Happy New Year, JoieFarm “famille!”
We are excited to have completed bottling and canning our 2020 vintage white and rosé wines over the past two weeks. Our 2020 winter releases are displaying great ripeness, complex flavours, perfumed aromatics, and significant phenolic interest thanks to a hot summer complimented by a long ‘hang-time” that started in mid-September lasting until an abrupt snowfall that ended harvest on October 21st, 2020.
In 2020, we took on new vineyard contracts in Oliver, Summerland, and Naramata allowing us to add new wines to our portfolio. Among the new wines is a single varietal Sauvignon Blanc which will be available to our En Famille wine club members this summer. Also new to our line-up is a premium sparkling can named “Tiny Bubbles” — a fun, tropical blend of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. This summer, we'll take our portfolio into new territory with Malbec and Syrah to create small lot wines exclusively for our En Famille wine club members.
Making great wines during a global pandemic was physically and logistically challenging, but despite what was thrown at us, the 2020 vintages are delicious; full of flavour and imbued with the enthusiasm of “team Joie". I would like to thank our team, who worked tirelessly during the chaos, pivoted constantly without complaint, and made great efforts to keep themselves, and our summer guests, safe. I would also like to thank our customers who supported local wines, joined our expanding wine club, tried new wines, and enthusiastically supported our new premium formats — like our fun 250 ml cans. Your commitment to staying local was overwhelming and thoroughly appreciated.
We have a stellar line-up to share with you in 2021 and fun formats to do that with. Stay tuned for spring releases and fun case-sale pop-ups with safe pickup options in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Also keep your eyes open for our expanded and exclusive wine club offerings and new online reservation system for our tasting room.
Happy New Year! We look forward to providing you with delicious wines throughout 2021.
This recipe was created by our winemaker, Heidi Noble, while she was making the Chic Fille Merlot. The Chic Fille series is a side project where Heidi can creatively work with other varieties and styles outside of the core JoieFarm portfolio focus of aromatic Germanic and Burgundian varieties.
Chic Fille Merlot is a fresh, juicy example of what Merlot can be when it is not over-extracted in style. Heidi employed a partial lot of semi-carbonic, ambient cask-fermented Merlot that produced the juicy, fruit-forward splash of freshness she intended. The single vineyard is located in Peachland on a high bench overlooking Lake Okanagan, originally planted in the 1990s by the iconic Hainle family and now run by the Joie viticulture team. Its altitude and southern exposure really allowed for a long phenolic development without gaining to much alcohol. At a moderate 11% this wine is the perfect choice to incorporate into a meal where many wines are going to be enjoyed or afternoon of holiday imbibing that turns into a longer session of wines enjoyed with dinner!
This holiday season in particular, as we are unable to gather in larger groups with larger feasts being prepared, this wine and this recipe are a perfect match made for a smaller “covid-Christmas” dinner or New Years celebration.
This wine is a small-lot production with 120 cases produced. It is only available to our wine club members but is being offered to the general public for this short holiday window only.
Holiday Beef Stew with Prune Plums and Juniper
This is a lively and seasonally flavoured winter beef stew I imagined in the winery while making the Chic Fille Merlot during the 2019 vintage. It incorporates winter and holiday flavours like juniper, rosemary and clove to compliment the tangy sweetness of the prune plums and the Merlot. I have included a deep umami blast of miso and anchovy filet to deepen the flavours of both the stew and the wine. The juniper, tangerine and rosemary gremolata to finish really gives this stew deep winter aromatic flair as it hits the table.
I recommend serving this stew accompanied by a crusty loaf of bread, good butter and a watercress salad or green bean salad with a shallot and Dijon dressing. Spätzle, a creamy potato gratin or gnocchi would be excellent accompaniments to this stew as well.
