The Goods from Published on Main
Vancouver, BC | Published on Main (3593 Main Street) and Okanagan Valley winery Ursa Major are ready to release their anticipated collaborative wine, ‘Heavy is The Head’, starting Tuesday, July 18, 2023. The riesling, pinot gris, and gewürztraminer white wine blend has been in the works since last fall, and will be available exclusively at Published on Main.
‘Heavy is The Head’ is part of Ursa Major’s debut Stoneface Vineyard wine collection. The Stoneface Vineyard is situated atop the Naramata bench, a place that has blossomed under the organic farming practices of Rajen and Bree Toor since they took over the lease in 2021. With its steep, South West orientation and flourishing biodiversity, the vineyard has, in just two years, matured into a remarkable establishment.
“It’s been an incredible journey working with Rajen and Bree of Ursa Major in developing and creating ‘Heavy is The Head’, especially since it utilises organic grapes from their new Stoneface Vineyard,” says Jayton Paul, wine director, Published on Main. “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of being part of the process from harvesting to bottling, and now to see the wine come to fruition is a great feeling. We are very proud of this white wine blend as it will be a wonderful accompaniment to our menu and perfect for the summer season.”
The name ‘Heavy is The Head’ is a nod to the successes both Paul, who was named Michelin Guide Vancouver’s inaugural Sommelier of the Year, and Rajen have enjoyed this past year, as a reminder of the responsibility success carries.
Viticulture-wise, the grapes were organically farmed by hand, in an area that is rocky and calcareous with alluvial soils and giant granite stones jutting out from the soil, crumbling down into sandy loam at the bottom. Tasting notes include apple blossom, lemon cake, green mango, rock salt, passionfruit brioche, and tajine spice.
The Winemaking Process
The riesling and pinot gris were harvested on October 16, 2023, direct pressed and then co-fermented together in stainless steel with ambient yeast from the vineyard and cellar. The gewürztraminer was harvested much earlier, direct pressed right into neutral puncheons, where it barrel fermented with ambient yeast from the vineyard and cellar.
The riesling/pinot gris portion was then racked into neutral barriques where it finished primary and secondary fermentations. The gewürztraminer was kept on its gross lees for 8 months with once a month battonage. 15ppm of sulphur was added to both after malolactic, they were blended a month before bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. Both portions were only racked once and left on lees for the entirety of elevage undisturbed.
“We are thrilled to work with Jayton and his team in creating this special wine,” adds Rajen of Ursa Major. “Bree and I love sharing what we do with our friends in the industry, and it was great to invite them over to help us harvest and bottle ‘Heavy is The Head’. We can’t wait for people to have the chance to enjoy this new white wine blend.”
‘Heavy is The Head’ will be available by-the-glass at Published on Main ,starting Tuesday, July 18, 2023. In addition, Bar Susu Pop-Up is hosting a special Meet the Winemaker event on the same day. Beginning at 5 p.m., guests can meet Rajen and order wines from Ursa Major’s new Stoneface Vineyard release by-the-glass or as part of a curated flight, including ‘Heavy is The Head’, ‘Sham Savere’ (riesling/pinot gris), and ‘Exile, Love & Misunderstandings’ (gamay).
For more information about Ursa Major, please visit www.ursamajorwinery.com.
For more information about Published on Main, please visit www.publishedonmain.com.