Harvest 2013

Image Harvest started with Lake Breeze picking their portion of the Pinot Gris on October 15. They picked 4.6 tons at 23 Brix. We picked some for us on October 20 and decided to barrel ferment it in an old Chardonnay barrel. The rest we had in a fermenter to use later as top-up wine. The Brix on that portion of the vineyard was close to 24 Brix.

Free run Chard

The Chardonnay, from a different vineyard, was brought in on Oct 2. Straight into the press and into the tank for mixing. Then into barrels for fermenting.

Picture to left showing me drinking the free-run juice.

The Pinot Noir was picked between Oct 25 and the last block (picture below) picked on November 14.

Last block of PN Oct 24

25% of the fruit was left with stems on and the rest destemmed. The juice was left in two ton fermenters for cold soak. The temperature outside was low enough that no fermentation started spontaneously. Cold soak lasted for 5 days.

We also made two barrels of a mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, picked late November at approx. 24 Brix.










Preparing for Harvest

Pinot againWe took over management of the vineyard immediately and started dropping some fruit and cleaning up the canopy. Quality of the grapes were more important than the quantity. We felt it looked very good and were gearing up for the harvest.

I made an agreement that Lake Breeze Vineyard would purchase the majority of Pinot Gris.

Arnie Erickson had some people that had previously picked the Merlot and I decided to let them take most of the Merlot this year also.

The Pinot Noir was maturing nicely in October and early November and the Brix levels were rising in a slow, controlled way that we were very pleased with.

2013 The beginning

I was visiting Torsten Allander of Foxtrot Winery, in Naramata in September. He cooked dinner and served a bottle of Pinot Noir with the steaks. I was absolutely blown away with the flavor and quality of the wine and told him so. I had no idea that Pinot Noir of that quality could be made in Canada. Torsten told me that it was a separate bottling from a neighbor’s vineyard, “2010 Foxtrot Pinot Noir, Erickson Vineyard”. Foxtrot had been making this wine since 2008, but were going to stop making it since Arnie Erickson had the property for sale at the moment. Torsten and PeterThen Torsten came up with the crazy idea that I should buy the property and Foxtrot could continue to make the wine but change the name to “Henricsson Vineyard”. I have never had any interest in being involved in the wine industry other than as a (big) consumer and told Torsten so.
The next day, however, he drove me over to Erickson Vineyard and Julius, the real estate agent was there and let us into the house for a viewing. The setting of the property was stunning, a gentle slope with a great view of the Lake Okanagan below. The house was certainly not pretty from the outside, but not bad inside and it has great decks, both overlooking the view and in the back, away from the hot summer sun in the end of the day. It was just under 5 acres with about 4 under vines.
View from deck
I loved it but of course, with my lifestyle, there was no chance of me taking responsibility year round for growing grapes, but Torsten said that Foxtrot could take on total responsibility for the vineyard, as long as they got the Pinot Noir grapes. I could be as involved as I wanted but they would take the ultimate responsibility for the vineyard. 2 Weeks later, I had agreed with Arnie Erickson to purchase the property and we took immediate possession of the vineyard and the complete sale closed a few weeks later. We started on the vineyard and prepared it for the harvest. The main reason I was doing this, was that the block of Pinot Noir, about 1.5 acre, was planted in 1990. This probably makes the vines some of the oldest Pinot Noir in Canada and just entering the peak of their quality. I am a firm believer that vines with age produce higher quality wine, and I had of course tried the wine that Foxtrot had made from the property and knew that it impressed me greatly. There are also 2 blocks, about 1 3/4 acres in total of Pinot Gris, also over 20 years old. I am not a big fan personally of Pinot Gris, but I was told that the grapes had a good reputation and that several wineries in the region had purchased them and put them in their premium bottlings. There are also some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for fun.