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.
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.