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. Then 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.
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.