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#EarthandVine: Dreaming of Mirabel Vineyards

Mirabel Vineyards, one of the newest wineries in Kelowna, represents the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of the Reimer Family to create a gathering place for their family and friends to share meals, wine, stories, and experiences.

The husband and wife proprietors, Doug and Dawn Reimer (joined by winery dogs Bentley and Baci), enjoyed food and wine pairing throughout their entire married life, making a point of travelling together to many wine regions in the world. Their family business took them across Canada from Winnipeg to West Vancouver, before the couple eventually settled in Kelowna.

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A family affair for Doug and Dawn and winery dogs Bentley and Baci

The turning point came during a vacation in the Okanagan in 2004 when it was suggested they visit a unique property that had just come up for sale. It was this hilltop parcel that became the eventual site of their new home and estate vineyard.

Soon after purchasing the property, the two decided to plant the Reimer Family Vineyard, later re-christened Mirabel Vineyard. With careful soil analysis by two local Masters of Wine, it was determined that the location was ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Six acres of specially-sourced clones of Pinot Noir were planted in 2006, with one-and-a-half acres of Chardonnay planted this year.

“We chose specific clones of Pinot Noir as each clone offers something unique,” recalls Doug Reimer. “For example, one clone will offer a rich colour, where another will bring an extra aromatic lift. When the clones are harvested, fermented and blended together, that’s when the wine becomes balanced. It’s magic.”

The Pinot Noir fruit from the 2010 through 2014 harvests were sold to Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, with some fruit going to Foxtrot Vineyards in Naramata. Each winery released small lots of Pinot Noir under the Reimer Family Vineyard label, to great acclaim. The very first release under the Mirabel Vineyards label was produced from the 2015 vintage.

Indeed, the Reimer’s commitment to quality and sustainability has resulted in critical acclaim and commercial success, with their small-lot wines in high demand. The winery is now proud to offer two wines, the 2015 Pinot Noir (in both 750ml and 1.5 litre Magnums) and the 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, both made at Okanagan Crush Pad by winemaker Matt Dumayne. The 2016 Mirabel Vineyards Chardonnay will be released this year, sourced from hand-selected purchased fruit. The family will continue to use purchased fruit until the estate vines mature.

The 2015 Pinot Noir is described as being deeply aromatic, showing intense notes of dark fruits intertwined with lightly toasty nuances. Sensual and structured, the wine offers complex flavours of red berries and forest floor, a versatile food companion. It was aged in top French oak barrels from the famous François Frères cooperage in Burgundy.

The Pinot Noir is currently available to order at Le Crocodile Restaurant one of the most acclaimed traditional French restaurants in Western Canada. Sommelier Barret Pearson often recommends it to his customers, where he is always happy to support delicious BC wine.

The 2016 saignée-method Rosé of Pinot Noir was released this summer, and the Reimers are incredibly proud of it. Sourced from their sustainably-farmed vineyard, it is dry and delicate, with aromas of guava and melons with a bright citrus twist. It is fresh, delicious, and just like the Pinot Noir, is versatile enough to pair with many different cuisines.

Looking for the perfect Rosé pairing? The next time you’re in the mood for a special evening, consider the al fresco dining experience at Reflections: The Garden Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Combining downtown Vancouver’s vibrant energy with the tranquility of the outdoors, Reflections offers a variety of light tapas-inspired dishes in a sophisticated outdoor bar and lounge setting. The restaurant team suggests ordering the Rosé of Pinot Noir alongside the Chickpea Hummus, prepared by Executive Chef Harold Lemos. Fresh and savoury, the dish is served with confit garlic, torn bread, and extra-virgin olive oil.

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Another hot spot to try Mirabel’s Rosé of Pinot Noir is Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio. Named one of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants two years in a row, and a three-time Wine Program Excellence award-winner at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Ancora dishes up modern Canadian cuisine with a focus on Peruvian and Japanese flavours. The restaurant’s unique dishes combine flavours and techniques that embrace diverse cultures and show a deep understanding of the city’s culinary evolution. Guests can expect a mix of West Coast sustainable ingredients, punchy Peruvian-inspired meals, and artistic Japanese creations.

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Sommelier Kyle Gartlan-Close recommends the Mirabel Rosé with the restaurant’s popular Ras El Hanout Spiced Spring Vegetables, composed by Executive Chef Ricardo Valverde. It features a delightful mix of Peruvian quinoa tabbouleh, butternut squash, and salsa verde. The refreshing citrus notes of the wine pair perfectly with the spicy elegance of this popular dish.

Mirabel, which translates as “wondrous beauty” is embodied on a breathtaking hilltop estate and vineyard in South East Kelowna, with views of BC’s gorgeous Okanagan Valley. Next time you are dining at the finest of BC’s restaurants, look for a Mirabel Rosé to pair with your favourite dish.

 

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