MEDIA & AWARDS
Preparing for our JoieFarm 2017 Vintage release
Wintry months on the Naramata Bench of the Okanagan Valley look very different than the sizzling, sunny months of our JoieFarm tasting room season. The crowds of visitors have deserted our once luscious green lawn and our vineyards are thickly blanketed with snow. A grey malaise hangs over Okanagan Lake. Sundresses and shorts have been replaced by snowsuits and touques.
The last of our grapes were harvested in early November just before the first snowfall. Since then, our winery team has devoted maximum effort to create our 15th vintage to be in keeping with the quality and expression of our past vintages; focusing on fresh, intense ripe fruit balanced with natural acidity and complexity.
We’re getting ready to bottle our aromatic white wines and our rosé this upcoming Monday, and in preparation for that, this week we’re filtering all 125,000 litres of these wines! We use what is called a crossflow filtration system, which allows us to filter this volume of wine in about two days, as opposed to taking up to five weeks as it would with more common methods of filtration.
Crossflow filtration is also a gentler process than a lot of other methods of filtration—something that is very important to us—and also has the added benefit of lessening the effects of ‘bottle shock’. All of which allows us to release our aromatic whites and our rosé just in time for patio season on the coast!
JoieFarm is of the opinion that one does not have to work themselves into a mood to drink bubble or wait for a birthday or anniversary. Bubble is for every day.
As an every day bubble drinker, I am proud to introduce our new Quotidien Brut to our bubble portfolio. Quotidien means “your daily ration” or “for every day.”
The creation of this wine came out of an ongoing conversation over the course of two years attending conferences and trade events. Conversations focused around the idea of how to possibly define “Canadian Wine” – a difficult proposition as the Canadian winemaking terroir varies vastly from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. The answer that kept consistently coming up is that Canada possesses the potential for quality bubble production, in particular, with Riesling and Chardonnay being the best consistent varietal contenders, coast to coast. There is definitely potential for premium sparkling production in Canada. To fully engage this conversation, I decided to make one – a combination of Riesling and Chardonnay.
Quotidien Brut is made by the Charmat method – the best method to make quality sparkling wine made for affordable, easy drinking bubble. However, in absence of the long-term autolysis that happens with lees-aged méthode traditional (which attributes to the beautiful biscuit and toast of real champagne), I knew I had to somehow replace this very import flavour component of good bubble. I knew I had to make better base wine. I thought about this process for several years and took the following approach with both of our sparkling wines.
First, dogmatically picking at 15o brix for sparkling will indeed yield low-alcohol base wine (which is then re-fermented in tank or bottle); however, there is very little flavour or phenolic development at 15o brix. Much like the rest of Joie wines, I am a big proponent of picking several times to achieve natural balance – I took this exact approach to blend this sparkling base wine. Several picks were conducted, one for acid and low alcohol and one for flavour and ripeness, and then blended backwards to achieve an appropriate potential alcohol for a secondary tank fermentation.
Second, in order to replace the lees contact in the bottle, I chose to store the base wine after the first fermentation sur lie in neutral puncheons over the winter – this lends the wine some toast and biscuit flavours as well as providing some slow oxidation. I execute this practice for both of our casual bubble programs – both the Plein de Vie and the Quotidien are lees aged over the winter.
Third, in the pursuit of making better base wine, we have started a solera of slowly oxidizing Riesling in neutral barrels with a bit of headspace left in them for the Quotidien, to back blend with, in the tradition of champagne blending. Some pretty sophisticated base wine for a fun every day $25 bubble.
Both the new Quotidien ($25) and Plein de Vie ($19) base wines are multiple picks fermented and blended, and slowly lees aged over the winter. Both casual fun summer-time bubbles for great flavour and quality, but wholly affordable, accessible and highly quaffable, with low alcohol and fruit forward profile.
Thank you for your support in our crusade of promoting every day bubble drinking and the pursuit of defining Canadian sparkling.
Salt Cod Fritters
Salt cod fritters are a traditional Spanish tapa. They make an excellent hors d’oeuvres first course when served with a small green salad or icy cold shaved fennel and grapefruit salad. Note that you need to begin to prepare this dish the day before you plan to eat it.
