We’re starting to get into the swing of things in the safest possible way in this new age of COVID-19 and held our second virtual Zoom event, featuring BC’s Riesling wines and a special Masterclass on Riesling presented by international winemaker, Ann Sperling of Sperling Vineyards, with our own Sid Cross as co-host and moderator. The evening started with introductions by host Dr. Larry Burr after which Sid and Ann launched into an informative and educational discussion of Riesling, the grape and the wine. Ann has experienced winemaking in both hemispheres and on both sides of this continent and, together with Sid, left no stone unturned in addressing the qualities and merits of the different styles of Riesling.

We then enjoyed a few comments from each of the participants with their wide selection of BC wines, many of which are still available in local liquor stores. Jim and Milena Robertson presented an introductory bubble from Sperling, the 2011 Brut (Pinot Blanc, not Riesling based) and also the 2019 Synchromesh Long’s View (off-dry and quaffable by the gallon) and the almost-dry Tantalus Riesling, a delightful and impressive wine. Larry and Maggie Burr enjoyed a 2010 Intrigue Focus with some age and initial citrus notes while Nick and Lesley Wright showed their glass-stoppered 2014 Martin’s Lane Riesling – a bigger style, soft and an interesting comparison with Alvin and Kim’s 2014 Martin’s Lane Fritzi’s Vineyard. Vince and Zellie Tan enjoyed their 2015 Synchromesh Storm Haven Vineyard while Roy and Christine Gould tasted their 2017 La Frenz Clone 21B Riesling. Diane Blaney opened her 2017 Daydreamer Riesling which she had purchased at the winery during the 2018 IWFS Okanagan Tour and Ruth Grierson drank a rarely-seen 2018 Fitzpatrick The Lookout, a fresh and zesty wine. The Hebentons showed their 2019 Gehringer Riesling, the Bradshaws enjoyed another classy 2019 Tantalus Riesling while the Spurrells commented on their 2019 Synchromesh Long’s View, slightly sweet with 8.5% alcohol from the previously-named Bob Hancock Vineyard. Finally, Ann showed her 2018 Old Vines Riesling and Sid finished our tasting with the 2015 Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling, a fitting end to our highly enjoyable Riesling masterclass.

Our thanks go to Sid Cross and very special guest Ann Sperling, who kindly made some of her older vintage Rieslings available to our members, to Larry Burr for organising our evening, and to all our Zoom participants. See you next time!

Photos by Milena Robertson
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