Lorne Eckersley is publisher of the Creston Valley Advance and he writes a weekly wine column (La Dolce Vita) for the Advance and other Black Press newspapers. He is a freelance contributor to Food and Wine Trails magazine and County Life in BC. Many of his columns and stories can be found at lorneeckersley.com. Lorne and his wife, Angela, have rarely met a wine they didn’t like. He also enjoys travel, cooking, reading and spending time with their 2.5 grandchildren in Calgary.

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La Dolce Vita – Back to the basics

It’s hard to imagine Sam Walton ever having dreamt of selling off Walmart and opening up a five-and-dime store. Or Ray Kroc divesting himself of McDonald’s so he could start all over with a food truck. But there is a growing trend among successful winery entrepreneurs who cash out their holdings and start over again…

La Dolce Vita And the winner is…

Choosing the second annual La Dolce Vita Winery of the Year award was not an simple choice. The easy way out would have been to declare two-way a tie, but instead I will name one and reserve the other finalist for the 2016 competition. No need to delay the announcement any longer. The winner is…

La Dolce Vita, Give these a chance

When you stand in front of the shelves at a wine shop does your eye automatically search out your favourite varietals? Merlot? Cab Sauv? Chardonnay? Or one of the Pinots—Noir or Gris? Or perhaps you prefer, as so many do, Bordeaux blends. It’s easy to fall into purchasing patterns, searching out the safe and certain…

La Dolce Vita October 2014 When gold trumps platinum

  Bob Johnson couldn’t contain his smile when I dropped in for a visit to Creston’s Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery on Sunday. In his pocket were two medals from the recent BC Wine Awards. One, a Platinum, feted Baillie-Grohman’s 2012 Cabernet Franc as one of the best six wines in the province (5 platinum medals were…

La Dolce Vita – In rhythm with the seasons

  When we attended our first ever summer solstice celebration at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in June we really had no idea what to expect. The first part wasn’t much of a surprise—yoga-based talk and movement in the cool, subtly lit pyramid. Next up was a potluck supper that we passed on, because being five hours…

La dolce vita – Tasting a legend

  For many years I have wondered about the true value of a dessert wine that is often displayed behind glass in some of the better wine shops I have visited. Could Chateau d’Yquem really be worth the price, which ranges from several hundred to many thousands of dollars, depending on the vintage? Moreover, what…

La Dolce Vita – Once upon a time

  “It’s always about the story,” Sal D’Angelo agreed. We were talking about a book project I have going, my pal Sal and I, when I stopped in to pick up a case of Sal’s excellent wine at his Naramata tasting room.   “Did I ever tell you the story about how I discovered ML?”…

La Dolce Vita – From the ground up

  Of the many reasons I enjoy wine tourism, foremost is because it allows me to get close to where my wine comes from. A good 90 per cent of our wine purchases are made right at the winery. And most of those wineries are on the small side, producing fewer than 5,000 cases annually…

La Dolce Vita

Harbinger. An omen, foreshadowing, sign of things to come.  The word came coming to mind as we sat in Spokane’s Nectar Tasting Room on a Saturday afternoon, enjoying a glass of very nice Northwest Cellars wine after a tasting of seven reds, served by the winery owner himself, Bob Delf. We love Nectar. It’s a…

The times they are a-changin’

    Two of our long-time favourite BC wines were, for many years, also the hardest to find. Black Hills produced one of the province’s first Bordeaux blends. Many were the times that we drove along Black Sage Road, disappointed to find a “Sorry–Sold Out” sign on display at the winery’s Quonset building. The experience…

Policy changes open up winery opportunities

  When I read the lengthy list of recommendations coming out of the provincial governments review of liquor regulations I started to picture wine shops populating urban centres. Imagine wandering around Gastown or the New Westminister market area, popping into sample and buy wine while also enjoying visits to galleries and specialty retail shops. What…

Where do you buy your wine?

  La Dolce Vita #2 Where do you buy your wine? My modest little wine cellar, about 24 square feet, can hold about 600 bottles. It is usually only about half full. At that, it’s still a challenge to manage our consumption so that we aren’t letting wines age past their best drinking time.  …

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