Its bright hue anticipates the aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and dried sage. On the palate, the structure is medium-bodied and mouth-filling; finishing with natural mouth-watering acidity and a touch of tannin for structure. The fresh nose carries through to the palate, where we find bright flavours of cherry, cranberry and citrus. The finish is long, clean, and juicy.
Hollenbach Family Vineyard, Skaha Bluffs, Penticton (clone 113, planted 1993); Hagerman Vineyard, Kaleden, planted 1998; McKeanie Vineyard, Naramata, planted 2015; Pipars Family Vineyard, Naramata Bench, planted 1983
Winter 2019/20 mirrored the previous year’s freeze-thaw pattern and the erratic weather continued to cause bud and cane damage to the Okanagan Valley’s vineyards. Spring was sunny and dry with a distinct lack of rainfall in April and May. In contrast, June was rainy and windy, particularly during the flowering of the vines, causing hard “shot berries,” poor fruit set, and loose clusters. Fortunately, July and August were hot and sunny with fewer temperature spikes which caused less stress on the vines as the berries sized up. Veraison began in the central Okanagan Valley and the Naramata Bench the second week of August. It was long, lasting almost 3-4 weeks in some places, having been prolonged by the smoke blanket in late August from the Skaha Bluff fire and the slow ripening of the secondary buds. The weather stayed hot until the second week in September then cooled to a more moderate temperature. We began harvesting the third week of September, beginning with our new vineyard site in Oliver with our first crop of Sauvignon Blanc. We then commenced with the first picks of Chardonnay from the Con Vida Vineyard on the Skaha Bluff and our Auxerrois on the Naramata Bench. The weather remained pleasant until mid-October, providing a prolonged, dry hang-time that developed the grape’s mature and complex flavours. Throughout this period, we consistently brought in grapes every day until an abrupt snowfall and cold spell ended the harvest on October 21. We brought in all 150 tons successfully before this rude weather event. We are very pleased with the 2020 wines considering
the logistical and labour challenges. The sugars were ripe, but not ridiculous, and the lower yields contributed to the concentration, aromatics, ripe tannins, and phenolics of the wines.
The grapes were hand-harvested and a sorting table was utilized before the grapes were de-stemmed to ensure that only healthy grapes went into the wine. The de-stemmed grapes were soaked skins-to-juice overnight outside at about 12 C. These soaks allow us to achieve some extraction of colour and fruit flavours from the grapes. The must was gravity-dumped into the press (more gentle than pumping the must) and a slow, gentle pressing was utilized via a pneumatic press. We feel it is important to press rosé wine off of the skins to extract a little bit of tannin thereby giving the wine better texture. No sulphur was added at the press pan to hyper oxidize the juice, ensuring stable colour and flavour compounds during ferment. A long two- to three-day chilled settling resulted in a clear must perfect for a healthy ferment. Our glycol chilling system allowed us to maintain a clean and controlled ferment that lasted about ten days in stainless steel. Each varietal was crushed, cold-soaked, pressed and vinified separately. We were sure to pull the rosé off its gross lees quickly to avoid reductive flavours from the high solids content in the juice. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, added only following a second racking post-fermentation and topped up pre-bottling. Each varietal was blended together after its second rack. The wine was protein and cold stabilized, then filtered. The filtration system used was cross-flow, a medium-free method that is the gentlest of any filter on the wine. We chose a Stelvin screwcap closure because we feel it is the best method available to preserve the freshness that is key to this wine.
Food Pairing Notes
Everything! Seriously, rose pairs with almost anything. We especially love it with local tomatoes and fresh summer salads.
Pinot Noir 50%, Pinot Gris 35%, Pinot Meunier 15%