Tony adds that Quail’s Gate is committed to local sustainable farming practices and strives to make a consistent, delicious product.
“It's been the passion of our people who are very committed to local sustainable farming practices and we’re all committed to making wines that showcase the region. For us, wine is a hub or a spoke in the wheel of the whole agricultural mix and so whether it's poultry or pork, beef or whether it's Canadian seafood or local greens, things like that, it can all come together.”
Find Quail’s Gate wines at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
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