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
The world’s best wine growing appellations have relatively poor, inhospitable soils, which while not ideal for most types of agriculture, are perfect for growing vinifera grapes. One of the most important factors in the terroir of a vineyard is the dirt, or should we say rocks? At the heart of our vineyard, it is mostly rocky/stony soil. Due to the quantity of rocks on the site, our vineyard development was initially challenging and actually broke our industrial-sized rock crusher! Although at first viewed as burdensome, the rocks have became a key asset for the soils.
Vineyard soils have a major influence on wine character and taste, hence the French expression, goût de terroir or “taste of the earth”. Grapevine roots are remarkable, they can penetrate dozens of feet into soil in their search for water and nutrients, and they continue to grow throughout the vines’ lives. This means that the physical properties of the soil are important and its minerality fundamental to growing premium grapes.
Gravel soils allow for superior drainage, which is paramount to the vines and grapes. Winemakers are so convinced of this, some have gone to extremes to study the differences. Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon fame, for example conducted a wacky experiment adding rocks directly to wine to investigate their influence on flavour, which he believes added, “far more complexity and greater persistence on the palate”. UK wine writer Jamie Goode explores this in depth in his book, The Science of Wine from Vine to Glass.
Although we do not literally add rocks to our wine, the abundant rocks in our soil at Vanessa beneficially act to stress the vines. They also reflect sunshine to the leaves and berries, and allow the day heat to be harnessed and imparted throughout the cooler nights, thereby aiding in the ripening process. Additionally, our gentle sloping hillside and southwest exposure are optimal for the vines as they directly benefit from the afternoon sun, which contributes to the lengthening of the growing season and the production of intensely ripe fruit. With these factors the fruit is able to capture the minerality of the soils on which it grows that are unique to the land, and allows Vanessa Vineyard to produce fruit of the highest quality, with flavours and minerality that are distinctive.
It is this delightful sensation of minerality that is so prized among many wine enthusiasts and with Valentine’s approaching, we love that we have a stony heart…
“It may be the best wine appellation you’ve driven through but have yet to visit…” Anthony Gismondi the wine writer for the Vancouver Sun, commented earlier this month on the elegant wines of the Similkameen. He along with many other prominent wine writers across the globe have recently had our pristine Valley in their sights.
A similar perspective was reflected across the pond, “The Similkameen Valley is a peaceful yet dramatic place. Running parallel to the Okanagan, it lacks the lakes, but makes up scenery wise by being hemmed in moodily by mountains. The valley has an almost alpine feel, and I reckon this is one of the most exciting viticultural areas in Canada. As yet, however, its potential is somewhat untapped…” Wow! Jamie Goode, renown British wine critic recently visited the Similkameen and wrote about it’s huge potential. Noting, the uniqueness of our region which due to the lack of a lake effect tends to have a more extreme climate than the Okanagan. The results are larger diurnal temperature swings and frequent strong winds. The benefits of this are low disease pressure and preservation of acidity. He comments, “This is a huge advantage, because we have here a combination of what looks like quite a warm climate (in terms of growing degree days it’s the same as Australia’s Yarra Valley), with the ability to make wines that are fresh with good acidity.” Jamie concludes, “There aren’t a lot of vines here in the Similkameen – just 600 acres or so – but there’s a lot of potentially fine vineyard land here that’s not planted yet. A region to watch.”
In La Belle Province, Montreal Gazette’s wine critic Bill Zacharkiw had a similar take on the Valley’s terroir, “Another really interesting region is the Similkameen. Just to the west of the Okanagan, it has a completely different feel to the Okanagan. The wines tend to be crisper, more European, and there is very much a “vigneron culture.” You can find nearly every grape there and it seems every winery does something really well. Orofino’s gamay, Little Farm’s riesling, Vanessa Vineyard’s syrah, Courcelette’s Chasselas-based blend, Clos du Soleil’s white Bordeaux-styled — the list is long. The Similkameen is beautiful and the wines are truly worth investigating.”
We’re excited for what the future holds for our Valley. Stay tuned for more exciting developments for Vanessa (and no doubt in the Valley as a whole) in the coming year!
Gotham Steakhouse, located at 615 Seymour Street in Vancouver, is one of the city’s premier steakhouses. The beautiful art deco-inspire space boasts an extensive wine list that includes our very own Vanessa Vineyard 2012 Syrah. We recently had the chance to sit down with Gotham manager, Brian Parker, to talk all things wine and steak.
Have you ever wondered what a Syrah wine is? Or whether it bears any similarity to a Shiraz or a Petite Sirah? Let us walk you through a brief history of Syrah so you can become a well-versed wine enthusiast.
Syrah is one of the darkest red wines you can find today. It is full-bodied and has a medium to high level of tannins, depending on the terroir it is grown in. While flavours vary in Syrah wines, those that are often noted include dark berries, pepper, chocolate and espresso. In our Vanessa Vineyard 2012 Syrah, notes of black fruits, leather, white pepper, and chocolate fill the mouth over silky tannins.Read More
Whatever the occasion, impress your guests by following these basic tips for a perfectly served wine. It will make you look and feel like the ultimate host.
Have you ever been underwhelmed by a well-rated wine? Odds are that one of the following steps was missed by the server. Many factors go in to how a wine tastes – from the serving temperature to the type of wine glass you use. Here is a brief overview of tips, from the Wine Spectator, to help you bring out your inner sommelier.Read More
Our 2012 Meritage is a full-bodied blend with excellent structure and concentrated flavours. But what, exactly, gives it the name ‘Meritage’?
In the late 1980s, a group of American vintners joined forces to come up with a name for the type of blended wine that they had begun producing in the popular Bordeaux style. The wines were a blend of ‘noble’ grape varietals that can typically be found in the Bordeaux region of France, famous for its excellent vintages.
In 1988, this New World wine had yet to receive a recognizable name and so the alliance of winemakers decided to open up the naming process to an international competition. The chosen name ‘Meritage’, is a combination of the words ‘merit’ and ‘heritage’. ‘Merit’ was chosen to reflect the quality of the grapes while ‘Heritage’ was chosen to recognize the centuries-old blending process that was involved in making the wine.Read More
So what does it really mean for our wines to be ‘true to the heritage of its terroir’?
The ‘terroir’ refers to the natural environment that a wine is produced in. This includes the soil condition, topography of the land and the local climate. Each of these factors play a role in creating a unique taste and flavour for that particular wine.
Vanessa Vineyard is fortunate to be located in the beautiful and expansive Similkameen Valley in the Thompson-Okanagan region, just north of the US border. With 691 acres planted, comprised of several award-winning vineyards, the valley has a unique terroir that is very well suited to growing grapes. The summers are hot, with low rainfall, low humidity and strong afternoon winds, which reduces the chance of crops being lost to disease or pests.
Having recently released our 2012 Meritage and Syrah, we are a premium BC vineyard offering high quality red wine from the beautiful Similkameen Valley.
Hello and welcome to our first blog post!
We are pleased to introduce you to one of the newest members of the BC wine family, Vanessa Vineyard. Planted in 2006, the vineyard is located on a sweeping vista that overlooks the Similkameen Valley in the Thompson-Okanagan region. Taking cue from the unique rocky landscape and the expert advice of industry veterans, we have focused on growing high quality red grapes that the area is well adapted to produce.