The grapes for our Sparkling White Merlot were grown on our estate vineyard, River Rock Vineyards, which surrounds our winery in Oliver BC. The vines were in their 19th leaf when the fruit was harvested. The season started with bud break on April 27th. The weather was cool in May and through June with flowering 2 weeks later than usual. August also had cooler than normal nights. Early September was wetter and cooler than normal but was followed by a return to seasonal norms up to the end of October. The vines were farmed sustainably with particular care and attention to canopy and water management. Harvest decisions were based on winemaker’s personal preference with particular attention to sugar/acid balance and flavor. The grapes were harvested October 4th. The vineyards are all farmed sustainably with exceptional care and attention to canopy and water management ensuring the best possible quality of fruit. The vineyards are all on south facing slopes where soils are composed of rock, sand, and gravel laid down during the last glacial recession.
The grapes were hand picked, and destemmed then transferred to our press, where the juice was separated from the skins minimizing color transfer. Following clarification, the juice was inoculated with a specific yeast and underwent a temperature controlled fermentation.. The wine is left to rest for several months on the finer lees helping to develop mouthfeel and texture after which we fine and filter and back sweeten slightly to achieve balance. Then carbonation is added just prior to bottling. The resulting wine has a beautiful, light salmon colour and is currently showing aromas and flavors reminiscent of cherry, strawberry, raspberries, and rose petals. Fine carbonation bubbles evoke a lively, soft, pleasing mouthfeel with a clean lasting finish.