Amanda Eastwood and Jamie Smith are not puppets. For them making wine is a lifestyle, a passion and the result of a year-round creative process. Amanda is originally from France and Jamie a native of Salmon Arm. Jamie spent 11 years in Europe, a majority of the time in Spain, where he met Amanda. They both fell in love with the wine culture in Europe, which crystalized into them establishing Marionette Vineyards and Winery in Salmon Arm. But first they moved to Brighton, England to study degrees in Viticulture and Oenology, then worked at wineries in France, Portugal and England.
Why choose Marionette for the name of the winery? With the vast possibilities of names for a winery, Marionette, does not seem like an obvious choice, but once you know the story of the land that Amanda and Jamie purchase, the name makes sense. According to their website, many years ago a family of artists and performers lived on the property. These artists traveled in beautifully painted, horse-drawn caravans to perform shows which featured handmade marionettes. Once you enter their tasting room, you will see marionettes decorating the walls. There is also an outline of a marionette, looking like a ballerina, on their wine labels.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Riesling 2017($21.74) – These grapes were not from their Estate vineyard; coming from a vineyard in Keremeos. This wine had a medium-intensity lemon colour. Nice floral, honey, and ripe stone fruit aromas. Dry, medium-bodied with medium acidity. Crisp apple plus pear and peach skin flavours. The wine gets lighter-bodied on the mid-palate. A classy wine.
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Sur Lie 2018 ($21.74) – Primarily made from Chardonnay grapes with some Pinot Gris added in. A bright medium lemon colour. A lighter intensity sweet stone fruit and baby powder nose. Medium body, round with a thicker buttery mouthfeel. Medium acidity. Deeper dried stone fruit flavours and a touch of pepperiness on the finish.
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Entwined 2016 ($20) – a blend of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. Medium lemon colour in the glass. A light lychee and floral nose. Lighter body with medium acidity that leaves a prickle on your tongue. Juicy lychee flavour. –
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Pinot Noir 2015 ($27.83) – Medium translucent garnet. A light vanilla and red cherry nose. Dry, light body with medium acidity. Red cherry flavours with a touch of vanilla and floral toward the finish. Light tannins.
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Merlot 2016 ($27.27) – Medium-plus translucent garnet. A mix of aromas; chocolate, ripe black cherries, a touch of capsicum and some dustiness. Dry, medium-minus body, lean with medium acidity. Leafy/capsicum, red cherries and light red plum flavours. Drying tannins on the finish. –
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Pulcinella 2017 ($27.83 – out of stock at the winery) – Made from Zweigelt grapes in an Italian style according to the tasting room person. Pulcinella is a trickster marionette in an Italian opera. This wine has a medium intensity translucent mix of garnet and ruby colours. A light, sweet fruit nose and a touch of sweet spices. This wine is dry, semi-round with medium acidity and lighter tannins. Candied cherries, vanilla and some dark berry flavours. Touches of sweetness and floral. A puckering finish. –
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Lumiere d’Hiver Blanc ($25.22) – a Vin Deux Natural wine style of Southern France. Made from the Ortega grape. It has a medium intensity lemon colour. A sweet nose with a candied lemon aroma. Medium sweet, smooth and round with a thicker mouthfeel. Subdued citrus, apple and stone fruit flavours, plus a touch of sweet spices.
Marionette Vineyards and Winery Lumiere d’Hiver Noir ($25.22) – a Vin Deux Natural wine style of Southern France. A light translucent garnet. A light intensity nose with candied red fruits, vanilla, citrus and candied cranberry aromas. Medium-plus body, semi-sweet, with a round mouthfeel. Not heavy. Red fruits, red apples, sweet spices and a touch of pepperiness on the finish.