Discovering outstanding wines at 2House & Gold Hill plus Little Engine on Naramata Bench
In 2007, when Tasting Room Radio began in a barn studio on the Naramata Bench, I went looking for the most interesting people making the most interesting wines.
The very first of those guests were Val Tait and Ian Sutherland. Val was consulting a number of wineries/vineyards and Ian was making wine as the founder of Poplar Grove. They took me to wine school every time we talked.
We became friends. Ian consulted. Val recently said goodbye to Bench 1775.
Now, 14 years later they come back to Tasting Room Radio as their own winery 2House. Making singular wines but each with its own expression.
For example they both make a Cab Franc. One in Val’s cool style and another with Ian’s passion.
Here’s the problem. They have yet to SHARE that Franc with me and frankly you as well. I hear its coming.
What they did send to taste and talk about were their collaborative efforts with –
2House 2018 Chardonnay (think Montrachet) WOW!
2House 2017 Tempranillo (one of the very best BC reds I’ve tasted.)
Good grief these are good wines.!
Val Tait is also consulting Gold Hill Wines for the Gill Family. That means she has access to the very best vineyards and can grow 2House and the Gold Hill label into the future.
This time we sample –
2020 Cab Franc Rose
2020 Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Merlot – Let me say that again. A 2014 Merlot is one of their releases this summer. It’s huge.
2015 Cab Franc. Ditto!
Trust me on this. When Val gets her hands and talent on those vineyards, in the years ahead the wines at Gold Hill will be keepers.
We did this interview on Canada Day and began the conversation not about wine but about how, because of the shame of our residential schools, this Canada Day 2021 was unlike any other.
Steven French co-founder of Little Engine Wines (with wife Nicole)
Steven and Nicole met at the University of Western Ontario and upon graduation moved to Calgary where they spent twenty years, Nicole in education and real estate development and Steven in oil and gas.
Successful entrepreneurs with an inherent family motto of will and determination it was their desire to create that beckoned them to an industry steeped in creativity.
They purchased their first vineyard site in 2011 with the foresight of combining their love for both wine and the rich tradition and culture of wine making into a brand that would deliver excellence without compromise, the Little Engine brand.
Their family motto: “Dreams don’t come true, dreams are made true.”
This two part interview started when I saw a mention of a virtual tasting Little Engine was offering on line.
I liked the idea because you could play back Stevens commentary – pause and make notes – then carry on.
Three small piccolo bottles showed up.
2018 Little Engine Chardonnay
2018 Little Engine Pinot Noir
I got Steven to turn off his front end loader and get in touch. No easy task.
I had a bag full of questions about Little Engine and he answered all of them and more.
Because of the commitment by Nicole and Steven, Little Engine Wines are always going to be singular, outstanding and better each year.
Thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Steven. I hope it shows. Enjoy!!
Congratulations to the winemaking team, lead by Scott Robinson. Well Done!
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON
Cedar Creek – New Releases
Meyer Family – New Releases
Unsworth – Breaking new ground