Celebrating 30 Years of Quails’ Gate
By Roslyne Buchanan.
I was honoured to be invited to Quails’ Gate Estate, for a private media event with a guided vertical tasting by Winemaker Ross Baker. Held on the shores of Okanagan Lake in the Lake House, one of two lakeside properties available for rental from Quails’ Gate, we started with a mystery wine in a blind tasting black glass. It was a challenge for even the most sophisticated palates in our midst and turned out to be Chenin Blanc with perhaps the tiniest bit of Sauvignon Blanc.
The vertical showcased Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay from vintages 2017, 2010 and 2007 and Clone 828 Pinot Noir from vintages 2017, 2014 and 2010. Outstanding in whichever vintage, comparing and contrasting these fine wines looking at weather in those years and principal winemaker of the time was fascinating – and delicious!
Next, we headed up to the Wine Shop to be greeted by Wine Sommelier Mike Lee with a glass of Lucy’s Block 2018 Rose before we were summoned to the Stewart Family Room. CEO and Proprietor Tony Stewart hosted lunch and introduced a video that reviewed the family’s farming history in the Okanagan and captured highlights of the 30 years of the winery.
The Reserve Paired Lunch was a glorious five-course feast:
Course 1: Humboldt Squid Escabeche accented by red onion, chilies and parsley is paired with Quails’ Gate 2014 Dry Riesling.
Course 2: Scallop Chowder with chives, potato and buttermilk is paired with Quails’ Gate 2014 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay.
Course 3: Beef Carpaccio served with confit shallot, black garlic and balsamic aioli, shimeji mushrooms and parmesan is paired with Quails’ Gate 2016 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir.
Course 4: Cabernet Braised Beef Brisket accompanied by carrot puree, potato croquette and jus is paired with Quails’ Gate 2016 Boswell Syrah.
Dessert: The finale is Quails’ Gate 2017 Optima served with a dessert of Lemon Posset with white chocolate crunch.
Winery Chef Roger Sleiman, Executive Sous Chef Adam Mukasa and the entire culinary team created a masterpiece. There was not a weak dish among them and each dish worked in harmony with the wine. It was a reminder of the joy of not only visiting the winery, however, taking the time to savour a meal. Chef Sleiman was singing the praises of local producers and incorporating as much as possible into Quails’ Gate cuisine before farm-to-table became a valued trend.
Old Vines The Restaurant at Quails’ Gate was named in the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada, and is an all-seasons culinary destination, open year-round. Check out www.quailsgate.com for how you can #pairthemoment by experiencing a reserve paired lunch or testing your wine acumen in a blind tasting.
Featured photo: Stunning spring view at Quails’ Gate even better with Lucy’s Block Rose. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.