For the stew:
- 2 lbs. Beef stew meat (chuck preferably)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 strips of bacon, cut into lardon
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 1 anchovy filet
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp tomato purée
- ¼ cup rehydrated dried prune plums (liquid reserved) or 2 Tbsp Plum jam or compote
- ¼ cup brandy or amaro
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 litre beef stock
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 clove
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper
For the gremolata:
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1 spring fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 5 juniper berries, finely chopped
- ½ tsp black peppercorns, cracked
- 4 dried prunes or prune plums, roughly chopped
- Zest of one tangerine or orange
- ½ tsp Maldon salt
- Pre-heat oven to 275 F.
- Place a Dutch oven or casserole that can be covered and is appropriate size for oven braising over medium-high heat, and add oil. Season beef with salt and pepper. Brown meat well on all sides until golden and caramelized, for 10 minutes; remove from pot with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- In same pot over medium-high heat, render the bacon lardon until golden.
- Sauté onion and tomato paste with a large pinch of salt and some pepper. When they soften, about 5 minutes, sprinkle in the sugar, stir in the garlic, miso paste, anchovy filet (it will dissolve into umami goodness) paprika, juniper berries, clove, rosemary, and bay leaf. Return meat to pan and add the wine to deglaze the pan with first the brandy and then the wine, rubbing the caramelized bits off of the bottom of the pan while the alcohol evaporates. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper again. Add in the prunes and their liquid or the plum jam
- Add the warmed stock to cover the meat (add more stock or water if necessary); bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes on the stovetop. Transfer to the oven and braise for 5 -3 hours slowly, or until the meat is super tender. Season with the sherry vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste before serving.
The stew can be made in advance to this point; let sit for a few hours, or cover and refrigerate for up to a day before reheating and proceeding. Reheat before serving and if necessary, raise heat so sauce reduces and thickens and becomes glossy.
While reheating, make the gremolata.
We are thrilled to present a shared Thanksgiving experience with our friends near and far. It is inspired by our JoieFarm team’s favourite family traditions spanning tables from the West Coast to the Maritimes. It is our hope that even though you might not be able to gather with all your loved one’s this year, that we can collectively share a harvest table “en famille” across the country together.
Our team’s heritage is a mix of Easterners, Québécois, one Italian Canadian, one Filipina-American, one Vegetarian and one French trained chef. We have shared our team’s family favourites below to inspire your own autumn feast.
Sur la Table:
JoieFarm Quotidien Brut 2019
Savoury Squash & Sage Galette
JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2019
Wild Mushroom & Thyme Wellington
JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Pinot Noir 2017
Maple & Mustard Glazed Ham
Pork Shoulder with Potatoes around the roast
Turkey stuffed with bread and summer savoury
JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2019
Roasted Carrots with Fresh Hops & Coriander
Fresh Creamed Corn with Swiss Chard
Shredded Brussel Sprouts Alsacienne
Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash
Fresh Ginger & Juniper Cranberry Sauce
JoieFarm En Famille Chardonnay 2018
JoieFarm Picnique Rouge ‘Vin de Soif’ 2019
This recipe for Savoury Sage and Squash Galette is inspired by our friends at Joy Road Catering at the Penticton Farmer’s Market. Every Thanksgiving, Chef Dana Ewart, famous for her galettes would bring squash galettes instead of Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving weekend. Inspired by her "out-of the box thinking" I have included a recipe for a savoury squash version perfect for a Thanksgiving appetizer. Serve with Quotidien Brut or A Noble Blend.
Makes enough for 2- 9inch galette bases
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, preferably organic
- 3/8 t fine salt
- 1/8 t sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- 218g butter (5T salted 9.5T unsalted)
- 3T & 1t ice water
- 1 (2-pound) butternut or Kuri squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch slices (4 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise
- 4 garlic cloves, not peeled (for roasting)
- 6 ounces ricotta or soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
- If making the pastry by hand, mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl big enough to play around in. Cut the salted butter into ½ inch cubes and unsalted into ¼ inch cubes. Using a pastry cutter, blend the butter into dry mixture until dough resembles a course meal. This can also be done in a Cuisinart by pulsing the butter into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle in the water, tossing lightly with hands or a for, or pulse again sparingly in the Cuisinart.
