Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Get To Know... Bill Eggert

Bill Eggert
Vintner, Fairview Cellars
Oliver, BC

Describing the wines of Fairview Cellars is a little like describing the man behind the winery, proprietor and winemaker Bill Eggert: lively, intense, charming layers of discreet refinement and a whole lot of outward character.

Eggert is one of the most personable (and knowledgeable) characters in the BC wine industry. The quintessential farmer-turned-winemaker who understands that great wines come from great terroir and careful vineyard management. His 6 acre home vineyard has long been a bastion of ripening Cabernet Sauvignon which forms the core component of his Premier Series wines. 

Get to know Bill and get to know Fairview Cellars wines a bit better...

Key wines to try:
The Bear: 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Cabernet Franc: 2007, 2009, 2010
Sauvignon Blanc: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

1. What do you enjoy most about making wine? 
Observing the satisfied faces of those who taste my wine

2. What inspired you to become a winemaker?
I have always been a farmer. The land I purchased was perfect for grapes. It was a natural progression to convert those grapes into wine.

3. What causes you the most stress during harvest?
The availability of people to hand pick the grapes.

4. What is your favourite and/or least favourite wine cliché? 
Answer to what is your favourite wine; “the one that is in my glass at the time”. 

5. Away from the cellar and vineyard, what’s your greatest passion in life?
Up until recently it was skiing, but the knees have told me to search for a new passion. Sailing is in the running.

6. After a long day of work in the cellar, what do you turn to for refreshment?
It takes a lot of beer to make good wine......

7. If you could take credit for one other BC wine on the market today, which would it be and why?
There are many (wines to be proud of), but Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir Family Reserve comes to mind.

8. Of the wines in your portfolio, do you have a favourite food pairing to go with one of the wines?
Oysters with the Sauvignon Blanc, Salmon with the Pinot Noir, Moose with The Bear.

9. What do you think will be the next big trend in BC wine over the next few years?
Authenticity and sense of place.

10. Screwcap or cork? What’s your preference? 
I’m still divided. Screwcap for whites, no question. I’m experimenting with varying levels of oxygen permeability in screwcaps. I have wines as far back as 2007 in screwcap, and they are ageing beautifully. Marketers still pushing for cork wines.  

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015

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