Here at the Vault we have wines from all over the world, including Canada. Now, Canada might not be first on your list of wine producing countries but they have some ideal pockets of terroir for premium wine production. One of those regions is Okanagen, British Columbia and one of the best producers in the area is Okanagan Crushpad, producers of Haywire and Narrative wines.
One of the perks of running an independent wine shop is that producers love to visit the retail outlets of their wines. They like to see where their wines sit and what kind of shop represents them. Yesterday, Christine Colleta one of the owners of Okanagan Crushpad came to visit with her daughter Alison and they brought along a range of their wines.
Christine was pleased to tell me that just last week, the winery and vineyards had been certified organic. They have also just completed sale on a vineyard that they had been buying grapes from for many years. Crushpad have been practicing organic farming for many years and in their winemaking approach they also take a very hands off approach, using indigenous yeasts, spontaneous fermentation and no added sulfur. They also use almost exclusively concrete tanks as well as clay amphorae. The only oak they use are big old puncheons that do not impart any oak flavour and even those they use sparingly.
All that hard work can be seen in their wines. I tried all the wines but the standouts for me were the Haywire Pinot Noir, the Haywire Gamay (which we currently stock) and the Haywire Free Form unfiltered sauvignon blanc. We compared the Free Form 2015 and the 2016, the difference was amazing. They were both very good but different in character, the 2015 being very spicy with orange peel notes whereas the 2016 was full of apricot, nectarine and white peach flavours. Very interesting to see how the wine evolves over time.
I am looking forward to getting the Free Form in the shop as well as Haywire Pinot Noir. The Pinot was intense and pure with lovely cherry and raspberry fruit flavours and a hint of spice, despite there being no oak aging at all. The Haywire Gamay is smooth and supple with a good bit of structure to it and lovely fruit flavours. A real pleasure to drink.
It's always great fun to meet the producers and get a personal wine tasting session, especially when they are such great wines! The Haywire Gamay is currently available in the Grocery Wine Vault and, keep an eye out for the rest of the range coming soon!