- Press dough into a solid mass, divide in 2 and wrap tightly in plastic. Push the pie dough into a ½ inch flattened disc or square (this will make rolling the dough a much easier task) and refrigerate. The dough can be frozen if well wrapped. For best results, rest the dough in the fridge 2 hours minimum. Resting the dough overnight is best.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 475°F with rack in the middle of the oven. Toss the squash and un-peeled garlic cloves with sea salt and 1 Tbsp oil. Arrange the mixture in 1 layer in a 17x12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash and roasted garlic cloves from the oven when they are soft to the squeeze and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 tablespoons oil & butter with a pinch of sea salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered. Stirring occasionally until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, roasted garlic cloves (squeezed out of their jackets), ricotta or goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.
- Assembling the Galette: Roll out dough onto a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. Arrange filling in an even layer in centre of dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.
Note: Pastry dough can be chilled up to 1 day. Filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
This dish has a spot on Heidi's Thanksgiving every year. It's simple to make, absolutely delicious and pairs well with one of her favourite wines - En Famille Reserve Chardonnay!
- 4 Strips Spades Bacon
- 1 Shallot, chopped fine
- 1 T butter
- 1 Clove Garlic, chopped fine
- 4 Generous sprigs of thyme, leaves off and finely chopped
- Sweet corn on the cob
- Heavy Cream
- 1 Lemon
- Chives or Green onion
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the bacon into fine Lardon - sauté to render the fat. Sauté the shallot in the bacon fat and butter until translucent. Add garlic and sauté with shallot after shallot softens. Add thyme.
- Boil sweet corn until cooked (about 5 min). Cool and take off the cob.
- Sauté corn with the bacon shallot mixture for 5 min to warm. Add more butter if necessary.
- Add heavy cream to cover or to desired consistency. Do not boil the cream or it will split. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add zest of one lemon and finely chopped chives or green onion to finish.
This Easter weekend we are proud to release our “Célébration de la Vie” Moscato Frizzante. In 2019 we did not make an en Famille Muscat, rather we made wine to celebrate the life and works of our friend Dale Nigel Goble. Dale was Heidi’s friend and creative collaborator for 20 years.
Dale was instrumental in the branding of Joie from day one. His ‘look and feel’ has permeated the spirit of the winery for two decades strong. This “Célébration de la Vie” label is an illustration of the original Joie logo sketch that Dale created in 2001.
Dale’s aesthetic has permeated everything Heidi has created and deeply informed the way which JoieFarm has publicly presented itself for two decades. We have a deep gratitude for his understanding of our creative endeavours, his undying enthusiasm for the JoieFarm brand, his positivity and creative genius.
Dale created award-winning multidisciplinary works in graphic design, illustration, painting, screen prints, and sculptures. His artwork appeared in private and corporate collections around the world, and was featured in numerous design magazines, newspapers, television, print and digital media. His clients included, among others, the Four Seasons Hotels and the United Nations.
This “frizzante” style Moscato modeled after DOCG Moscato D’Asti.In this tradition, our estate Moscato Giallo grapes were fermented to be slightly off-dry, the original fermentation spritz captured and then bottled under 2 atmospheres of pressure. Its gentle sparkle and aromatics are both undeniably charming and unique.
This weekend, JoieFarm’s Moscato Frizzante, is a perfect wine to enjoy with a “less formal” Easter meal. Perfectly paired with salty and briny aperitivo snacks, outdoor picnics and sunshine. It is a perfect wine to celebrate springtime and the renewal that comes with this hopeful season.
Having been on the coast for the past ten days, I walked past window after window with doors locked, chairs up and polite but heartbroken notes taped to the door explaining that their restaurants would be closed until further notice. Looking through these windows, my own heart broke.
