2016 Co-Ferment

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Cabernet Franc 37% Merlot 25%
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169 Bordeaux, France
  • Merlot Clone 181 Bordeaux, France
  • Cabernet Franc Clone 331 Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
  • Alcohol 16.0%
  • Residual Sugar 0.7 g/L
  • Total Acidity 7.09 g/L
  • pH 3.61
  • Brix 32
  • Cases Produced 98
  • Released 2020
  • SKU 218699

Flavour Profile

Composed of 100% estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine was aged for 30 months to allow the complexities of the nose and palate to fully develop. Inky deep in colour, it has an intense nose of baked blueberry, black plum, and dark chocolate followed by notes of dried fig and sage. The palate is full, rich and intense with firm tannins, dried black fruits, and leather, while the terroir follows through in complex notes of Similkameen graphite minerality on the long finish. Only 4 barrels made.


Co-fermentation is the practice of selecting parcels of two or more varietals which are then harvested, crushed, and fermented together at the same time. This classic winemaking process creates a synergy of fruit and tannins which results in greater complexity and seamless expression of the vineyard in the wine. Hence, it is different from a blend where each varietal is made in separate tanks or barrels, which are later proportioned together.

Growing Conditions

The 2016 vintage was another unusual record-breaking season which saw an extremely early spring. The hot, dry temperatures in April and May led to our earliest bud break and flowering. This was followed by a cooler than normal summer and a wet and chilly fall. The moderation in weather, without the intense heat spikes that are typical of Okanagan summers, was beneficial for the grapes in slowing down ripening and allowing for a long hang time into September and October. Some intense wind and hail events in the Similkameen Valley in the fall unfortunately made for challenging harvest conditions. The temperate autumn temperatures, however, enabled ideal flavour development in the grapes, while still retaining the crisp acidity so prized in premium, food friendly wines. Overall, the conditions resulted in quality fruit and were fantastic for creating wines with elegance and abundant flavour. Growing degree days in Cawston from April to October of 2016 were 1,521, this is above the local twelve-year average of 1,320.

Terroir and Microclimate

Located high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, Vanessa Vineyard’s grapes are cultivated on 75 acres of sloping, well-drained, rocky terrain. The vines grow in rows of rocks, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights. Planted in a west to southwest exposure, the rocky vineyard basks in the afternoon sun. Ideally situated, the vineyard benefits from a long growing season, with low yields of intensely ripe fruit. The unique stony site produces fruit with complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive.