Vanessa Vineyard is proud to announce Howard Soon as our Master Winemaker. A pioneer in the BC wine industry, he has been awarded with innumerable accolades and established many firsts in the province, including the first to release a series of single vineyard designated wines.
“I’ve worked with Vanessa Vineyard grapes since its founding, and believe it is unlike any other vineyard due to the site’s unique topography, climatic conditions, and soil types – the perfect combination for making truly distinctive wine. When we first started getting fruit from Vanessa for Sandhill Wines we saw the potential, and when I tried our first vintage of Cabernet Franc I was blown away.” said Howard Soon, Master Winemaker. “I’m excited to go back to the workbench, it will be refreshing to be hands-on with these small productions. I believe this special terroir is the best site for growing premium reds in Canada.”
Vanessa Vineyard is situated high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley with red grapes cultivated on sloping terrain. The vines grow in rows of rock, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights, thus bestowing complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive. A burgeoning appellation, the Similkameen Valley is touted as “the next great Canadian wine region.”
Viticulturist Robert Goltz comments, “I’ve been planting vines in the Okanagan for over 40 years and in the Similkameen since the NAFTA grape pullout. From the start, we recognized the Vanessa site was ideal for premium reds, there is just so much sun exposure in the summer and the rocks were both a huge problem and an advantage.”
“Over the past decade we’ve worked closely with Howard. He helps growers and everyone else excel at their craft in the expertise he provides. He is unique among winemakers in giving us such incredibly detailed feedback on exactly what he’s looking for on the palate so that we can make changes in the vineyard to meet the precise flavour profile he’s trying to achieve in the fruit. Now that he’s with Vanessa, he will have even more freedom to continue this,” Goltz said.
“We aspire to produce the best red wines in the country and are proud to have a winemaker of Soon’s expertise on our journey. With this premier site and an extraordinary winemaking and viticulture team, we can craft profound wines that reflect this truly distinctive vineyard,” said Suki Sekhon, co-founder Vanessa Vineyard.
A living legend, for over three decades Howard Soon has been on the leading edge of winemaking innovation. Originally a brewmaster, a taste for more creativity saw him join the fledgling BC wine industry in 1980. Amongst numerous other milestones, Howard was the first winemaker in the province to receive a Gold Medal at the Chardonnay du Monde in France; release a series of single vineyard designated wines; and sweep the Canadian Wine Awards receiving Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year and Winery of the Year — the only winery to ever win all three. Most recently, Soon was recognized at the 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival Celebrating Excellence Awards with the highly coveted Spirited Industry Professional. His collaborative relationships with growers led him to Vanessa Vineyard in 2006, where working with their viticulture team, he oversaw the planting of their vineyard. He subsequently purchased the vast majority of their grapes for his highly-acclaimed Sandhill Vanessa Vineyard wines. In 2017 Howard “retired” after 37 years with one of Canada’s largest wine companies to focus on truly small lot winemaking as Master Winemaker for Vanessa Vineyard.
Vanessa Vineyard Opens Highly Anticipated New Tasting Room in Similkameen Valley
350th Winery to Open in British Columbia
CAWSTON, BC – AUGUST 1, 2017: Vanessa Vineyard is thrilled to announce the opening of their new tasting room in the ruggedly beautiful Similkameen Valley. Inspired by the region’s natural grandeur, Vanessa Vineyard’s tasting room is elegant in its simplicity, incorporating the unique local terrain. A burgeoning appellation, the Similkameen Valley is touted as “the next great Canadian wine region.”
In celebration of Vanessa Vineyard’s opening, a ribbon cutting is scheduled from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm today with local dignitaries including MLA Linda Larson and MP Dan Albas; and a public grand opening party is planned for August 11th from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
“Over one million tourists will visit British Columbia wineries this year with BC wine tourism generating $246 million in revenue for the economy,” said Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. “What’s impressive about these numbers is that most BC wineries and grapegrowers are independent, family-owned farmers like Vanessa Vineyard,” adds Prodan. “It’s exciting to see these small businesses grow and expand to offer visitors a farm-to-glass experience that showcases the wines of the Similkameen Valley.”
Vanessa Vineyard, comprising 75 acres of extremely rocky terrain, is situated on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley. Planted in 2006 under the guidance of renowned viticulturists Robert Goltz and Richard Cleave, the quantity of rocks on the site initially made vineyard development exceedingly challenging. The rocks, however, are a key asset to the property’s unique terroir, allowing day heat to be harnessed and imparted throughout the cooler nights enabling the fruit to produce flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive. In 2012 the owners Suki Sekhon and John Welson transitioned from grape growers to vintners. After ensuring the fruit was of superior quality, they began crafting small quantities of fine red wine. The new tasting room is a short 19 minute drive from Osoyoos and is located at 1090 Highway 3, Cawston, BC. Daily summer hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
“Despite our literal very rocky start a decade ago in planting the land, we’re thrilled with the reception our grapes and wines received right out of the gate. From the beginning Sandhill’s Vanessa Vineyard wines, followed by our own Vanessa Vineyard wines have shown remarkably well,” said Suki Sekhon, co-owner Vanessa Vineyard. “This critical acclaim from competitions and critics, gave us the confidence to proceed with building a tasting room inspired by our strikingly beautiful Valley”.
