This week we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation out to Crush Pad Winery. Kayle, the sales rep for B.C., sent for a shuttle from Vernon to Summerland where we were treated to a tour of the winery and barrel room as well as the farm and then stayed for lunch!
We were picked up from the store at 8:15am, after 3 other stops we arrived with a full bus at 10:30am at Crush Pad Winery. We were greeted by their team and a glass of 2012 'The Bub! After introductions, our glass was filled with 2012 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris and we were walked through the very vineyard that it was grown from!
Just beyond the vineyard we reached the farm of vineyard grooming critters that Crush Pad Winery care for and work with. Due to the organic production of all of Haywire's grapes, the grape growers are prohibited from using almost all fertilizers and pesticides. The flock of clipped ducks and chickens rid the vineyard of grape loving insects and aid in fertilizing the growing vines throughout the season. They have 2 little, specially bred sheep, these little guys stand about 18 inches tall, they feed on the pesky weeds that grow at the base of the vines, but are too short to reach any of the grapes suspended above, though I'm sure they would love to!
After our visit through the farm and vineyard, we walked to the barrel room. Haywire is the first winery to use cement as a fermentation tank. Like oak, these large, egg-shaped, concrete tanks allow slight oxidization, allowing the wine to develop body and character. The difference though with concrete fermentation, is that the vessel adds no character of its own, unlike oak, and allows wines to display complexity while only showcasing the fruit. While walking through the barrel room we had our glasses filled with Hayware's award winning 2011 Canyonview Pinot Noir before we met with the Winemaker himself, Matt Dumayne who spoke about wine production in B.C. and how it has flourished over the years, at Crush Pad Winery in particular.
At 12:30 we were brought into the tasting room where the entire Haywire line-up was available for us to sample. Shortly after, the food was brought out for our lunch and it was delicious! We ate our lunch with the Sales Rep and Winemaker, they answered questions and enlightened us on future plans of Crush Pad Winery.
A little past 2:00 we left the winery and were each given a parting gift of a bottle of wine and a goody bag before we begun our trip back to Vernon. It was an incredible experience and it was really fun and educational. Something I would recommend to anyone looking to further their knowledge and palate on B.C. organic wine!