- 1 lb (500 g) dried salt cod; we recommend you visit Finest at Sea for dried salt cod
- 2 cups (500 mL) whole (3.25%) milk
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium white-fleshed potatoes, like Russet, skins on
- 1 medium Spanish onion, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
- freshly ground black pepper as needed
- sea salt as needed
- 8 cups (2 L) vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- lemon wedges for garnish
Starting a day ahead, soak the dried cod in cold water in the refrigerator for 12–24 hours, changing the water several times to remove most of the salt. Drain and rinse the cod, and put it in a large pot. Add the milk and enough water to cover the cod by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Cooking cod in milk keeps it really moist. Add the peeled garlic clove and bay leaf. Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 20–25 minutes, until the cod is tender and pliable. Drain and rinse well, then flake the cod into a bowl with your hands, removing any little bits of skin and bone.
While the cod is simmering in the milk, cover the potatoes with cold water and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the potatoes, covered, until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and cool them slightly under cold running water. While the potatoes are still warm, peel them and press them through a fine mesh sieve or ricer. This will keep them fluffy, and they will not become a gluey mass when processed. Combine the potato, flaked salt cod, beaten eggs, onion, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper by gently folding together. Do not beat the mixture or it will be gluey. The batter must be stiff enough to form oval shapes with 2 wet spoons. If the batter is too loose, add in a little flour.
When ready to serve the salt cod fritters, heat up the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot to 375°F (190°C). Fry a few fritters at a time by spooning an oval of batter into the oil until it floats and turns golden brown. Do not crowd the pot or the temperature of the oil will drop and the fritters will not fry properly and will soak up oil. When the fritters are golden, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel or newspaper and season them with salt. Eat immediately.
These fritters are delicious with Joie Brut, as bubbles and fried food are always a great contrasting and cleansing pairing. Pair with Noble Blend for a first course with a fennel and grapefruit salad.
Photo credit Menus from an Orchard Table
Duck Rillettes Served with Spiced Dried Pear Compote
“Rillette” is just a fancy word for potted meat that is shredded and served in its own fat. I like to serve rillette with a mix of good mustard, cornichons and dried fruit chutney or compote and a nice small side herb salad for a first course. It can also be served as a passed canapé. Try this recipe that my chef friend Jason Schubert created during the cooking school days using the dried pears and apple juice from the original Joie orchard. Serve this delicious condiment with any charcuterie, cold roasted meats or cheese plate.
makes 8 small ramekins of rillette
For the rillettes:
- 4 confited duck legs (any other confited meat could be substituted here, like rabbit, pork or boar) We recommend you visit Oyama Sausage Co. in Vancouver for your duck confit.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced shallots
- 2 roasted or confited garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cognac
- 4 Tbsp (60 mL) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fat, reserved from the confit
- For the dried pear compote:
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups (500 mL) soft, dried pears, roughly chopped (other dried fruit can be substituted, such as apricots, prunes or figs)
- 2 cloves
- 1 cup (250 mL) unfiltered apple juice
For the rillette, combine the duck legs, shallots, garlic, cognac, butter, pepper, nutmeg, allspice and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat at medium speed for about 1 minute, or until everything is well mixed. Alternatively, use a food processor, taking care not to purée the mixture or let it turn into a paste. The texture should have the consistency of finely chopped meat. Use immediately or place in an airtight container, drizzle some of the reserved fat over the top, and refrigerate for up to 1 week
To make the compote, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion until soft. Sprinkle the sugar over the softened onion and continue to cook until a light caramel forms. Once the caramel is golden, deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar. Cook the onions down until they are glazed.
Add the chopped pears to the glazed onion and deglaze with the apple juice. Cook the pears down until they are mushy and soft. Add more juice if necessary to completely soften the dried pears. Cool the compote before serving.
To serve, press the rillette into small ¼ cup (125 mL) ramekins, or quenelle the mixture into an oval and serve with warmed croutons, fresh crusty bread or brioche and a large quenelle of the compote on each plate. The rillettes can also be made into a canapé by making a small quenelle and placing on a cracker or smaller piece of toasted brioche topped with the compote.
Each one of the wines in the 2017 Holiday Joie Box will work well with the rillettes: Joie bubbles are a cleansing and refreshing pairing, duck and Pinot Noir are a classic food and wine pairing and the warm spices in the Noble Blend are echoed in both the rillettes and the compote.
Photo credit Joel Robuchon
91 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner on Wine – October 2017
This is a blend of three clones from three different vineyards. That is not for volume but for complexity, which also applies to how the wine is made. It is aged 10 months in a mix of large casks, puncheons and barriques. “This mix is intentionally larger format to provide a larger wine to wood ratio as not to overwhelm the delicate fruit profile of this Pinot Noir,” the winery notes explain. It begins with aromas of raspberry and cherry. Those aromas are echoed on the palate, mingled with spice and toasted oak. The wine is full-bodied.
