Welcome to the Rollingdale Winery Blog :)
The Spring Wine Festival started off with cool and grey weather. As the week moved on the warm Okanagan sun came out with the crowds. Lots of fun, interactive events took place at multiple wineries. Rollingdale had great success with the “Learn the Art of Viticulture” exercise (formally know as “Sucker Club”). We had a great turn out of eager learners. Spring is a very exciting time in the vineyard. The vines begin to come back to life after winter dormancy. The scraggily trunks and canes begin to show off the bud burst and first green leaves.
Duties in the vineyard included: suckering (removing buds growing on the trunks), weeding around the trunks, stringing out the hopper tape, tying down the canes to the fruiting wire and planting cuttings. Our helpers had so much fun that some are still out in the vineyard helping even though the festival is over! It is very rewarding to spend a day or half day in the peaceful, organic vineyard and then take home some wine to sip and appreciate the labour and love that goes into every bottle.
We are moving some dirt around! The expansion of our parking lot will offer more spaces for vehicles to park, and will also open up more availability for events! Perfect for weddings, bbqs and concerts! Look forward to more fun socials at Rollingdale this summer or book your own party!
Mike and Mike of http://mnonline.ca/ visited Rollingdale to taste some wine a make a video blog! We had a great time with these fun, wine loving guys. You can check out the video here: http://www.bcwineries.net/profiles/blogs/mn-online-bc-wine-road-trip-2
On a recent trip to Tofino, Winemaker Joe and myself were delighted in indulge in a five course tasting menu paired with Rollingdale wines at The Spotted Bear Bistro. Chef Vincent has quite the list of experience in fine dinning restaurants in Vancouver and abroad. His talent shines in his newly opened bistro. On a rainy February night in Tofino, we shared some wine, laughs and great tastes of west coast cuisine.
Tuna Tartar on Avocado Puree
2008 Organic Luminescence
Scallop on Israeli Couscous with Roasted Roma Tomato
and Spot Prawn Sea Foam
Lamb and Lentil Curry with Kale, Carrots and Yoghurt
2008 Organic Pinot Noir
Beef Tenderloin on Shitake Mushrooms with Creamy Grainy Mustard Sauce
2007 La Gauche Cabernet Sauvignon
Individual Warm Chocolate Cake with Whipping Cream
2008 Organic Pinot Gris Icewine
My favourite dish was the first course. The richness of the avocado matched the round mouth feel of the Chardonnay. But the cool climate acidity kept up with the bright lime flavours in the dish. The tuna was so fresh. What a pure pairing!
Joe's favourite was the lamb curry. It had all the flavours of the spices but with out the heat that might have overwhelmed the wine. It was a rich blend of earthy flavours, perfectly in balance with the subtle flavours of the Pinot Noir.
The entire evening was magical.
Cheers Chef Vincent!
Rollingdale had a great weekend up at the Sun Peaks Icewine Festival 2010! Kristy, the top bartender at the Okanagan Grand Hotel created a classy icewine cocktail called the Rollingdale Raspberry. You can make this cocktail at home or soon you can enjoy a glass at the Okanagan Grand Hotel, where it will be available on the menu.
Stemware: Champagne Flute
1 oz 2007 Rollingdale Certified Organic Pinot Noir Icewine
1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
1/4 oz Hibiscus Syrup (available at specialty food stores)
Pour into a Champagne Flute
Top off with a dry sparkling wine
Garnish with a candied Hibiscus Flower
The perfect romantic icewine cocktail for Valentines Day!
Today people are very concerned with how their produce is grown. What about the wine that is paired with carefully selected goods in the kitchen? There aren't too many organic wine growers and wine makers in Canada, but the demand for organic wine is rising. The rewards for searching out these wines are tasted in the glass and felt in the body. To learn more about Canadian organic wines check out this article in the Vancouver Sun:/assets/client/file/Organic%20Wines,%20Vancouver%20Sun%202010.pdf
Below is a photo of one of Rollingdale's certified organic vineyards in West Kelowna. Notice all of the life in the vineyard, it is home to many plants and animals because it is chemical free. Also, the yellow ribbon that runs down every row is a pest control method, it is large fly tape to catch leaf hoppers. This photo was taken in September 2009.
The 2007 La Gauche Cabernet Sauvignon was rated four stars (out of five) by wine writer Michael Botner in Okanagan Life's November/December issue. Michael notes "Richly concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon delivers nuanced flavous of blueberry, olive, dark chocolate, smoke and cedar, framed by fine tannins. It calls for grilled lamb chops." Good pairing Michael!
Now Now that the cold temperatures have set in, the vines go into dormancy for the winter months. This is the time of year to cut back all of the 2009 growth, so that in 2010 there will be controlled new growth. Two to three canes (canes are the shoots from 2009 that have hardened into wood) will be kept per vine. Two are kept for the next year’s growth. In cool climates it is good idea to keep three canes for insurance purposes against winter damage. It's a tricky task, almost like a puzzle. It is important to cut the right canes, because they can't be glued back on.
In the photo above, Kyp the Vineyard Manager, is pruning Marechal Foch. The canes from two rows will be kept in one aisle so that they are easy to collect and take to the compost pile.
The last bin of Cabernet Sauvignon was crushed today. All the juice and must is now in the cellar. The winery is alive with the sweet scent of grape juice and the yeasty aromas of the fermentations. The 2009 vintage is looking to be a good year. There were less grapes due to the winter damage of 2008/2009. Frost set in earlier than usual (mid October), encouraging an early harvest. Despite the hurry, the quality is top notch.
The wine shop is open as long as we are down in the cellar working on the wines. To avoid disappointment, call ahead. 250.769.9224
The estate certified organic Pinot Gris was harvested on October 4th the same morning the moon was full. The fruit was was perfect. Harvesting by the moon is a biodynamic practice. Rollingdale is not biodynamic, but it is a thought for future farming. Below, a bin of healthy hand harvested Pinot Gris clusters.