(posted via iPhone) Leaving Naramata’s Elephant Island winery down a dirt track this afternoon after buying a bottle of their Pink Elephant bubbly.
Nichol Vineyard is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of Wineries & Breweries. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page. Read more
Elephant Island Orchard Wines is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of member wineries and breweries here. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout page. Read more
Some drama on the Naramata Bench…
Forget about the Super Ego blend, the personality clash and sour grapes at this Naramata vineyard sound like they required a psychiatrist instead of B.C. Supreme Court.
Nevertheless, after a nasty two-year battle, it was Justice Eric Rice who stepped in last week and ousted one of Western Canada’s leading oenophiles and gave his partners control of the property he bought to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a winemaker.
The justice said the other substantive issues in the sour litigation must be resolved at a trial — the bouquet around some of the evidence leaves a little too much barnyard on the palate.
Sorry for the puns. The Vancouver Sun can’t help itself.
With our kids just about to go back to school, my wife and I are trying to squeeze as much awesomeness as we can out of the last week of the summer. We’ve just come back from a couple of days spent in Naramata and Summerland, enjoying the hospitality of our good friends Heidi and Michael at JoieFarm and experiencing the region’s first ever Feast of Fields. Read more
Wine buyers, collectors and sommeliers take note. From the Scout member mailbag comes news from Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn of Naramata’s Joie Farm:
We are happy to announce that our 2008 Vintage release commences today for the following wines: 2008 A Noble Blend, 2008 Un-Oaked Chardonnay, 2008 Rosé and 2008 Riesling.
JoieFarm offers a free pick-up day in downtown Vancouver for all Lower Mainland clients. Please indicate on the order form whether you would like to pick up your order on Saturday March 7th, 2009 or have it delivered by courier at your expense. Pick-up details will be sent to you with your order confirmation, via email.
The name JoieFarm reflects the development of our project over a five year period from producing wines out of other winery facilities, exclusively from growers’ grapes, to the building of our own winery and the planting of our own three acre vineyard, from which we will produce our first crop in 2009. JoieFarm also signals the increasing control and improvements we have made to our wines and our deep connection to the place we call home.
For more information, please check out our brand new website at www.JoieFarm.com
Scout Magazine is dedicated to supporting and promoting cool, interesting, and independent Vancouver businesses through the publication of their press releases and event information. To get your sales, promotions, news and events up on our front page, send us an email here and we’ll do our best to share it with our readers.
While it was not always apparent to Ross Hackworth that he would one day be a Naramata winery owner, as a person who appreciates fine wine, he had enjoyed the wines from Nichol Vineyard for a number of years before he bought the winery from founders Alex and Kathleen Nichol.
It’s fitting that Ross would purchase a winery in Naramata, as he grew up there and his family ran an orchard in the area. Ross started his adult life with an education in business, and based from Vancouver worked as a sales executive for many years with a major pulp and paper company. Always interested in wine and attracted to the craft, Ross would spend his spare time making wine as a home winemaker. He would make enough wine to enjoy with family and friends, but with a full time career that involved much travel he could not get too serious about winemaking. Instead, Ross’ frequent business travel and entertaining with fine dining opportunities exposed him to wines from all over the world and helped him develop his palate.
While Ross was leading an executive lifestyle, meanwhile, the Nichols opened the Naramata winery in 1993 after converting an orchard into a vineyard; in doing so they planted the first Syrah in the Okanagan: the first Syrah in Canada. While skeptics of the then-new industry thought they were crazy to plant Syrah on a cold climate site, the resulting wines likely inspired many others to plant what is now one of the Okanagan’s important red varieties.
In 1999, Ross returned to Naramata to spend weekends helping his friend restore what is now the Heritage Inn and Spa. In the process, he reconnected with his roots and bought a home in Naramata. After making wine as a hobbyist for so long he decided to take the leap and as he says, legitimize his winemaking, by taking the step of winery ownership. As he sought his own vineyard, the Nichols were preparing to retire. Serendipity. Ross and the Nichols worked out an agreement for Alex to mentor Ross for a couple of vintages, as Ross recognized that home winemaking and owning a winery are very different things! Ross was an apt student, for the quality of Nichol wines quality of Nichol wines has continued to improve.
Together they worked on the 2003 to 2005 vintages. Ross also spent long hours with Kathleen Nichol and learned the specific viticulture requirements for managing this premier site. Transition to full owner operator was completed in February of 2006.
