What is OKANAGAN CRUSH PAD?
Okanagan Crush Pad is a winery located in Summerland BC, which is home to our flagship wines Haywire and Narrative, plus wines made for custom crush clients. The licensed winery has been designed to facilitate production of multiple small lots of wine from many different sources, and the management of Okanagan Crush Pad welcomes clients seeking to use the facility’s specialized equipment. In 2016, Okanagan Crush Pad processed over 650 tons for their own wines and six clients.
From its ponderosa-surrounded location in beautiful Summerland, BC, Okanagan Crush Pad overlooks Switchback Organic Vineyard and Okanagan Lake. This is the first facility of its kind in Canada, where a team of industry consultants offers diverse services to the wine industry (including Italy’s Alberto Antonini and Chile’s Pedro Parra, two international stars in the wine world).
Public visitors to this unique winery pass a naturally-farmed vineyard and a graffiti-mural exterior en-route to the modern O Tasting Lounge where tastings and wine purchases can be made. In the cellar, eleven conical-shaped and six egg-shaped large concrete fermentation tanks, and two clay amphora are just a few of the distinctive aspects of this high end, small lot, wine-making facility.
Raised in Concrete
Okanagan Crush Pad is the first winery in Canada to make a significant investment in concrete fermenters from Sonoma Cast Stone. The eggs – as heavy as a rhinoceros when empty (4200 lbs) and weighing as much as an adult orca when full – certainly catch people’s attention and inspire curiosity, but it is their ability to showcase a wine that makes them so valuable in the cellar.
These egg-shaped tanks take a forward-thinking approach to the old world practice, by using modern features such as temperature-control tubing. These tubes are embedded into the walls of the eggs to provide even temperature throughout the tank. No parts that require cleaning come into direct contact with the juice.
There is also an impact on the flavour development of wine when concrete is used. Like oak vessels, which are commonly used in wine-making, concrete is slightly porous, allowing the wine to breathe as it would in oak. However, unlike oak, the eggs leave no oaky flavour as they gently diffuse oxygen.
The tank’s egg shape means more of the cap (skins and pulp floating on top of the juice in red wine fermentation) stays submerged. This lengthier contact of the skins and pulp with the juice means wines come out brighter with higher fruit notes and prettier secondary aromas that tend not to be found in wines fermented in stainless steel. Concrete does a very good job of showcasing a wine’s true terroir. Oak can mask those distinctions, but concrete doesn’t add, remove, or mask anything. It lets the fruit shine
through to be a true statement of the place it was grown.
- Owned Vineyard: Switchback Vineyard in Summerland BC: 10 acres planted to Pinot Gris Clone 52 in 2007
- Under Development: Garnet Valley Ranch in Summerland BC: 312 acres – 60 to 80 to be planted to vines with the remainder left as a farm and nature preserve
Where to Find Us and the Wines We Will be Pouring
Tasting Room Public/Consumer:
- Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2015
- Haywire Pink Bub Sparkling 2015
- Haywire Gamay Rose 2015
- Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2013
- Haywire Free Form White 2015
Wines of British Columbia Consumer Regional Seminar:
Pioneers &. New Kids:
- Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2015
- Narrative Ancient Method 2015
I Heart Bubbly Event:
- Pink Bub 2015
- Narrative XC Method NV
Celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary:
- Haywire Switchback Pinol Gris 2015
- Haywire Canyonview Pinol Noir 2013