Hester Creek Trebbiano Old Vines Block 16 2011, BC VQA Okanagan Valley $22.99
Ever tasted a Trebbiano? If so, it was likely without knowing. This grape is the basis for more than a third of all whites made in Italy, mostly jug wines, and also underpins Cognac and Armagnac in France, where the grape is called Ugni Blanc. Here, it’s the Okanagan’s Rodney Dangerfield: the character that gets no respect (but a reputation for blandness and acidity). You won’t find me recommending any other B.C. Trebbiano because Hester Creek is the only Okanagan winery that grows it. But winemaker Rob Summers knows how to defy reputation and create something exceptional. From vines planted in 1968 on the Golden Mile Bench, just south of Oliver, comes a crisp, fruity and refreshing white, with flavours of green apple and fresh citrus. It goes with just about everything that an uncomplicated white should: simple seafood preparations, white meats, pastas (and especially risottos), pizzas and vegetarian entrées. Lightly spiced Asian dishes pair particularly well. Available online at hestercreek.com. The 2010 vintage is also at VQA stores.