The GOODS from Okanagan Crush Pad
Kelowna, BC | Whistler’s Samantha Rahn, wine director at Araxi Restaurant and Sommelier of the Year 2013, releases Samantha Syrah ($24.90), a wine she made at Okanagan Crush Pad winery through their Okanagan Wine Campus program, with proceeds to the BC Hospitality Foundation.
Okanagan Crush Pad, a winery in Summerland, BC, introduced the Okanagan Wine Campus series in 2011 in an effort to further British Columbia’s already rich wine and food culture. The philanthropic program aims to foster the education of professionals in the industry by connecting all facets of the wine industry, from budding professionals to industry leaders.
Each year, the winery opens its doors to the recipient of the British Columbia Sommelier of the Year award, and invites that person to create his or her own wine label at Okanagan Crush Pad. The Sommelier of the Year award has long been regarded as an industry nod to an individual who is recognized by their peers to be top in their field.
The winners of this coveted Okanagan Wine Campus award takes part in the full decision-making process that is involved in creating a wine label, from viticulture, grape selection and winemaking, to the final blending, labeling, marketing, and bottling process. The result is a unique 100-case production from which profits are redirected.
The proceeds from the sale of Wine Campus projects are donated annually to the BC Hospitality Foundation. These funds are put toward scholarships for students enrolled in recognized, accredited wine programs in British Columbia. To date, $15,000 has been awarded to 16 individuals with further scholarships.
Samantha Rahn, winner of Sommelier of the Year in 2013, balances her time between Araxi, the renowned restaurant where she has worked since 2007, and biking on the local mountains. An accomplished musician, Samantha is also a former snowboard cross racer, certified snowboard coach, and avid downhill mountain bike competitor. She selected a Syrah for her project, and the bottle presents an image of her biking on the label.
The Samantha Syrah ($24.90) is from the beautiful Cerqueira Vineyard in Oliver and is a lot like Samantha Rahn – medium bodied and robust, yet fairly soft and feminine. Layered and complex with fruity notes and a hint of spice, this wine is sure to continue improving with age.
“I believe in the quality and distinctiveness of Syrah in the Okanagan, and the wine turned out just as I had envisioned,” Rahn shares. “I wanted the spice/savoury character to display, and also show people that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to red wine.”
Okanagan Wine Campus projects to date are Kurtis Kolt (2010), Owen Knowlton (2011), Terry Threlfall (2012), and Samantha Rahn (2013).
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.”