Stag’s Hollow Fall Wine Release at Lift Bar and Grill

This week I was invited to check out the Fall wine release from Stag’s Hollow.  Lift Bar and Grill put together a 4 course luncheon for us that paired beautifully with the wines from Stag’s Hollow and the view for the event was outstanding as well.

Established in 1995, Stag’s Hollow Winery produces some of British Columbia’s highest quality, most distinctive wines. Hands-on owners Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger are involved in every aspect of the vineyard, winemaking and distribution process and, along with innovative winemaker, Dwight Sick, create wines with soul and character that have garnered a reputation for “over-delivering for the price point.” Stag’s Hollow has earned more than 50 prestigious wine industry accolades including the BC Winery of the Year 2012 title from Wine Press Northwest.

Winery owners Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger recognized that the Okanagan Valley’s unique growing conditions offer the ideal location for growing quality grapes. Their approach from the start has been to use sustainable vineyard practices with minimal wine making interventions in order to produce world-class wines that are true to their terroir. They are unmistakably identifiable as being from nowhere else in the world but from the Okanagan Valley. They consider the wines from Stag’s Hollow to be a fusion of the old world and the new world. The couple believes that their passion and involvement in every aspect of the vineyard and wine making process results in a unique style.

Dwight Sick is Stag’s Hollow’s talented winemaker, a position he has held since 2008. Dwight is responsible for crafting the full range of Stag’s Hollow wines.

Originally from Alberta, Dwight spent the first 18 years of his career as a flight attendant working and travel all over the world. It was through this traveling Dwight developed a passion for wine. Changes in the airline industry and growing opportunities in the Okanagan wine industry prompted him to pursue a career in wine making. Dwight furthered his studies and completed various courses in microbiology of wine, organic chemistry, and viticulture at UC Davis in California.

The Key Keg Sauvignon Blanc from 2011 is Stag’s Hollow’s entry into the hot wine on tap delivery system and the Key Keg system is unique to them.  The wine was really light and refreshing, lime, gooseberry and kiwi notes really came through.

A Fresh bread basket was served which was a nice touch.

Paired with the first course was the 2010 Viognier, 2011 GVM and the 2010 Pinot Noir, from left to right (all the descriptions are from left to right).  Serving the wines in this flight style really gave us a chance to find enjoy several suitable wines and find out favorite, for me it was a toss-up between Viognier for its peachy, jasmine notes along with its light pineapple acidity and the GVM won marks for the lemon oil notes and hint’s of tangerine.

The first course was a great way to start the meal, roasted Weathervane Scallops with a Chanterelle and Leek Risotto.  I’ll begin with the scallops, they were perfectly roasted on the outside and just cooked on the inside, tender and light with the essence of the sea.  The second part of the plate was a rich and creamy risotto flavored with chanterelle mushrooms and leeks, when you took a complete bite of a bit of everything it really was perfect!

With the second course our tasting flight consisted of 2 whites-the 2011 Renaissance Sauvignon Blanc and the 2011 Con-Fusion.  Let’s just say that both of these are very drinkable and brought out completely different flavors of the salad served, I’d buy both hands down to drink personally.

Next up was a salad of Mesclun Greens with a Caramelized Pear vinaigrette garnished with Candied Pecans and Chevre Crumble.  So salad and wine aren’t a usual combo unless there’s seafood as an ingredient to me but this course changed my mind.  The Sauvignon Blanc hit on the flavor of the goats cheese completely while the Con-Fusion brought out the sweetness of the caramelized pear vinaigrette and subtle flavors of the mesclun greens.  In the end both of the wines were great and choice really comes down to your own palate, my choice would be the Con-Fusion and it’s also their most drinkable white in the line up.

The main course was packing some of the biggest wines of the luncheon.  Again from left to right, 2010 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Heritage Block, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2010 Syrah.  Here we have 4 distinct reds that would satisfy any red wine lover.  Personally reds aren’t my favorite but I will say that all of these were very drinkable for me and worked with the third course.

The main course was spectacular, a Cannon of Beef and Bacon-Wrapped Venison Loin nestled on a Celery Root Puree with a Braised Cippolini Onion on top of Fondant Potato, Glazed Carrots and Marchand de Vin.  Eating this masterpiece brought me back to a meal I had in Jasper at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge where I had a perfectly cooked piece of venison with a similar sauce and root puree.  The meat was cooked perfectly med-rare while the piece wrapped in bacon was more on the well done side.  The onion and potato rounded out the plate-if I could have licked the plate clean I would have!  I can’t pick a favorite wine for this but all worked with the rich flavors.

For dessert they served a plate of homemade biscotti, truffles, a profiterole and a chewy dense chocolate brownie along with coffee or tea.  I loved the truffle-nice rich chocolate flavor and the profiterole was filled with a nice vanilla cream.  The winner for me was the brownie for the depth of flavor and texture.

I had a great time and enjoyed the wines offered by Stag’s Hollow as well as the delicious food that Lift paired with these great wines.  If you would like to get your hands on some of Stag’s Hollow you can find them at finer wine merchants like Liberty Wine Merchants as well you can contact the winery by clicking here.

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