We’ve been fans of Blue Grouse wines for years, and frequently cross the nearby border to buy bottles. However, in July, for the first time, we visited their classy estate winery. Blue Grouse is an acclaimed Cowichan Valley producer, with one of the oldest vineyards on Vancouver Island. Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s philosophy is “stewardship.” Their vineyards are all sustainably farmed. During our visit, our charming, knowledgeable host Vanessa Wheaton poured five wines for us – three whites, a sparkling rosé and one red. These are just a small sample of many standout Blue Grouse wines.
Our enjoyment of summer white wines increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy and Marsanne from here in Washington state. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful summer white wines. For example, here are 25 that we have enjoyed from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Italy, France, South Africa and New Zealand. Most of them are everyday, good-value porch pounders or deck wines, but a few shine with an elegant meal.
Our visit with Dan Warnshuis, founder and winemaker at Utopia Vineyard and Winery, highlighted our trip to Oregon last month. We could immediately see Dan’s passion for the vines, the fruit and winemaking. We could have listened to his stories all evening, as we tasted his outstanding Utopia wines that feature elegance and bright acidity. He opened seven bottles for us, ranging from 2013-2018. We find it very appealing that many of Dan’s older wines are considered new releases. And our time at Utopia was extra-special because we stayed at the vineyard’s beautiful, secluded log cabin, listed on airbnb. Read on for details.
Certainly, our enjoyment of warm weather whites increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the beautiful Sancerres and Picpoul from France, in addition to the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. For example, here are some that we have tasted from Washington state, Oregon, California, Italy, France, Armenia and New Zealand.