Photo and Interview by Gayle Hurmuses, with additional questions from Tilman Hainle.
Growing up in BC, I always wondered why only eastern maples could be tapped for syrup. I discovered this year that others had taken that on and begun tapping and boiling down the sap of the Big Leaf Maple which grows vigorously throughout the province.
The conditions make it difficult or impossible to produce Big Leaf Maple Syrup on a scale that makes it profitable, but a small group of local farmers make it for an equally small segment of dedicated fans.
Larry Fiege is one of those farmers and he recently introduced me to the fact of BC maple syrup’s unique and fascinating flavour…his syrup is lovely, with caramel notes, and a rich, full flavour…more aromatic than the many excellent eastern maple syrups I’ve had.
It’s a capricious practice, the conditions aren’t always right, and the yields are unpredictable and often low…but the flavour is outstanding and unique…always lovely, but as variable as west coast weather.
Other stories on Eatin’s Canada about Maple Syrup:
Maple syrup – The essence of spring
Marilyn Venturi, of Venturi Schulze Vineyards in The Wine Islands, relating the story of the development of the vineyard, and their line of “Balsamico di Cowichan Valley” which they produce in both open and closed cask versions.
Both their exceptional wines and their balsamic vinegars are the very definition of organic, and “artisanally produced”.
The very precious open cask version of their balsamic produces only 12 litres per year, the closed cask version, which is also quite spectacular, is produced in somewhat larger numbers and sold in hand-painted bottles.
Interview with winery consultant Tilman Hainle on Working Horse Winery, organic dry farming, and the many exciting frontiers still to be explored in BC vineyards.
This is the second of a two-part interview. Click here to listen to part one; Tilman Hainle on the 1970’s renaissance in BC wines.
Interview with winery consultant Tilman Hainle on the 1970’s renaissance in BC wines, the establishment of Hainle Estate Winery, being Canada’s first vintner of ice wines and organic wines, first winery lounge operator, and on becoming a consultant to wineries around the world.
This is the first of a two-part interview. Click here for Part Two: Tilman Hainle on consulting, the future of BC wine, and its still untapped potential