Saturday, December 11, 2010

What's Been Happening In the Cellar for the 2010s?

A couple weeks ago I attended an industry forum in the Okanagan Valley.  Growers, winemakers and other principals gathered to informally discuss and digest the year that was vintage 2010.

The consensus:


People that have grown grapes and made wine in the Okanagan Valley for 20, 25 and 30 years agreed it was the oddest year for weather.  It was a growing season rife with unpredictable patterns and events.

Having said that, there was also consensus that some of the curveballs that were launched by Mother Nature were not impossible to hit.  Look for more than a few home runs coming out this season. 

I'll get more information out to you soon about the wacky weather in general.  But first, I want to tell you about what is happening with Black Cloud and how we fared.

After 2009's short crop, I didn't want get caught with another small production year.  The 2009 will only be around 125 cases.  With our established vineyard source still recovering from 2008 and 2009 winter damage, we chose to engage an additional new vineyard that's just coming on-stream to guarantee 250 cases.

We're excited to start working with this young fruit and look forward to what flavours evolve as the vineyard begins to mature. Keith Loveridge has started a number of different Pinot Noir clones on his Naramata Bench ranch and from all appearances it looks like a promising site.  We took delivery of his first commercial pick in mid-October.  Being so young, there's not a lot of balance or expression of terroir established yet.  But the fruit did get some great red berry flavour.  At this time, we anticipate the Loveridge Ranch lot to end up in our Fleuvage tier.

The Remuda Vineyard in Okanagan Falls came through with flying colours.  Not quite the crop load when it is at it's best but with all the rich, structured flavour we've come to expect.  I'm confident we're going to have another remarkable Altostratus.

Both wines are now finished alcoholic fermentation and are completing malo-lactic fermentation.  Now we let the wines naturally clarify and the barrels to work their magic.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Getting Your Hands (And Lips) On Black Cloud Pinot Noir

It's true.
We only make Pinot Noir.
We decided to just specialize in this magnificent grape because it has so many different manifestations.  We're going to indulge that difference and allow each season to define itself in every cru.  For now we have the 2006 Fleuvage and the 2008 Altostratus.

Easiest way to get some? Just email . We're featuring free shipping to most parts of the Lower Mainland for the month of December.  And very reasonable rates to other places in BC and beyond.

Our current offerings:

2006 Fleuvage (.750 l)  $19.99
2008 Altostratus (.750 l) $27.99
2008 Altostratus (1.5 l) $65.00

If you'd like to patronize our re-sellers, here is an updated list:

Our fans in Alberta can get in touch with

The Wine Shop in Calgary
They carry the Altostratus and can re-sell to other licenses as well.
Here's their Facebook link

The 'A' means they carry the Altostratus. Otherwise, Fleuvage or both.
Amante - Penticton - restaurant
Bainbridge - Burnaby - liquor store
Black Iron - Penticton - restaurant (A)
Brentwood Bay - Vancouver Island - liquor store
Brewhouse @ Whistler - restaurant
Broadway Wine - Vancouver - both
Bowen Island - liquor store
Fire Fly - Vancouver - liquor store (A)
Fire Fly - Maple Ridge - liquor store- both
Garrison - Chilliwack - liquor store
Gudrun - Richmond - restaurant
Hamilton Street Grill - Vancouver - restaurant
Kits Daily Kitchen - Vancouver - restaurant (A)
Liberty Granville Island - Vancouver - wine store (A)
Naramata Heitage Inn - Naramata - restaurant (A)
Naramata Store - Naramata - liquor store
Newport Liquor Merchants - Port Moody - liquor store
Ocean Point Liquor - Squamish - liquor store
O'Hares - Richmond - liquor store
Passa Tempo - Osoyoos - restaurant (both)
Raven's on the Beach - Harrison Hot Springs - restaurant
Royal Oak Liqour Plus - Vancouver Island - liquor store
Saanich Liquor Plus - Vancouver Island - liquor store
The Strath Ale Wine & Spirits - Vancouver Island - liquor store
Squamish Liquor Store - Squamish - liquor store
Victoria Liquor Plus (Douglas) - Vancouver Island - liquor store
Whatcom Wine - Abbotsford - liquor store
Woodys - Coquitlam - liquor sotre
Yaletown Brewing Co.- Vancouver - restaurant (A)