Poplar Grove Winery

February 10, 2012 

Details


425 Middle Bench Road North | Penticton, BC V2A 8S5
Telephone: 250-493-9643
Web: www.poplargrove.ca | Facebook | Twitter

Gallery

The People of Poplar Grove Winery

Owners: Tony Holler, Ian Sutherland, Barrie Sali
Executive Winemaker: Ian Sutherland
Winemaker: Stefan Arnason
Assistant Winemaker: Nadine Allander
Viticulturist: Valeria Tait
Winery Administrator: Jacquie Carlson
Sales & Marketing Director: Laurie Barnes
Wine Club Manager: AJ Tolton

About Poplar Grove Winery

Poplar Grove Winery is located on the slopes of the Naramata Bench, a premier wine growing area just outside Penticton, British Columbia. One of the original 5 wineries on the Naramata Bench, Poplar Grove was founded in 1993 when Ian Sutherland dedicated 2.5 acres of land to the planting of Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. The first vintage was released in the fall of 1995, with the Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc receiving top honours at the Okanagan International Wine Festival. Over the past 19 years, Poplar Grove’s vision has remained the same: to make world-class wines that reflect the spirit of the Okanagan Valley terroir. Each year, the wine making team handcrafts the Poplar Grove wines with care, being true to their mandate to guide the winemaking process with little or no interruption of the natural process.

In 2007, Tony Holler became Poplar Grove’s majority owner and President, with Ian Sutherland and Barrie Sali completing the new ownership team. The Holler family brought with them 110 acres of prime vineyard sites located throughout the Southern Okanagan Valley, appropriately named Holler Estate Vineyards. The addition of the new vineyards allows Poplar Grove wines to be made from 100% estate grown fruit. The viticulture team supports the estate vineyards by practicing a sustainable farming program that works with the complexity and variability of the individual vineyards resulting in grapes that are the optimum expression of the local terroir. Ian Sutherland continues as the Executive Winemaker at Poplar Grove. In 2008, Stephan Arnason took on the position of Winemaker and in 2011, Nadine Allandar was named Assistant Winemaker. Together the wine making team hand-crafts wines from the quality fruit harvested from each of the estate vineyards with the goal of guiding the process to allow the true expression of the fruit to shine through.

Poplar Grove is focused on six core wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a signature blend called The Legacy. The grapes are hand picked & hand sorted to guarantee that only the finest fruit makes it into the ferment. A barrel aging and bottle cellaring program have been implemented to ensure the wines are released when they are ready to drink. Poplar Grove white wines are released the year following harvest to preserve the primary fruit flavours. The red wines spend a minimum of 18 months maturing in French Oak barrels and an additional 18 – 30 months developing in the bottle so that they can be enjoyed upon release.

July 2010 was an exciting month for Poplar Grove as it marked the official launch of the Poplar Grove Wine Club. The spirit behind the wine club is to ensure that fans of Poplar Grove receive a guaranteed selection of Poplar Grove’s most sought after wines each year. Members receive the benefit of access to Poplar Grove’s limited release & member’s only wines, a 10% discount off all Poplar Grove wines purchased direct from the winery, early access to new release & library wines, and inspired wine recipes with each shipment.

On July 1st, 2011, the doors to Poplar Grove’s brand new, 9500 square foot, state-of-the-art winery opened. Designed to appreciate the natural landscape and topography, the new winery space is home to a working winery, a showcase barrel hall, and an expansive tasting room. The winery’s contemporary design features wall-to-wall panoramic windows that create a tasting room experience where visitors have the chance to sip award wining wines while enjoying one of the finest views the Okanagan Valley has to offer. Poplar trees, lavender, iris and Russian sage have been planted on the property to incorporate the local flora into the winery landscaping. Within the new Munson Mountain estate vineyard, Poplar Grove included foundation plants to harmonize with biodynamic principals, including hard fescue, red clover and bluegrass. The vineyard edges are lined with crested wheatgrass, wild mustard and annual rye.

On the horizon for 2012 is the opening of The Vanilla Pod, a year-round destination restaurant at Poplar Grove Winery that will feature cuisine inspired by fresh and seasonal local ingredients and, of course, Poplar Grove’s award winning wines. Executive Chef Bruno Terroso brings both a passion for the local cuisine and a natural creativity in the preparation of innovative spectacular dishes. Restaurant owners, Paul and Sheila Jones, are looking forward to welcoming guests to enjoy an inspired meal while taking in one of the most breathtaking views in the Okanagan Valley.

Each year, in addition to the 6 core wines, Poplar Grove’s wine making team makes a small amount of exclusive wine crafted for Poplar Grove’s Wine Club members, and in the very near future, for diners at the winery’s new restaurant, The Vanilla Pod. These exclusive wines include the CSM (a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot blend), the Syrah-Viognier, a Reserve Chardonnay, and the Munson Mountain Pinot Gris. The limited release wines offer the wine making team an opportunity to create single vineyard and small lot wines that exhibit the vibrant characteristics of the vintage.

Over the years, the winery has gained a reputation for producing quality, award-winning wines. Most recently, Poplar Grove’s Syrah 2008 was the only Canadian winery awarded a Gold medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards. The Cabernet Franc 2007 won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines and the Poplar Grove Merlot 2006 won Double Gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships.

Poplar Grove’s star is on the rise. With the new state-of-the art winery & signature restaurant, 100% premium estate grown fruit, and a clear vision for the future, Poplar Grove Winery looks forward to welcoming wine lovers to their corner of the wine world.

For more information on Poplar Grove Winery, visit the website at www.poplargrove.ca.

Recent Reviews & Awards

GOLD medal Decanter World Wine Awards – Poplar Grove Syrah 2008

BRONZE medal Decanter World Wine Awards – Poplar Grove Cab Franc 2008

Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines – Poplar Grove Syrah 2007

DOUBLE GOLD medal All Canadian Wine Championships – Poplar Grove Merlot 2006

90/100 Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2007
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

When BC red wine is clean it usually has all the rest of the ingredients to jumps up my quality chart. Take this cabernet franc for instance. Love the ripe tobacco, cherry jam, vanilla, violet aromas and the similarly ripe, round, rich, dry palate. The tannins are present but fine-grained with savoury, soft varietal-ly correct franc black fruit and sage flavours that go long with finesse. Bravo. You can drink now or keep this for another two years for perfection. T-bone steaks anyone? – Tony Gismondi

89/100 Poplar Grove Merlot 2006
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Expect a lovely rich version of merlot here with plenty of sweet oak and bright fruit with a savoury dried herbs undercurrent. Big and form with a slightly lean undercarriage. Try now with roasted meats or wait three years to full maturity. All this needs is a bit more finesse. Well done. – Tony Gismondi

89/100 Poplar Grove Reserve Chardonnay 2010
Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Much better style in the reserve with its butter, light lees, pineapple fruit and underlying richness. Love the baked apple entry and the French oak, both of which are still interacting. Dry long buttery tarte tatin notes with nutty, oily pineapple fruit and ripe red apples. This wine needs another three years to settle down and work with the likes of halibut and fresh fruit salsa, abalone or lobster.