Vinoscenti Vineyards is a British Columbia winery, but it could also be a place to gather, express love, relax, and learn about wine — from onsite instructors and from Quini, a new visual rating system (details below).
Formerly River’s Bend Winery, Vinoscenti is located on 13 acres of farmland with 22-year-old vines in south Surrey, near the Canada-US border. Vinoscenti crafts old-world style wines made from BC grapes, and also offers certified WSET wine education courses and non-certified classes for wine lovers. The courses are led by Vinoscenti CEO Dr. Clinton Lee, a wine industry expert and educator, and his team of instructors.
During harvest, the instructors will even guide you through the process of creating your own wine through their facilities, from crushing grapes to bottling wine and sharing it at a private party with your friends.
Vinoscenti is also a gathering place, with a conference room for holiday parties, seminars, private tastings, and events such as wine and whiskey appreciation nights, wine and painting nights, and music nights.
In the tasting room, you can try individual wines or a flight, with cheese, bread and charcuterie plates. Vinoscenti produces several wines: 2014 Cabernet Franc ($25.95 CAD); 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.75 CAD); 2014 blend of both Cabs ($34.75 CAD); 2011 Merlot ($56.95 CAD); 2014 Syrah ($37.75 CAD); 2013 Pinot Noir ($27.95); 2016 Reisling ($22.95 CAD); and 2016 Ehrenfelser Kerner ($20.95 CAD).
When you tour the vineyard, you will find all kinds of delightful surprises. A special vineyard row has been designated for dogs. Another area celebrates love, with romantic quotes posted above the vines. Keeping with the theme of love, Vinoscenti also offers an area for outdoor weddings, with a large tent for receptions. (The conference room can be transformed into a special suite for the bridal party.)
Another part of the vineyard displays a collection of colorful, spinning pinwheels. The belief is twofold: when people walk through the row of pinwheels, 1) their negative energy is blown away and 2) their positive energy is collected to re-energize others.
We recently visited Vinoscenti because it is the only winery in the world that offers Quini Wine Intelligence — real-time wine-tasting data with a visual rating system and tasting notes.
Quini has an easy 5-step, 100-point rating system, which enables you to review and rate Vinoscenti’s wines on tablets at the winery, on your smartphone, or later on your computer. You can also share your reviews and ratings, and get more wine savvy by reading about favorites from experts and other wine lovers. This will help you become more confident when buying wine; you could also have fun with Quini at a home wine tasting with friends.
CEO Roger Noujeim describes Quini as very educational yet super easy to understand for consumers of all skill levels. “Visionaries like Dr. Clinton Lee and Vinoscenti Vineyards are reinventing the world of wine making and the tasting room experience,” he said. “Quini is enabling a future where the winemaker is closer to their consumer, speaks a language they can understand, seeks and relies on their honest feedback to guide their wine creations.”
Dr. Lee, pictured with Roger at the winery, said, “Real-time wine consumer sensory data is an opportunity every winery should take advantage of. I am not talking of simple star ratings, which don’t add up to much, for complex consumables like wine. I believe that real-time detailed sensory data acquisition using systems like Quini is the future and can help our industry to better serve the consumer. With that, we can continue to compete and grow, more efficiently and effectively.”
We met both knowledgeable and friendly men during our visit to Vinoscenti, where we tasted some wines, had fun test-driving Quini, and bought a bottle of the delicious Cabernet Franc to pair with ribs at home.
Margot and Dave