The last month has just sailed by, I can't believe I haven't posted or updated our website since last year :)))
We have been busy with blending trials, fining, cold stabilization and ordering our bottles, labels, and screw caps. The screw caps we are intending to purchase need to come all the way from Europe, and procrastinator and novice computer user that I am, it is tricky to get them designed with our logo and winery name and ordered and shipped in time for bottling at the end of March. Hoping everything works out because I don't want plain caps again!
This month we joined OOWA (Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association) and are really looking forward to being part of the Pig Out and Half-Corked Marathon events taking place this Spring, and also to being included in the OOWA Passport maps! Bring your Passports in over the open season to get one stamp closer to winning some fabulous prizes (i.e.: a weekend getaway in Wine Country, or a case of mixed South Okanagan wines!!).
We also joined the Bead Trails, which is another fun activity to get involved in on a wine tasting trip. This program includes not only many local wineries, but all sorts of other local businesses and artists too, from cafés to drugstores to clothing boutiques. Businesses stock a specially selected bead or charm (similar style to Pandora beads) that represents their product or story. Customers come in and learn about the background of the business as represented by the bead, while building a souvenir full of Okanagan memories. One of my favourite work memories from last summer was a mother who had come in to JT to do wine tasting along with her 4 children... The kids had collected a long string of beads and charms from all the places they had stopped in during their holiday! It was really cool to see how engaged and excited the kids were about collecting their souvenirs... They didn't at all mind tagging along with Mum while she had her fun!
Hoping to find the perfect bead for our wine shop, perhaps a sort of stone jar, like our logo?
Hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us! Today was the Winter Solstice, I am disappointed to once again have forgotten and slept through the sunrise.
It snowed about 3 inches yesterday, here is a photo of best friend/winery dog Nanuk enjoying the fresh fall!!
We have been busy the past couple of nights: I work part-time at Jackson-Triggs down the road (in the tasting gallery). I love my job there and am very grateful for the "escape" it provides - it's about as different as it can get from our tiny operation at home. However, the fact that we reserve our days for my day-job and things like errands and last-minute Christmas shopping makes for some strange hours here at Cana Vines!
Last night we did some racking and bentonite fining on our white blend, as well as racking and blending some late-harvest Merlot intended for a fortified red. This is only my second vintage, and my very first time attempting "specialty wines", so it is a big, adventurous learning curve for me. My mum is very patient with me! :)))
I am frequently seized by bouts of enthusiasm, such as when last night I was struck by a sudden urge to attempt a fortified white wine. A lifetime of impulsive decisions (and Mum's recommendation) resulted in me "sleeping on it", but today we halted the fermentation of our late-harvest Riesling with the addition of some excellent spirits from Maple Leaf Spirits in Penticton (they have some of the nicest people there, plus they are a family business, like us! What's not to like?!).
Will do some blending trials after Christmas with a bit of Chardonnay.
It's an experiment. Hopefully a delicious one.
Maybe not, just the coldest one I remember! :)))
I'm glad we chose not to do Icewine this year, but really it would have been an ideal season for it: most vineyards in the South Okanagan were able to harvest their ice grapes in mid-November.
We will soon be releasing our 2011 vintage of Merlot Icewine, hand-harvested from our 14-year old vines at -10ºC between midnight and sunrise on the morning of January 16, 2012, and processed by the wonderful folks at Kalala Organic Estates (we don't have a press capable of handling frozen berries!! So grateful for good friends).
Labels have been proofed and ordered and are expected to be wrapped around the bottles by Christmas! We have a slightly revamped look for the new labels. Give us a holler if you need a bottle or two, we are still open throughout Winter by appointment.
I am happy with how the Icewine has turned out, it's a bit on the lighter side, and very reminiscent of dried cherries on the nose and palate. It will be an amazing partner with dark chocolate or strong cheeses. I can't wait to start serving it in little chocolate cups in the tasting room come Spring.
Had a meeting today with the Executive Director of OOWA (Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association) regarding membership... It would be great exposure for our little brand to be involved in fun local events like Pig Out and the Half-Corked Marathon, and to be listed in the OOWA "Passport" and map.
This is the first of hopefully many regular blog posts to come... I had started up a blog the very day my mum and I decided to apply for a Winery License, back in 2010. My "intention" was to document the entire process, from application to realisation through a series of written posts, photos, and videos. It lasted 2 posts, and since then I have forgotten which blogging website I used. Hehehehehe! Those of you who know me well won't be surprised.
This project will be a challenge: I am the sort of person who finds even "tweeting" tedious, but I think it will be a fun sort of insight into the goings-on at a small, startup mother-daughter winery.