Harper’s Trail Estate Winery was the first to produce wine in the Kamloops area using grapes from their Thadd Springs estate vineyard. A vineyard that has a vein of limestone running through it. Limestone which offers calcium to the vines which aids in water retention in the soil plus easier nutrient uptake, and help maintain acidity in grapes late in the growing season. Burgundy, Champagne, Chablis, and the Loire Valley are examples of locations with favourable limestone-based soils. So Harper’s Trail is in good company.
Besides tasting through a flight of wines at their Tasting Room, I was given access to go up into the vineyards and check out their ripening grapes. The Riesling grapes were just starting to get ripe at the start of the row and the rest of the inside row over the next few days or weeks, depending on the weather. Their Cabernet Franc still had not begun to change colour, but the grapes looked very healthy. The Pinot Gris grapes were big and ruddy red coloured; maybe ready for picking quite soon. Life at Harper’s Trail is going to be very busy very quickly. I look forward to tasting the wines from these grapes once they are released. In the meantime, we have wines from 2018 vintage to enjoy. Below are my tasting notes.
My Tasting Notes
Harper’s Trail Winery Chardonnay 2018 ($19.99) – this wine is fermented with 80% in stainless steel and 20% in oak. The wine has a pale lemon colour. Apple, citrus, stone fruit and some honey on the nose. Medium-plus body, round with medium acidity. Ripe apples, some sweet spices and toasty oak. Butterscotch toward the finish. Buttery mouthfeel. Very good.
Harper’s Trail Winery Rosé 2018 ($16.99) – A blend of 93% Pinot Gris and 7% Cabernet Franc. Not what I would normally think of a blend for a rose wine, but it works. This wine has a nice fresh strawberry nose. Medium body and medium-plus acidity. Ripe strawberries and some bramble leaf. Dry with a light tart red berry finish, and some pepperiness. –
Harper’s Trail Winery Field Blend White 2018 ($13.99) – made with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and a touch of Gewurztraminer. This wine is medium lemon & straw in colour. Pineapple and grapefruit aromas. Dry with lighter body and mouthfeel. Round and soft. Pineapple and lychee to start, then add some pine needle flavours. Light acidity. A light, easy sipper.
Harper’s Trail Winery Riesling Silver Mane Block 2018 ($18.29) – Medium bright lemon colour. Floral, vanilla, white peach, flowers, and sweet fruit nose. A hint of orange aroma as well. Dryish with tart acidity. Oranges, stone fruit and a hint of petrol on the palate. A long lingering orangy citrus finish. Vibrant tension in this wine. –
Harper’s Trail Winery Pinot Noir 2018 ($23) – Pale translucent garnet. Nice light intensity nose showing candied red cherries and vanilla.Medium minus body, dry with medium acidity and fine tannins. Red cherries and floral with vanilla and then sweet spices showing from mid-palate to finish. Dry but not tannic finish. A lingering red cherry and peppery finish. An elegant red.
Harper’s Trail Winery Cabernet Franc 2018 ($26) – Bright vibrant translucent garnet colour; quite striking. Light cranberry, tart red fruit and red raspberry aromas. Dry with a light body and higher acidity. Tart red fruit, red cherries, and red currants on the palate. Fine tannins. Red fruits on the finish. A fun red wine to drink now. –
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
All prices are as listed as shown on the Harper’s Trail website. Private wine shops may offer at different prices. As I review most of these wines, I notice the prices are sub $20. I think these wines maybe some of the best deals that you may get for BC wine.
You can purchase these wines in person at the winery, but you can also order their wines online from the winery. The winery also has an extensive list of private liquor stores from BC, Alberta, and Manitoba where you can buy their wines.