John Welson co-owner, Vanessa Vineyard remarks, “to produce Vanessa Vineyard wines, we start with 100% estate grown grapes that reflect the unique terroir of our vineyard and then use traditional wine making techniques and blends to produce wines of original character.”
Suggested tweet: New @VanessaVnyrd Opens ‘Modern Rustic’ Tasting Room in burgeoning #Similkameen Valley #wine region, 350th BC winery http://ow.ly/thZI30e1khT
High Resolution images available upon request.
Carved from stone, fuelled by sun, a vineyard like no other. Vanessa Vineyard is situated high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley with grapes cultivated on sloping, well-drained terrain. The vines grow in rows of rock, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights, thus bestowing complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive. www.vanessavineyard.com
920-475 West Georgia Street | Vancouver, BC | V6B 4M9
C: +1 604-808- 6655
Starstruck! Vanessa Vineyard Debuts at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver With The First Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ceremony in Canada
VANCOUVER, BC – APRIL 13, 2016: Vanessa Vineyard is honoured to debut at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver for the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star dinner. The winery’s 2012 Syrah was chosen as the entrée wine pairing by Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver for the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Awards Ceremony this evening, the first time it has been held outside the USA in its 58-year history.
Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver was selected by Forbes to host the annual gala celebrating the worldwide recipients of the prestigious Forbes Five-Star Hotel Rating, of which Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is one. The evening will be attended by the 250 General Managers of each Forbes 5-Star property from around the world. It is the first time the event has been held internationally, and is a rare opportunity to showcase British Columbia to the world with a Pacific Northwest inspired evening.
Vanessa Vineyard is situated on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, comprising 75 acres of extremely rocky terrain. Planted in 2006 under the guidance of renowned viticulturists Robert Goltz and Richard Cleave, the quantity of rocks on the site initially made vineyard development exceedingly challenging. The rocks, however, are a key asset to the property’s unique terroir, allowing day heat to be harnessed and imparted throughout the cooler nights enabling the fruit to produce flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive. In 2012 the owners Suki Sekhon and John Welson transitioned from grape growers to vintners. After ensuring the fruit was of superior quality, they began crafting small quantities of fine wine for their two reds, a premium Syrah and Meritage.
The Vanessa Vineyard 2012 Syrah is a full-bodied wine with well-integrated tannins, superior structure and concentrated flavours. Black fruits, leather, white pepper, and chocolate notes fill the mouth layered over silky tannins. A small percentage of Viognier was co-fermented with the Syrah in the traditional northern Rhone style. Produced in a small lot of 200 cases, the 2012 vintage retails for $33.83 and is sold out. The 2013 vintage will be released in May and available at vanessavineyard.com, as well as select fine dining establishments in Vancouver and the Okanagan.
“We are very excited to be showcasing the Vanessa Vineyard Syrah as we host the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards Gala. As the Similkameen & Okanagan valleys continue to gain notoriety internationally, specifically for Syrah, we felt that Vanessa was a benchmark for B.C. in terms of its elegant styling via its Rhone Valley inspiration, without sacrificing the opulence and richness that the great reds from 2012 show. It was the perfect selection to present B.C. wine at its best for this highly influential global hospitality celebration,” said Steven Lane, Sommelier, Yew Seafood + Bar, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
“A decade ago when we first started planting, we were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of rocks on the property, which covered the majority of our arable land. This has however, proven to be a phenomenal and unique attribute in the Valley with the vineyard transcending our expectations on its ability to produce quality fruit and wine,” said Suki Sekhon, co-owner vanessavineyard.com
Vanessa Vineyard. “We were honoured when Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver approached us to provide the red wine for their Forbes Five-Star Gala. Four Seasons extraordinary level of excellence is truly worthy of the Forbes Five-Star rating and is a perfect pairing with Vanessa.”
Suggested tweet: Official @VanessaVnyrd debut @FSVancouver, 2012 Syrah paired w/
@NedBell cuisine for @ForbesInspector gala http://tinyurl.com/j5jgybm
Vanessa Vineyard is dedicated to producing wine that is true to the heritage of its terroir, which is located in one of the finest vineyard regions of Canada. Situated on the hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, Vanessa Vineyard grows its grapes on 75 acres of sloping, well-drained rocky terrain. vanessavineyard.com
920-475 West Georgia Street | Vancouver, BC | V6B 4M9
T: +1 604-689- 3800 | F: +1 604-689- 3722 C: +1 604-808- 6655