Do you like a consistent quality wine with classic flavours and aromas? Should it matter if the Cabernet Sauvignon you drink comes from Napa Valley or Stellenbosch, South Africa? Should the terroir; the soil, microbes, worms, indigenous yeasts, plus the sunshine and rain help to make unique wines to celebrate, or should they be fixed by the wine maker to get a 90+ point rating?
I thought about this lately as this topic came up again during a charity tasting held at Marquis Wine Cellars in Vancouver. Speaking was Italian wine maker, Alberto Antonini, who is offering his experience to help make wines expressive of the Okanagan, BC terroir with Okanagan Crush Pad. Alberto talked about how BC has an opportunity to create interesting wines, not wines that are created using set formulas used around the world.
To help make these expressive wines, Alberto has advised Okanagan Crush Pad on acquiring concrete eggs for fermenting the must (concrete is a porous material and is a place where yeasts can live), using natural yeasts in the fermentation process, and converting their vineyards to organic and/or biodynamic viticulture; making the soils more alive, which then works it’s way up the vine into each grape. I for one have tasted many wines produced from biodynamic vineyards, and I do note a vibrancy in the wines.
So while the wines produced at Okanagan Crush Pad may not be pegged as a typical Cabernet or Chardonnay, you will be rewarded with the nuances of how all these interdependent factors create unique wines that we can say are from BC. I for one applaud Alberto and Okanagan Crush Pad for what they are doing, and look forward to trying more of their wines as their newly planted vineyards produce new grape experiences.
Please give their wines a try, and look around the world for other wineries and wine makers with the same philosophy toward wine making. Don’t always judge a wine by it’s numeric score.