Joie was built on the backs of restaurants. For those of you who are new to the brand or don’t know the story of the winery, Joie had humble restaurant origins started by a cook and a waiter. Literally. Long story short, after exiting a career that spanned all parts of the hospitality business (front of house, back of house, Sommelier positions, running wine programs and working in the wine import business) Joie was steeped in the ins-and-outs, highs-and-lows of the business.
Aiming to make wines for our peers and the community from which we came, Joie began to make wine in 2004. We made wines for our friends. We knew what the restaurant market wanted and needed at the time, and our restaurant friends trusted us enough to buy it. We sold our entire first production in two weeks to Vancouver restaurants: with Vikram Vij and John Clarides putting their credit cards down on the table in advance of the wine being finished, buying a pallet each. Vikram and the staff at Vij’s launched the Noble Blend and sent it out into the world, being sold tableside, one bottle at a time. Vij’s restaurant was a vector for the brand and it gained dizzying momentum from there. JoieFarm had no tasting room for 11 years, as the restaurant community and private wine shops consumed everything we were able to produce. That is the power of this business, of our community and the overwhelming loyalty of BC wine buyers. I wish to thank every shop that has chosen to list our product and every server and clerk who has sold a bottle to a customer. Without you, my winery would be nothing. You are my reps, collectively telling the Joie story.
18 years later, my last restaurant meal out in Vancouver was my friend Angus An’s restaurant Maenam. Ironically seated next to chef Massimo Capra, who was himself trying to get a sense of Vancouver’s independent restaurant scene, I shared my story (and my lunch!) with he and his wife. I recounted taking Joie’s wines to the James Beard House in 2008 with Angus, Kate and his team (David Gunawan cooking and Chris Stearns taking phots). We showed NYC’s and America’s top food media what BC’s West Coast & Wine Country cuisine was all about. A true highlight of my entire career. All these years later, I take great pleasure and pride making wine for my talented friend’s restaurants and for my retail clients to hand sell with pride.
Back at home this afternoon I sat in the woods above my house in North Naramata. Looking down on the winery I had a long reflection on this story. This situation reaches far beyond my restaurant and my wine shop friends, but to the entire hospitality community of tourism operators, accommodators, suppliers, support services, viticultural teams, grape growers, tech support, contractors and trades. We cannot forget about them, too. It is so important to keep our staff supported the best way we can, our bills to our vendors paid, so we have a strong industry to come back to, when life rises up again and we can sit back at the table together as a community. I wish you all strength and hope in coming days and weeks. I will pledge as an owner and boss lady to keep my team intact so we can support and supply yours again in coming days.
On my table today is love, abundance and presence. One of the silver linings of our current situation is the opportunity to sit quietly and be present with our families and share a meal. A good meal - one that took hours together to prepare.
I know that over the past couple of days, I have done just that with my own family. It has helped ease our anxiety, given us an activity to share and then relish our hard work together. I would like to encourage you to do the same, as deliciousness is possible against the backdrop of a crisis. As I was inspired by the New York Times article this morning: "Deliciousness improves moods and inspires hope and connectivity."
I encourage you to share and savour a bottle of wine at your table with your meal. JoieFarm wines have always been for created “for the table”; they are delicious on their own, but always elevated by good food and good company.
2019 was a very difficult vintage. Under typical conditions, we often receive the gift of at least 60 days of cool, slow ripening “hang-time” that makes our wines intensely flavoured while maintaining their bright acidity. Over the past 15 vintages I have branded the signature style of JoieFarm Winery on this natural privilege afforded by a cool climate, lake-moderated desert. In our 16th vintage, however, our normal ripening patterns were interrupted by almost continuous rain, punctuated by an abrupt freeze on Oct 10th that ended all significant ripening.