91 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner on Wine – October 2017
This is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Gamay. The full-bodied wine was aged 10 months in a variety of French oak vessels (10% new). The wine begins with aromas of cherry, plum and toasted oak which are echoed on the palate. There is a note of spice on the lingering finish.
90 points – Tony Aspler – September 2017
Ruby colour; cherry pit nose with a candied raspberry note; medium-bodied, dry, lovely mouth-feel; cherry, red plum with a licorice note and a floral grace note.
90 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner on Wine – October 2017
The wine begins with aromas of cherry mingled with toasty notes (the wine was aged 10 months on the fine lees in French oak). On the palate, the savoury cherry flavours are both rich and juicy, with a long finish.
93 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner on Wine – October 2017
The wine blends nine clones from two vineyards. The wine was aged eight months in medium toast French oak barrels (20% new, 30% second fill, 50% neutral). Dark in colour and concentrated in texture, this is a powerful, almost brooding, Pinot Noir that will age well. Aromas of plum and cherry mingle with so-called forest floor spice. On the palate, the raspberry and cherry flavours are intense, giving way to notes of chocolate on the lingering finish.
92 points – Tony Aspler – September 2017
Medium ruby colour; earthy, cherry with oak spice on the nose, tobacco and floral top notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, cherry and currant flavours; velvety mouth-feel, richly extracted, firmly structured and well-balanced with resolved tannins. (92)
90 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner On Wine – August 2017
Heidi had worked as hard to make Quotidien Brut as if she had just bottle-fermented it. But she is nothing, if not determined. And she was determined to a wine where everything but the price reminded one of Champagne.
Kurtis Kolt – Georgia Straight – August 2017
I’d be lying if I said JoieFarm’s 2016 Brut Quotidien ($25) hadn’t hit the spot while we tucked into our pizza and schnitzel. Quotidien translates to “your daily ration”, and the name is meant to express the pleasure of enjoying cheery, accessible sparkling wine any time of the week. A blend of Chardonnay and Riesling, the wine has peach, pear, and lemonade notes that wonderfully echoed an Okanagan summer.
90 points – Michelle Bouffard – Wine Align – July 2017
Nez tout en fraîcheur avec des notes de fruits mûrs de citron et de pomme et une touche de miel. Corps léger et dotée d’une texture délicate. Simple, mais bien fait.
Fresh nose with notes of ripe fruit of lemon and apple and a touch of honey. Lightweight body with a delicate texture. Simple, but well done.
89 points – John Szabo – Wine Align – July 2017
As the name “brut quotidien” implies, this is a dry bubbly for everyday drinking, but a pretty fine average day it would be. Made from riesling and chardonnay in the tank/charmat method, this is all joyful fruit, fresh apple and pear, with an appealing whiff of white flowers. The palate is dry, further tightened up by firm acids, with decent length to be sure. This invites additional sips. A fine aperitif.
88 points – Treve Ring – Gismondi On Wine – July 2017
Apricot blossoms, tight pear, peach fuzz fill this new, foamy charmat fizz from Joie, a blend of riesling and chardonnay from vineyards in Kelowna, Naramata and Skaha. The 2016 fruit was dosed with Joie’s riesling solera, which has been quietly ticking away, unsulphured. Prickly bright on the palate, riding a swell of residual sugar and an even higher swell of total acidity, this is meant to be enjoyed young and fresh (this summer). Quotidien means “your daily ration”, if you need a reason to drink fizz daily. A serious price for a not so serious wine
90 points – John Schreiner – John Schreiner On Wine – August 2017
It begins with aromas of cherry and strawberry that are echoed in the flavours. The active mousse, achieved by gentle carbonation gives this a creamy texture. This is a very easy to drink sparkling rose with a crisp dry finish.
87 points – Treve Ring – Gismondi On Wine – July 2017
Tastes like summer. 2016 Plein de Vie Brut is a pinot meunier, pinot noir, chardonnay charmat fizz. Like its white brethern it is a bit foamy but bright, fresh and friendly showing just-crushed raspberries and strawberry jam, on a bright, frothy palate all with a kiss of sunny sweetness and a lift of bright cranberry acidity. Fun!