People often ask what a wine maker does this time of year. Some folks are just curious, not knowing how things are. Others are already sure that we're just loafing about, waiting for the grapes to grow ripe. Or goofing around like me and my son in the photo.
Truth is: I'm working on the 2010 vintage right now. A case could be made that I'm working on the next five, 10 and 20 vintages if you want to extend the premise.
I say this because everything I do in the next 10 months culminates in that one day in the fall when the grapes are picked and we begin to transform them into wine.
Every minute decision about the vine, about the winery and about the direction of our enterprise is reflected in the finished product.
Pinot Noir is one of the most reactive varieties when it comes to stylistic choices. "Style" can be defined in everything from vinification to cultural practices in the vineyard to the type of closure used on the bottle. Some of the other varieties seem to be able to produce consistent wines under different style regimes. But Pinot Noir walks a tightrope of quality. A consistent style allows the seasonal variations to shine in each vintage while protecting the integrity of the wine.
Black Cloud is still a young concept for a brand and a winery. There's quite a bit of style evolution to come. As an example, a year ago we were still planning to make some white wine. But we've come to realize our passion lies with Pinot Noir. That's where our focus will be.
We're still working on sourcing and growing the best fruit from our team of growers. Our plan is to do more work in the vineyards that allow our style choices to be accommodated easily. We're still working on defining what we think works best in the cellar to allow the treasures of the vineyard to be properly expressed in the bottle.
Around the world over the past year there has been tremendous change due to the global economic upheaval. It affects everyone including wine making operations. The important thing about this situation for a winery is to be adaptable and to see the change as something to embrace. It's what winemakers do every harvest; observe and accept the vintage and accommodate the change. Always with the same goal, which is to produce the best wine from the best grapes available.
For Black Cloud, that means consistently producing the best Pinot Noir in British Columbia.
Readers of this post: 2006 Black Cloud Pinot Noir is available for $19.99 + bottle deposit until January 8th, 2010. Regular price: $25.00 . Please email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will respond to arrange payment and shipping.