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Quails’ Gate taps Irish roots with cocktail featuring whiskey finished in own barrels

Winery taps Irish roots

Cindy White

The Stewart family is tapping into its Irish roots for a special St. Patrick’s Day offering at Old Vines Restaurant.

Quails’ Gate Winery has partnered with Irish Distillers, makers of Jamesons and other world-leading brands, to introduce Green Spot Quails’ Gate. The Whiskey is finished in Pinot Noir barrels from the West Kelowna winery.

“They saw us online and they liked the look of our wines. We shipped three wines over to them and after tasting back-and-forth with their distilling team settled on our Pinot Noir,” says assistant winemaker and third-generation Stewart family member Rowan Stewart.

Quails’ Gate is only the third winery, along with Château Leoville Barton of France and Chateau Montelena of California, to be tapped for the special series of whiskey. It celebrates the group of families, known as the "wild geese" who left Ireland to establish wineries around the world.

The Pinot Noir-finished whiskey commemorates the Mitchell family, who Green Spot was originally produced for in Ireland, dating back to 1887. It also celebrates the Stewart family, who founded Quails’ Gate on the shores of Okanagan Lake in 1908 after emigrating from Kildare, Ireland.

“Maturing Green Spot Irish Whiskey in the Pinot Noir barrels from Quails’ Gate adds a fascinating and delectable assortment of rich red berries from the red wine seasoning that perfectly balances Green Spot’s orchard fruits and toasted wood finish for a flavoursome, complex expression. Whether a whiskey enthusiast or a wine connoisseur – or both – we hope this addition to the Spot family will be cherished by those in Ireland, Canada and everywhere in between,” says Deirdre O’Carroll, blender, Irish Distillers.

The whiskey is being featured in a special St. Patrick’s Day Lavender Sour cocktail at Old Vines.

“We make the foam using simple syrup infused with lavender from Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm, which is a family connection for us. So, glad to incorporate it,” Stewart adds.

Old Vines is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Happy Hour is from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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