On the nose, fresh aromas of pineapple and citrus lead to flavours of tart apple, lemon and mineral on the palate. Structurally, the wine shows medium body and moderate alcohol, finishing fresh and clean.
Con Vida Vineyard, Skaha Bluff Penticton, long-term leased and farmed by JoieFarm, planted 1989; Lux Ultima Vineyard, Peachland planted 1987
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. After de-stemming and crushing, a slow, gentle pressing was utilized via a pneumatic press. No sulphur was added at the press pan to hyper oxidize the juice, ensuring stable colour and flavour compounds during ferment. A 48 hour settling allowed us to maintain maximum flavour and nutrients in our must before it was gently racked for ferment. The first early pick of must was inoculated with a champagne yeast, EC-1118 to cleanly express site and vintage and the second pick was inoculated with x-16 yeast. Our glycol cooling system allowed us to achieve a clean and controlled ferment that lasted about two weeks in stainless steel. Each of the lots was vinified separately. We employed lees stirring until the wines were racked to be blended. No malolactic fermentation was necessary this vintage. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, topped up only after a seconding racking and checked pre-bottling. 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, screw-cap closure because we feel it is the best method available to preserve the freshness that is key to this wine.
Food Pairing Notes
This crisp Un-oaked Chardonnay is perfect for pairing with west coast seafood, especially good with fresh shucked oysters!