It has been almost a year since I was last at the Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland BC and I was pleased to see so many more changes and a few more residents of the four legged variety! Owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lorne have made a commitment to the land and to producing the best fruit possible with little intervention. Back to basics, and to the true expression of Okanagan Terroir.
No pesticides or sprays are used, in fact there is a real synergy happening in the vineyard with every detail thought and carried out by the wonderful vineyard team. There are chickens and ducks to help with pests, sheep to help with fertilizing and even a worm farm to help make the best compost possible. It is a very natural looking vineyard with beneficial cover crops planted to attract the right king of bug predators and deter the wrong ones.
Next year their Switchback vineyard will be certified organic and the Haywire Wild Ferment Pinot Gris that is coming from the home vineyard is nothing short of spectacular.
5 different lots within the 7 acre vineyard were used to create this amazing BC wine. The juice was wild fermented in the large Concrete Eggs on site and no additional yeasts were needed due to the ambient atmosphere.
They have several “concrete egg”wines and these wines have an incredible mouth feel, intense fruit flavours and a long finish all from separate vineyards. I highly recommend getting your hands on the Canyonview Pinot Noir 2011 that won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence and the Wild Ferment Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012.
Other favourite wines are the White label 2012 Pinot Gris which had an delicious vibrancy, their 2012 Gamay Noir rich and ripe, and their 2012 Syrah hailing from the Black Sage bench, full of red fruits, earthy spice and just a touch of clove.
Lastly, another new addition to see was the wine amphora pictured below, full of Pinot Gris fermenting happily away in its new home. I cannot wait to have a sip of the end product!