The GOODS from Okanagan Crush Pad
Summerland, BC | Okanagan Crush Pad Winery (OCP) just celebrated its second birthday at the end of September. To celebrate, the winery received a very heavy package, just in time for 2013’s harvest. Six 4,400-litre concrete tanks, weighing a total of 39 tons, arrived from Italy to join six 2,000-litre black egg-shaped concrete tanks that the winery purchased from a supplier in Sonoma in 2011.
The new tanks had a long journey, which started at the Nico Velo factory in Vicenza, Italy, before arriving at their ultimate resting point in Summerland, BC. Nico Velo, established in 1943, makes all types of concrete prefabricated structures, from bridge columns to wine tanks, and offers first class workmanship.
The decision to purchase the concrete tanks from Nico Velo came at the urging of Okanagan Crush Pad’s consulting winemaker, Alberto Antonini, who uses the same tanks at his Poggiotondo winery in Tuscany, and is very impressed with the results. OCP winemakers Michael Bartier and Matt Dumayne concur with the idea of using concrete fermenters. Concrete had been used for centuries in winemaking, but was more or less abandoned with the arrival of stainless steel. These modern day concrete tanks take a forward-thinking approach to the old world practice. Learn more after the jump…
“Okanagan Crush Pad is my first experience using concrete tanks, and I am very impressed with the results. We now have just over 38,000 litres in concrete tank capacity,” notes Dumayne. “They have excellent fermentation kinetics such as temperature retention. The conical shape of the tank moves the fermenting juice around in a vortex, which produces wines with enhanced depth, complexity and roundness of tannins. We have found that the resulting wines have a complexity and an enhanced creamy mineral character.”
To date, Okanagan Crush Pad has made and released several wines that were fermented and aged in concrete, including the 2011 and 2012 vintages of the Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris and the recently-released and much anticipated 2011 Haywire Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir. These wines were made in Canada’s first temperature controlled egg-shaped concrete fermenters. Each wine that was created in concrete carries the “raised in concrete” trademark on the front label.
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, located in Summerland, BC, is home to Haywire and Bartier Scholefield wines, and also makes wines for other BC vintners who are seeking to establish their own wineries. Haywire wines are directed by winery owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, while Bartier Scholefield is a collaboration between OCP’s chief winemaker Michael Bartier and Scholefield family member David Scholefield. The winery team focuses on crafting natural wines that are pure expressions of the vineyards they were grown on. The winery is open seasonally June 1 to September 15 and by appointment off season. For more information visit www.okanagancrushpad.com.
Christine Coletta, Owner Steve Lornie, Owner Michael Bartier, Chief Winemaker Matt Dumayne, Associate Winemaker Julian Scholefield, Operations Manager David Scholefield, Wine advisor Alberto Antonini, Consulting viticulturist & winemaker Leeann Froese, Marketing and Communications Alison Scholefield, Brand Manager Whitney Law, order desk and THE Club @ Crush Pad
About Okanagan Crush Pad
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, is based in beautiful Summerland, British Columbia, overlooking the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard site and Lake Okanagan. The winery is home to Haywire and Bartier Scholefield, as well as other brands that have been made at the custom crush facility. With a team of dedicated industry leaders, OCP’s mantra has been to improve the quality of Okanagan wines through shared space and ideas. Since September 2011, the winery has opened its doors to provide home to smaller producers and growers within the Okanagan Valley, while focusing on their own boutique line of hand crafted wines. Keeping with the philosophy that less is more, grapes are handled with minimal intervention with an eye on pure fruit expression that accentuates the Okanagan’s distinctive terroir. Aided by six concrete egg fermenters by Sonoma Cast Stone, Okanagan Crush Pad is the first Canadian winery to introduce these modern vessels to the market. Okanagan Crush Pad boasts an impressive state of the art facility, but owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie stress that it is their winery team that remains the hallmark of their success. Respected winemaker, Michael Bartier is an Okanagan native that has a refined understanding of the valley. Coupled with the global experience of internationally acclaimed wine consultant Alberto Antonini and OCP’s wine advisor David Scholefield, the team strives to create distinctive, quality driven BC wines. The winery is responsible for the boutique labels Haywire and Bartier Scholefield but is equally committed to bringing small producers from field to market. The winery is not open regularly to the public but is designed to be a shared working space for winemakers to work closely together. Tastings and visits to the winery can be made by appointment through Alison Scholefield at Alison@okanagancrushpad.com.
Bartier Scholefield Rosé Review on Tim Pawsey’s www.HiredBelly.com | “Bartier Scholefield 2010 Rosé gets better every time we taste it. Looks pretty too. Lovely salmon colour in the glass, raspberry earthy notes on top.” Recommendation in Georgia Straight by Jurgen Gothe | This one delivers hints of ripe strawberries as well as truffles—no mean feat!—for an intriguing—guess the grapes, Uncle Frank!—dinner companion. Not-quite-salmon-but-beyond-apricot is the colour. Think I could sell that to Sherwin-Williams? Great, crisp finish. Bartier Scholefield White Review by Christopher Waters in The London Free Press, 24 Hours Edmonton, 24 Hours Vancouver, Fort MacMurray Today | It boasts terrific integration and focused peach/apricot character that makes real the cliché that a blended wine is better than the sum of its parts. Made in a unoaked, old school way to amplify the flavours that came with the fruit, you could say it’s a “no B-S white.” Haywire Pinot Gris One of Julianna Hayes Top Wine Picks for 2011 – Okanagan Saturday | “Intense aromas of pear, golden apple, yellow grapefruit and lemon meringue pie. Delivers all that character on the palate with mineral and mouthwatering acidity. Stylish. Reviewed by Kasey Wilson in The Globe and Mail | It’s a deliciously pure, fresh white that displays citrus and delicate mineral nuances highlighting our lighter West Coast cuisine. Influential Tuscan-born winemaker Alberto Antonini acts as a consultant to Haywire, helping craft terroir-driven wines like this one. Review in Tidings by Harry Herstscheg, 89 points | Fragrant orchard blossoms tease the nose, while ripe pear flavour rides lemony acidity along a crisp, lively palate. Generous lees contact gives a rounder mouthfeel. Flinty minerality lingers. Haywire Rosé Reviewed in the Okanagan Sunday | “Haywire 2010 Rose ($25) – Cranberry, cherry, blood orange with some earthy notes. Refreshing.” Review in Tidings by Harry Herstscheg, 88 points | “Attractive salmon pink colour. Delightful scents of all manner of red fruit. Bright cherry and cranberry flavour upfront set up lean, lingering mineral notes. Haywire Pinot Noir Reviewed in Vines magazine | On the nose this has pleasing strawberry and pepper notes. The palate keeps that same delicious peppery character, with the addition of cherry and some subtle herbaceous hints. Some slight grip from fine tannins adds structure and great acidity on the finish rounds out this truly enjoyable wine.”