Friday, December 22, 2006

Wine Maker's Nude Running Plans Shelved!

Chinese authorities have put the lid on a planned mass streaking sponsored by a beverage/wine maker as a demonstration against excessive packaging . . .

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Okanagan Named Most Interesting Wine Region

Paul Gregutt, writing for the Seattle Times, has named Canada's Okangan Valley as one of two
most interesting wine regions in the world.

Paul is a respected wine writer of considerable repute. This article was first brought to my attention by a note in Tom Wark's Fermentation blog. Click on both the headline and the Fermentation link.

Dave Ott

Dave Ott, originally uploaded by Dexwriter.

Wine Access Awards

It's not the newest of stories but the Wine Access magazine awards are in the current issue on the stands right now.
Township 7 made out quite well with a bronze and a silver for our 2005 Semillon and 2004 Chardonnay respectively. Noticed my old haunt Stag's Hollow had some kudos tossed their way as well. Use the link in the headline if you need some guidance on last minute holiday shopping.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vines Face Trouble In Early Okanagan Winter

Cold snaps that started in the last days of October and continue on the run-up to Christmas are a mixed result for Okanagan grape growers.
Wine makers and growers who leave grapes for ice wine have had text book conditions for the delicacy and should have no problem producing a stellar sticky. Sub zero temps (C) through part of November and into December were unseasonable early. This results in bigger, fatter less atrophied clusters and allows the traditionally stingy yields to be little more bountiful.
On the other hand, vines were still not completely shut-down when the cold weather arrived. There could be some damage, especially to young plants, but the truth won't be revealed until spring. In the mean time, viticulturists and experienced growers are advising growers to delay their pruning until vine health can be assessed. Growers may have to go easy on their pruning should the vines have fewer viable buds than in past years.
Killing freezes have been few and far between in recent years. Old timers associated with the wine business recall 1978 and 1985 as the last true killers, with 1996 causing some frigid trouble as well. Since that time the Okanagan Valley has transformed from a grower of labrusca and hybrid varieties to a stable of vinifera thoroughbreds that have never had to face the extreme temperatures of winter over a sustained period. Some doubt the ability of varieties such as Merlot to be as winter hardy as required.
It all started just before Halloween when temperatures plunged to -5 to -7C over at least two nights. Many growers still had late varieties on the vine and others had failed to address irrigation system preventative maintenance issues in a timely fashion; their pipes froze and burst.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Busy Winery

As I've mentioned before, I often get questions and remarks about the wine business this time of the year. Usually it's : What are you guys up to? You must have a lot of time on your hands, I mean, the grapes are all in, the wine is made, what have you got going?

Depending on the operation, there's still lots to do.

Many wineries in my area are busy with ice wine ferments that can take an inordinate amount of time in relation to a regular table wine ferment.

Producers of sparkling wine in the traditional methode champenoise will be assessing their base stock and considering blending. There's also all the specialized packaging that needs to be ordered for this process.

Table wines need to be assessed and the process of clarification and filtering will be initiated. This varys from winery to winery but all wine makers are looking for stability. Once that wine goes into consumer packaging the winery and the wine maker don't want some kind of radical, uncontrolled change occuring that can lead to spoilage or a perceived lack of value (hazy).

Depending where you are and who supplies you - there's a need about now to finalize details on bottles, corks, screwtops, labels and, on top of all that, you better have your vines ordered for next season's planting projects.

There's no shortage of things to do... just a shortage of hours to do them in.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Township 7 Okanagan Wine Shop Winter Hours

People keep asking when the Township 7 Okanagan wine shop is open and so I thought I would quickly post the news . . .

The shop is open at noon until 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the 'off-season' or winter.

Drop by and pick up your Christmas wine. Maybe we can taste a barrel or two if you catch me lurking about.

The Langley store has more open hours. Check the website or call 604-532-1766 for details.

We have a limited amount of 2004 Reserve Merlot available if you're looking for that special holiday offering for one you love or perhaps one you'd like to have love you. If someone gave me some I'd be inclined to love that gifter.