In the vintages since, Ross has remained true to the site and fundamental Nichol style. While investing in a new winery facility, equipment and plantings of Syrah, the focus has remained on the land and it’s unique cold climate location.
About Nichol Vineyard
Village Grown, World Class, True to Our Roots
Nichol Vineyard, known among Canadian wine lovers in the know, has been operating in Naramata Village in British Columbia using 100% Naramata fruit since 1993.
Owner and winemaker Ross Hackworth’s focus is to maintain a small estate winery, striving to grow world-class wines. The recognition Ross has been receiving for his wines is testament to the work he is doing at the tiny Naramata winery. Since 2006 he has been at the helm creating premium, limited vintage wines, carrying on the tradition of the winery’s original owners and namesake, Alex and Kathleen Nichol.
The vineyards sit on a pocket of land tucked against steep, heat-radiating red granite cliffs, and are perfectly situated: under the former Kettle Valley Railway and above the deep blue Okanagan Lake. This site offers the ideal place to grow grapes that produce wines with intense fruit and bright acidity.
Looking west across from the vineyard and over Okanagan Lake, you can see the shores of Summerland and the landmark Giant’s Head Mountain. The soils at Nichol Vineyard were created during the prehistoric time when volcanic activity and glaciation provided the till, granite, bedrock and silt, which all come together to create a unique, rugged site that generates fine wines.
Since 1993 Nichol has been creating wines exclusively from grapes grown in Naramata. Our vineyards, on a pocket of land tucked against steep heat-radiating rock cliffs, are the ideal place to craft wines demonstrating intense fruit and refreshing acidity. Our soils – glacial till, granite shards, bedrock and silt – create a site that is extreme and unique. Click here to browse and purchase our wines.
2730 Aikins Loop, Naramata BC | V0H 1N0 | RR1 S5 C18
Follow Naramata Rd 9 km North to Aikins Loop
(if you get to Naramata you’ve gone to far)
Phone: 250.496.5522 | Fax: 250.496.5521
The People Who Make it Happen
Owners: Miranda & Del Halladay
Winemaker: Del Halladay
Consulting Winemaker: Christine Leroux
About Elephant Island
Elephant Island – Not your typical wine moniker…not your typical wine.
Fusing classic wine making processes with an unconventional line-up of fruits – Stella cherries, organic Bartlett pears, Goldrich apricots, Heritage raspberries, and Black Currants. Tradition with a twist, wine with a spine…this is what we aspire to create at Elephant Island. Over the last 6 years, and many bottles (ok we’ll be frank – cases) of ‘experimenting’ we have expanded the Elephant Island repertoire to include bone dry wines, lip-smacking dessert style wines, fortified wines, a port style wine, and even methode champeniose sparkling wines. All told in the 2008 vintage over 260,000 lbs of fruit were processed to produce 6,000 cases of wine.
Recognizing that our 20’s were spent consuming large quantities of beer (and being only shortly into our 30’s) we brought professional winemaker Christine Leroux in to the fold. Thank goodness Christine was up for a challenge – sure the science of winemaking is the same but in the world of Elephant Island you’re dealing not with 1 fruit with 30 different varietal expressions, you deal with 13 fruits and the exponential permutations that follow. Together we have learned what works and what doesn’t…and we’ve drunk a lot of wine. Bottom line: exceptional fruit – nothing else, stainless steel aging, and defining a style that suits the fruit.
From bone dry wines, to lip-smacking dessert style wines. Check out the line-up and reviews at www.elephantislandwine.com.
The Cocktail Program – In the company of good friends and a bottle of Grey Goose, the cocktail project was born. Mixing a little Apricot Dessert Wine 2004 with a little more Grey Goose was dangerously delicious…imagine what the professionals could come up with. Enter Chris Stearns, mixologist extraordinaire, and the results are more elegant, more refined and double the drinking pleasure for our dessert wine customers. Artisnal, handcrafted and locally grown the dessert wines offer the new generation of mixologists a beautiful addition to their well.
The Little King – A sparkling wine made in the traditional method (Methode Champenoise) crafted in the memory of our infant son Rex who died in 2002. Rex died as a result of suffocation in his mother’s hospital bed when he was 3 hours old. The Little King is dedicated to his memory and to tell his story. Committed to preventing through sharing, Miranda and Del donate all proceeds from the sale of the wine to the Rex Halladay Memorial Fund at BC Children’s Hospital which was formed to support the education of regional and rural hospitals in best codes of practice for peri- and post-natal care.