It was roughly 11:00am and we were sitting on a dock just south of Penticton, in the Okanagan Valley. With our feet dangling over the edge, and sunshine streaming through the gaps in the clouds, we opened an unlabeled bottle of wine made by an unnamed winery. The electric ruby wine was so stupendously aromatic we couldn’t help but grin. From the first sip to the last drop we were taken. I needed to know more.
The next day we drove North to the small town of Summerland to meet the Tyler Knight, part of the duo behind Lightning Rock. At this point they hadn’t decided on packaging, or even a name for their new project - it was simply wine in a bottle. Tyler and his wife Jordan are ex-Okanagan Crush Pad winemakers who were presented with the extraordinary opportunity to farm their own small plot of land and make wine for themselves.
High above the lake their steep vineyard is composed of decomposed granite and limestone. They farm sustainably, nurturing the soils so their Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Viognier vines can show the true character of their site. The east facing site benefits from morning sunshine and reflected light off the lake. Although the vines are only a dozen years old, they are already well established.
We’ve always wanted to represent young, thoughtful winemakers from Canada but finding options we truly respect has been a challenge. We’re incredibly proud to be working with these wines; they are honest and energetic. Canadian terroir is finally showing itself!
The grapes for this cuvée were hand harvested from their estate vineyard on October 15th. This particular block of the vineyard is planted on exposed granite bedrock. The grapes were gently crushed, and the juice spontaneously fermented in concrete. After six months on lees the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 12% ABV
2017 PINOT NOIR ROSÉ
This wine is made entirely from Pinot Noir planted on a combination of granite and limestone. It was harvested at the end of September to retain freshness. Whole clusters were added to a stainless-steel tank where they underwent carbonic maceration for three days. It was then pressed off into neutral puncheon where it underwent a three-month élevage. The wine is unfined, but lightly filtered. 11.9% ABV
2017 PINOT NOIR
Pinot Noir from their vineyard was hand harvested on October 8th. The soils are mostly granitic but with pockets of limestone. They played around with different percentages of whole-clusters, ranging from 25-75% inclusion. After 21 days on skins the wine was pressed off into neutral barrel. The wine underwent an eight-month élevage before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. 12.5% ABV