Harvest – Bring It!
Mother Nature has been flexing her muscles, with fog in Vancouver and the threat of cool nights with grape-damaging frost in the interior, but our winemaking and harvest team are at the ready – and they are busy!
Seen at left, going from left to right: Michael Bartier, Megan Solley, Christine Coletta, Andreas Deutschmann, Vanesa Cureatz, Katharina Feldmann, Jordan Kubek, Tyler Knight, Daniel Hetherington, Ramon Portella, and Julian Scholefield.
The new winery and cellar set up is being put through the paces, as grapes come in for Haywire, Bartier Scholefield, and all of our custom crush clients. The new punch down arm is in use and our multi-country harvest team is seeing what Canada has to offer.
The 2012 vintage is looking great – the flavour development of the fruit coming in is just where it needs to be, as the grapes reach the ideal balance of ripeness and acidity and are harvested.
The photo at left shows the team processing grapes for our custom crush client Di Bello Wines.
Speaking of Great Weather…
Spotted riding about town enjoying this fantastic weather is our architect, Brad Tone. Here, he (on the left) and his friend Glenn take in the sun at English Bay in Vancouver.
We can’t help but notice that they are taking their break in front of Cactus Club Cafe. Do you think they stopped long enough to have a glass of Bartier Scholefield Rosé by the glass, or maybe some Feenie Goes Haywire wine?
Great wines for NOW
So much was said last week about what wine would be appropriate to have. “What do I have with a turkey?” (We think rosé.) “What about if I have ham?” A fruity new world Chardonnay can offset some of the saltiness in a beauteous way.
But what about for tonight’s chicken, tomorrow’s fish, or Friday night’s pizza? I want to focus on wines from our custom crush client Rafter F that are ready for your food pairings now:
Rafter F Chardonnay 2011
When our winemaker Michael Bartier created this wine, the fruit was whole cluster pressed in our membrane press, fermented at 12-14 deg. C. in a stainless steel tank, and no barrel time was seen by this wine at all. (For those who truly want to geek out, the yeast type was DV10.) The team gave this Chardonnay enthusiastic lees stirring twice a week for eight weeks (pumped from the drain valve into the racking arm to keep lees in suspension). This lees contact helps to improve the mid-palate and body greatly.
The resulting wine is textbook Black Sage Road. Good, weighty mouthfeel. Melons, peaches, and buttermilk. Full-bodied, yet very refreshing.
What do you have it with? Enjoy with grilled, roasted or sautéed veggies, or chicken and pork dishes.
This is small lot, vineyard-magnifying wine, and it’s delicious.
Only 83 cases made. $21.00 a bottle. Order here.
Rafter F Pinot Gris 2011
A partnering white to the Chardonnay is the Rafter F Pinot Gris, also $21.00, and drinking terrifically now.
This wine is a unique Pinot Gris from Black Sage Road. Green apples, honeysuckle, and fresh sun-dried linen. Crisp acidity and rich all at once.
When winemaker Michael Bartier made all 95 cases of this wine, it was whole cluster pressed in our membrane press, fermented at 12-14 degrees C. in a stainless steel tank. The yeast type was Prise de Mousse, and like with the Chardonnay, lees stirring twice a week for eight weeks helped create a lovely mid-palate and body.
This everyday wine is great on its own, or pair with light bodied fish, poultry, or pork.
What is Rafter F?
Oliver's family-owned Rafter F has established itself as one of the most uniquely sustainable "whole farm" producers in the province – first with its celebrated Okanagan’s Finest Angus Beef and now with their own estate-produced wine created by Michael Bartier at Okanagan Crush Pad. The hallmarks of their fully integrated approach include compost, sustainably-farmed produce, and ethically-raised cattle that carry a low carbon footprint.
The Rafter F brand has been in the family for four generations. Bill and Darlene Freding, caretakers not only of their land but also of their family's legacy, relocated their cattle ranch from the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of BC to the Okanagan Valley in 1988, with the dream of producing the province's best Angus Beef, and starting their own vineyard.
Saddle Ridge Vineyard is sustainably farmed, and from day one, the grape growing has been overseen by legendary BC vineyard manager Richard Cleave, and the grapes were sold to others. Now, under the careful direction of winemaker Michael Bartier at Okanagan Crush Pad, the Fredings are proud to release wines from Rafter F.
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