Averill Creek Vineyard Foch-eh 200

Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island

Foch-eh! Is Fun-eh!  And by that I mean that this is a wine that pairs with fun. Summer BBQ’s, on the dock at the lake, chilled on the patio in the late aft….  This isn’t a winter warmer – even though it is made from that deepest of red grapes – Marechal Foch.

‘What’s that?’ you s-eh.  A light and carefree Marechal Foch?  It’s true – 100% Canadian Marechal Foch in fact, estate grown at Cowichan Valley’s Averill Creek Vineyard. Then, just like that other fun (and incredibly famous) red, Beaujolais, the grapes underwent carbonic maceration.  A somewhat intimidating term for a fairly simple process.  Whole bunches were put in tank under carbon dioxide for two weeks. The gas permeates through the grape skins and stimulates fermentation inside each intact berry.  During this time the grapes are macerated (crushed) by gravity. The escaping gas affects the wine, resulting in very fruity characteristics, bright hue and low tannins.   The difference between Foch-eh and Beaujolais is that the latter is crafted from gamine Gamay grapes, and the former is from fierce Foch.

The result – an easy-drinking, light-medium bodied wine – bright royal purple in colour with a bold nose of plum, and flavours of plum, mulled cherry and sweet spice.  The structure is soft but the finish is long and fruity – and would be ideal served slightly chilled.  Finally – a use for those plastic reusable ice cubes!

If you haven’t visited Averill Creek in person, you really need to.  Besides great wine, Andy Johnston’s winery is visually stunning – crafted on four levels sloping down Mt. Prevost.  The levels are fitted together so as to create a gravity flow method for handling the wine. The first (top) level of the winery is the grape reception pad. This flows to the press pad and ferment floor. After fermentation the wine flows by gravity to the blending floor and then to the barrel room. The wine ends up in barrel having never been pumped – helping to retain the identity and terroir of Cowichan Valley fruit.  This is especially important for Averill Creek’s highly regarded Pinot Noir.

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Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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