It was a fine sunny afternoon when we visited Terravista Vineyards. We came especially to try their Albariño and Verdejo wines. During our last visit to Spain, we stayed in a quaint little B&B in Granada which was within a 9 iron of the Alhambra. One of the perks of the B&B was an open bar where we were able to sample some fabulous Spanish white wines. We had enjoyed the Tempranillo-based reds of both the Roja and Ribera del Duero regions for many years but this was our introduction to their famous white wines.
Terravista Vineyards was started in 2008 by Bob and Senka Tennant just after they sold their first business, Black Hills Estate Winery. They have been in the BC grape/wine industry for the past 16 years, Senka as winemaker and Bob as vineyard and business operator. Their idea was to concentrate on the white grape varieties that had been attracting their interest. The annual production is only 500 cases.
After extensive searching, a piece of property was found on the Naramata Bench about halfway between Penticton and Naramata. The property has a great southwestern slope with very rocky, sandy soils. In elevation, it is above the heavier lake deposits characteristic of the lower benches. An excellent location to plant the white grapes varietals they wanted to grow. The original property name “Lone Hand Ranch” was retained as the vineyard operating name.
The two chosen grape varieties for the home vineyard were Albarino and Verdejo – white grape varieties grown for 9 centuries in north-west Spain and Portugal. Over the next three years, they were able to plant their vineyard from certified plant stock, sourced from California nurseries. From these two varieties, they are now producing their white wine called “FANDANGO”. Grapes purchased from a select few dedicated growers allow for the production of their other white wine called “FIGARO”.
Terravista Vineyards Fandango 2015 is a blend of two white grape varieties, Albarino and Verdejo. The only wine of these grapes produced in Canada! Grown at the estate vineyard on the Naramata Bench at the Lone Hand Ranch vineyard. Brisk and attractive aromas of succulent apricots, white peach fuzz with hints of red apple, ripe cantaloupe and pink gooseberry flavours. Although the 2015 growing season saw record total heat units, the Albarino held onto its all precious acidity. The wine continues with its stony–edged juicy citric palate followed by a tangy persistent finish. Fish tacos come to mind.
Terravista Vineyards Figaro 2014 is a blend of the three white Rhone grape varieties: Roussanne 40%, Marsanne 30%, Viognier 30%. This is the 5th vintage of this wine. The Roussanne portion of Figaro is fermented in French oak 500-litre puncheons and the Marsanne (with a small portion of Viognier) in older French 225-litre barrels (5+ yr old). The remainder of Viognier in Figaro is fermented in stainless steel fermenters. The wine does remain sur lie for the winter.
The wine begins with a moderately aromatic nose of peach and apricot and herbs, leading to flavours of apple and pineapple. The finish is dry and balanced with excellent minerality.
If you want to try some truly unique white wines, please stop by Terravista Vineyards the next time you are in Naramata.