Where Your Wine Really Comes From
The step-by-step process (and people!) that takes your wine from vine to glass.
February 14, 2018
It’s easy to forget that the glass of wine you’re smashing back with lunch was planted, tended to, harvested, fermented, bottled, represented, sold, cellared and poured by numerous hands. Treve Ring follows one local wine from ground to glass.
Third-generation grower Bob Hancock is a lifelong Naramata farmer, having grown up adjacent to the vineyard in his family’s farmhouse. In 2011 he converted the 3.5 acre sloping, south-facing, gravelly clay-and-calcium carbonate site on the far northern tip of the Naramata Bench from apple orchards to self-rooted 21B Riesling vines. He knows every inch of his sustainable, chemical-free property, having lived and walked it for seven decades.
This self-taught winemaker must have riesling in his blood. Since his first vintage in 2010, Alan has worked with numerous ferments within each vineyard, isolating the ones that, to him, best signify the site. For this wine he did two picks and six different ferments. Cropped low and fermented with native yeasts, this wine spent up to five months on the lees in stainless, with no inputs other than a small part of sulphur post-ferment.
After having worked for other commercial-scale wine agencies, Rich Massey founded Massey Wines in 2011 to focus on local small-farm, family-owned wineries. He started by representing Vancouver Island wines in Vancouver at a time when few wines made it off the Wine Islands. His wine portfolio is now complemented by mead, cider and spirits, and he’s known as a tireless advocate of authentic products and their producers—like Alan.
In his four years as sommelier at Vij’s Restaurant, Sean Nelson has enjoyed the challenge of schooling guests on pairing wine with the exotic flavours and spices of Indian cuisine. Many of his wine selections are local, and with this wine he suggests a match of “pork tenderloin in ginger and cayenne cream curry, allowing the acidity of the wine to slice right through the cream while layers of sweet and spice play off each other.”
The Syncromesh Bob Hancock Riesling 2016 is off-dry and confidently so, with a swell of juicy, quenching acidity to counter the residual sugar. Ripe pear, white peach, honeysuckle, honeycomb vibrant lime pulp lift a bed of lees. There’s an alluring, savoury brown butter in the base, right up to a spicy ginger ale on the finish. Lush in the mouth but slight in alcohol, with all this intensity impressively packed into a 10-percent alcohol frame. This is drinking beautifully now but will continue to age effortlessly. $26 at the winery.
Check back for more—best buys! Okanagan gems! Smart investments!—from our 2018 Wine Issue!