The vintage began with mild temperatures and little insulating snowpack in January. This made bottling and pruning very pleasant for us, but the unseasonable warmth also caused the soil to warm up, forcing the vines out of dormancy. An extended four-week cold snap in February then froze those awaken vines causing bud damage, cane damage and, in some cases, cracked trunks and straight-up vine death. Many vineyards saw smaller yields in 2019 from this thaw/freeze episode, some in Summerland and Naramata sustaining 70% loss. A lack of snow and rain during that time also meant there was little run-off or soil moisture, making for even lower yields.
The spring started uneventfully with budbreak occurring in the first week of May as usual. By early June, flowering would also occur normally, although some wind and rain interrupted flowering in our Riesling vineyard (which was already affected by spotty budbreak and damage from the cold).
Summer temperatures were cooler than normal with no heat spikes and many cloudy days. As result, veraison was drawn out – taking at least three to four weeks to complete (an abundance of secondary and tertiary shoots may have aided in extending the process). After a short temperature spike the last week of August and first week of September the rains started and never seemed to stop. (Environment Canada would later confirm that the Penticton area received three times more precipitation than average.) This abundance of rain created intense disease pressure and an overt lack of ripening. The rains eventually stopped with a hard frost of -7°C on October 10th, essentially ending the vintage for all intents and purposes.
2019 was a vintage for technical, confident wine makers with the experience to make rapid-fire picking calls and take immediate action in the winery; these needs were non-stop. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong: profound winter damage, a cool, cloudy summer punctuated by late August heat which brought heavy wasp pressure, September rains bringing powdery mildew, sour rot (caused by the wasps stings creating vectors for disease), incredible wildlife pressure with ravenous bears eating tons of fruit by the day…
For those without the experience to act quickly, the ability to pivot and a willingness to be flexible with house style, 2019 will have been a disappointing and heartbreaking vintage for many, and probably disastrous for some. At JoieFarm we are not afraid to make lighter, fresher styles of wine and use blending to achieve balance. Our combination of technical winemaking skills and grasp of organic chemistry, as well as the fact that we have full control of our viticulture and picking teams allowed us to make the JoieFarm 2019 portfolio full of delicious wines as usual (just with more #maximumeffort and resolve than normally required!). Still, here’s hoping 2020 brings us back to the usual, reliable viticultural magic we’ve come to love about the edge of the 50thparallel.
Here’s a list of techniques we used to be pro-active and non-interventionist during this difficult vintage:
- Minimal skin-contact, whole cluster pressing where appropriate and light pressing with minimal press rotations – damaged and diseased skins were to be avoided at all costs.This meant that we made lighter colour rosé this vintage and sent our Pinot Noir and Gamay to ferment straight away (warming the must and inoculating immediately). 2019 was not a suitable vintage to make skin-contacted whites, long-macerated rosé or extended contact cold-soaked reds (pre or post). Those damaged skins had to go!
- Racking pressed off reds early and twice at cold temperatures to encourage a compact settle, again to rid any damaged or diseased suspended solids.
- Early pH adjustments on one of our Gamay lots, pre-ferment, to prevent unwanted browning and potential bacterial spoilage (the must was shockingly coming out of the press brown, not ruby!)
- Identify laccase and break that potentially disastrous enzyme down! Laccase can cause serious oxidative damage to juice must and finished wine, unwanted colour changes (browning), and extreme pH slides that cause spoilage. We used a small addition of bentonite clay during some of our rosé ferments. We also performed early post-ferment rackings where necessary to rid the wine of this potentially creeper enzyme. This was a new practice for me and I was very pleased with the fermentation kinetics and health of that ferment; it was good learning for future rosé ferments.
- Diligent filtration – crossflow filtration to ensure bacteria and diseases were removed from the finished product, especially early-to-bottle white and rosé wines.
- Mid-winter red racking on Pinot Noir and Gamay lots to rid any further precipitated laccase or suspended solids in the lees.
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