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J and I decided to pay a visit to Hainle Vineyards/ Deep Creek Estate to see how they were doing following the Trepanier forest fire that damaged both the vineyard and part of the roof of the winery building in early September this year. While we were there, the roofers were already replacing the damaged roof with a new one. Thankfully the damage to the vineyard may not be as extreme as originally believed. According to owner Walter Huber, this year’s crop is unfortunately a write-off due to being essentially cooked by the fire, but they are hoping that the inner layers of the vines are still healthy and therefore the majority of the vines should be able to come back next year. I will keep my fingers crossed as it would be such a horrible loss to the Okanagan wine industry to lose a 40-year-old vineyard such as this. This is the vineyard that produced BC’s first commercially-available Icewine.

We sat down at the bar to do some tastings and to chat with the ever-personable Walter. The 2007 Gewürztraminer has flavours of crisp citrus, apple and spice. The 2009 Baco Noir Rosé has raspberry and spice on the nose and flavours of citrus and berries with medium-high acidity. The 2008 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc has peach and honey on the nose with a rich mouthfeel and some grassy citrus flavours. It is off-dry but not overly sweet and is oh so tasty! Unfortunately I was only able to try it, not buy it, as someone had bought out their remaining stock the day before. The 2009 Merlot has a rich cherry nose and flavours of cherry and plum with medium-plus acidity and medium tannins. The 2009 Zweigelt-Pinot Noir has dark fruits on the nose and complex flavours of dark fruit, spice and cocoa with medium-plus acidity and medium tannins. The 2007 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve has been awarded 99 points in a couple of competitions in Canada and France. It has an earthy nose of cherry and spice and complexity on the palate with absolutely beautiful flavours. It has medium-plus acidity and medium tannins. We finished with a sample of the 2010 Gewürztraminer Icewine. This wine is not yet ready for release – Walter is taking his time with it. It has a honey nose with citrus and spice and some great nuttiness on the palate and a rich round mouthfeel and nice acidity to finish it off.