Background: The St Hubertus & Oak Bay Vineyards were planted in 1928 by J.W. Hughes, during a time when good agricultural land was plentiful. The vineyards of St Hubertus and Oak Bay are some of the oldest in the Okanagan Valley. In 1984 Leo Gebert, originally from Switzerland, came to the Okanagan to start a winery. Two years later his younger brother Andy joined him. Since 1984 the Gebert Family uses sustainable farming practices on their vineyards to produce wines that reflect the terroir of the north Okanagan Valley under the St Hubertus (50 acres) & Oak Bay (26 acres) Label. Wines aged in stainless steel tanks are bottle under the St Hubertus label while those aged in French and American oak barrels are bottled under the Oak Bay label.
In 1991 the owners changed direction and started producing their own wines. Today the winery produces on average 14,000 cases of wine annually. All wines created by St Hubertus and Oak Bay are made with estate grown grapes and crafted and bottled on site.
I had the opportunity to visit the winery during a busy Valentine’s Day earlier this year and taste their wines. The tasting room was very well done with enough room for the large groups that attended this weekend.
2014 St. Hubertus Pinot Blanc 100 % Pinot Blanc delivers abundance of ripe apple, poached pears and peach aromas and flavours. Well balanced acidity, smooth mouth feel and a long juicy finish with 12% alcohol.
2013 St. Hubertus Riesling The vineyard has some old Riesling vines that date from 1978. This makes for a classic Riesling with a strong mineral base and herbal aromas and flavours of citrus. It is a nicely balanced wine with a moderate 12.2% alcohol.
St. Hubertus Frizzante Rosé is made from 95% Gamay and 5% Pinot Noir. Fresh strawberry, cherry, orange segments and violets with a hint of pineapple. It is mouthwatering; it is a slightly sweet rose but acidity keeps it lively. Tangy red fruits dominate along with hints of fine spice and tobacco. Good structure, lightly sparkly (frizzante) silky in texture and a nice bit of backbone to stand up to heartier dishes with oily fish and white meats but also perfect for spicier cuisines.
2012 Oak Bay Gamay Noir The Gamay grape is thought to have appeared first in the village of the Gamay, south of Beaune, in the 1360s. In contrast to the Pinot Noir variety, Gamay ripens weeks earlier and is less difficult to cultivate. The Oak Bay Gamay Noir is a gorgeous ruby colour with enticing aromas of black cherry, plum, black pepper, grapey, toast, anise. The palate is smooth and dry with a long savoury and fresh herbs finish. A very nice medium-bodied Gamay in an iconic Beaujolais style.
2012 Oak Bay Marechal Foch This variety has always produced one of the biggest reds from St. Hubertus. A delicious example of this early-ripening French hybrid, Oak Bay’s Foch brings deep, dark presence and a big, bold palate (14.8% alcohol) with velvety nuances of ripe currants, tobacco leaf, dark chocolate, toasty oak and vanilla.
If you are interested in a good selection of value wines make sure to check out St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery.