The Church and State Winery produces about 20,000 cases a year from a four-hectare plot on Vancouver Island and a 42-hectare plot in the South Okanagan. The 25-acre Vancouver Island winery, only 15 minutes from downtown Victoria, was sold to Kim Pullen in 2003. The estate vineyard has 11 acres planted mainly with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is the workhorse for the Victoria Winery with Pinot Noir only being bottled as a separate varietal in exceptional years.
The last time we were in Victoria we had the opportunity to drop by the winery and check out the Bistro for lunch. Executive Chef Desiree Perrin creates unique dishes with the best of Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands, each perfectly paired with Church & State’s award-winning wines.
For the light lunch, we started with the seafood soup, a tasty combination of salmon, halibut, mussels and shrimp. For the main course, we simply shared the Charcuterie Platter: a combination of locally made Salami, Oyama Cured Sausage supplied by Whole Beast Meats in Oak Bay together with local cheeses, warm baguette, spiced Olives, pickled vegetables and tomato chutney. The three of us selected different wines, sparkling white, Pinot Gris and the Quintessential red blend.
Church and State Lost Inhibitions Sparkling White 13.8% Alcohol, Chardonnay (85%), Muscat (15%). Kiwi and pineapple on the nose to a palate of ripe pears and golden apples and peaches. Apples and Pears continue with the Muscat contributing to a floral note on the finish. Each grape varietal was fermented separately in stainless steel tanks at an average of 15- 16 degrees Celsius for 7-10 days. The wine was racked of lees to preserve the fruit forward style. The cuvée was blended so that the bubbles would bring a little more class to the wine.
Church and State Pinot Gris 2016 675 cases of the wine were produced from the Brentwood (Vancouver Island) estate. 13.4% Alcohol. Aromas of tropical fruit transition on the palate to lime, apple and orange zest. It is the return of the tropical fruit to the juicy finish that makes this wine unique. A benchmark wine from one of the best vintages of the decade where the Vancouver Island terroir shines through.
Church and State Quintessential 14.3% Alcohol. This is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot. Aged in French oak, 30% new for 22 months. It shows a very ripe, floral, almost perfumed nose of dark berries, plums, earth and some leather. It’s full-bodied, dense and rich with good acid balance. Winner of the Best in Class, Gold Medal, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, 2017.
For the complete BC Wine portfolio of Church and State please visit the winery website here.