August 20, 2019
You'd think a winery with a name like Red Rooster might have a feathery mascot on site, ready to crow the arrival of visitors. Surprisingly, there's no such fowl at this B.C. winery... but there soon will be.
"We're building a chicken coop so we can renew the resident rooster tradition," laughs Burke Ganton with Red Rooster Winery. "The tradition dates back to the original owners, a Swiss couple. They had some prized roosters, but their favourite was one they named Prince Charles. The winery is named after their favourite red rooster."
The resumption of this tradition and the playful name says a lot about the attitude of Red Rooster's staff. They're easygoing and like to laugh.
"We've been on the Naramata Bench in British Columbia for twenty-two years now," recalls Ganton. "We like to tell people we're not snobby, and we don't take ourselves too seriously. We're approachable and so are our wines; we make wine for everyone."
While the founders have since sold the winery, Ganton is quick to point out it's still very much a family-owned business, now run by Canadian wine giant Andrew Peller Inc.
"We are proudly Canadian and we love supporting other Canadian businesses. That's one of the reasons we are so proud to be teamed up with Co-op Wine Spirits Beer."
Red Rooster Winery Chardonnay VQA, Red Rooster Classic Riesling, and Red Rooster Merlot VQA are three of the wines available at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
The Merlot, much like the Red Rooster mantra, is an easygoing youthful wine. With hints of black cherry, smoke, charred oak barrel, leather and sweet spice, this dry, medium-bodied Merlot will also deliver a wisp of spice. Try it with grilled steak and buttery mushrooms for a tasty summer pairing.
The grapes for the Chardonnay come from the South Okanagan. It's the first un-oaked Chardonnay produced by Red Rooster. It's un-oaked so that the true character of the Chardonnay grapes can come through. Expect aromas of tropical fruit, with flavours of apple, vanilla and crisp, buttery pastry. It's great with fish, poultry and pasta dishes.
When it comes to the Red Rooster Classic Riesling grapes are hand-picked then whole cluster pressed and cool fermented in stainless steel "to develop a pure focused fruit expression", according to Red Rooster. Expect tangerine, pink grapefruit, and mineral and floral notes, punctuated with flavours of those B.C. stalwart crops apple and white peach. The Riesling goes well with citrus glazed salmon, or a bright and light dish like lemon and spring pea risotto or even with sushi.
Red Rooster wines are perfect for experimenting with; whether you want to try new foods, or just different wine tastes. And speaking of experimenting and having fun, Ganton says that visitors to the winery should expect to meet the new resident roosters later this year. Until then, he might just have to do his part to give that nod to Red Rooster's history.
"Who knows! Maybe I'll just have to dress up in a rooster suit and entertain folks until it's ready!" laughs Ganton
Find Red Rooster Winery wines at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
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