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West Kelowna winery also has a whiskey

Yes, Irish whiskey and Okanagan wine have something in common.

It's the new Green Spot Quails' Gate Irish Whiskey ($100) made by Irish Distillers on the Emerald Isle for Quails' Gate Winery in West Kelowna.

The next tie-in is that the whiskey finished aging for 16 months in oak barrels previously used to age Quails' Gate Pinot Noir.

Now, why bother to age whiskey in old wine barrels?

Because, the Pinot Noir wine-soaked wood of the barrel departs a subtle, residual silky sweetness and texture and notes of dried cranberry to the whiskey, which compliments the spirit's signature tastes of red apple, sweet pear, vanilla and nutmeg.

</who> The new Green Spot Quails' Gate Irish Whiskey ($100) is pictured with a bottle of Quails' Gate Pinot Noir wine because the whiskey is finished aging for 16 months in oak barrels previously used to age the Pinot Noir wine.

Quails' Gate launched the whiskey with two special events this week -- a tasting at the whiskey lounge in the Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna and a tasting and wine-paired dinner at the winery in West Kelowna.

Making the trip over the Atlantic for both events was Irish Distillers blender Deirdre O'Carroll.

</who>Deirdre O'Carroll

"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," she said.

"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."

Thus, Irish Distillers sells the limited-edition whiskey in Europe and Quails' Gate sells it at the winery's Old Vines Restaurant, the Whisky Room at the Hotel Eldorado and through select BC Liquor Stores.

Another tie-in is that the Stewart family that owns Quails' Gate has Irish heritage with Richard Stewart Sr. immigrating from Ireland to Canada in 1908 to establish a nursery that would lead through the four generations to grape growing and winemaking.

"As a family-owned business with Irish roots, this is an exciting collaboration that celebrates the legacy of both whiskey and winemaking traditions," said Quails' Gate CEO Tony Stewart.

"It honours the pioneering spirit of our family and their unwavering commitment to crafting exceptional wines that embody the essence of the Okanagan Valley."

The Quails' Gate whiskey is the third in Irish Distillers' 'wine geese' series.

The series honours the Irish families or 'geese' that left the homeland to set up wineries around the world.

Two other 'wine geese' whiskeys are Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton in Bordeaux, France and Green Spot Chateau Montelena in Napa, California.

Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was originally produced exclusively for the Mitchell family (Mitchell & Son) in Dublin in 1805.

In 1887, experimenting began to finish some of the whiskeys in used wine, sherry and port barrels and found it added an exciting new dimension to the spirit.

Irish Distillers and its Green Spot whiskeys are part of France-based Pernod Ricard, the second biggest producer of wines and spirits in the world.

Some of Pernod Ricard's brands are Jameson Irish Whiskey; Scotch whiskeys Ballantine's, Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet; Absolut vodka; Beefeater gin; Havana Club and Malibu rums; Avion tequila, Jacob's Creek, Stoneleigh and Campo Vieja wines; and Mumm and Perrier-Jouet Champagnes.

Two other West Kelowna wineries also have whiskeys.

Mission Hill Family Estate has Bearface Whisky and Indigenous World Winery has two different whiskeys, a gin and a vodka.

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