Harvest has begun!
Hi Sperling Friends,
Welcome to our August blog. Harvest is upon us. We are transitioning from a busy summer of guest visits and record sales to shifting our thoughts towards harvest and crush. We continue to safely welcome guests daily knowing that keen visitors continue to arrive to experience our passion with harvest in action!
Watch Labyrinth Grow
It's been a continuum of hot dry weather throughout the summer so caring for the vineyard and our team’s wellbeing has been our focus. In August the grapes transitioned from green to veraison to ripening berries. Some grapes ripen early and quickly while others take a bit longer. It’s a critical time watching the grapes very closely, measuring brix (natural sugar content) and acidity levels, and most important - flavour development, awaiting the perfect moment to harvest each variety. Sparkling and Pet Nat wines are harvested for lower alcohol (less sugar), and higher acidity with brighter aromas. We have begun picking our ‘Coronation’ organic, seedless, table grapes, so you’ll soon find these flavourful black grapes at grocers throughout British Columbia and Alberta. The Vidal grapes in our Labyrinth Vineyard below are late ripening and aromatic, suitable for a range of styles from fresh and light to rich, late harvest wine.
August 26 marked the excitement of crush when we picked our Perle d’Csaba grapes (pictured below) - an important part of our Speritz Pet Nat. These are the oldest vinifera DNA on our farm…first planted in 1929! It will be all hands on deck until harvest wraps up further into Fall. We can’t wait for you to taste this year’s vintage after it has had time to ferment, age, and move to its life in bottled.
Sperling in the News
Our Winemaker, Ann Sperling, is often called upon by the media to chat about her wealth of knowledge and experience. Given her upbringing in the family vineyards, combined with her many years of experience and learning, she can speak authoritatively on many subjects as it relates to winegrowing, winemaking, and natural wine. Here is a round-up of articles published since our July blog post:
- Natural Wine and the Debate over “Healthy” Alcohol, Discover Magazine (August 10, 2021):
“Some critics simply dismissed natural wine and didn’t attempt to understand this changing style, says Ann Sperling, a proprietor and winemaker at Sperling Vineyards in British Columbia, Canada.
She became interested in natural wine after seeing an explosion in the use of oak alternatives, which are cheaper and more practical materials that can mimic the smoky, toasty taste that comes from oak barrel storage. Sperling worries that manufacturers use this technique as a crutch, and she prefers to focus on the flavors derived from the grapes themselves.” Read More...
- Interview with Winemaker, Radio Canada - this article is in French (July 27, 2021):
“Elle a beau avoir grandi en étant entourée de vignes, le métier de vigneronne est loin de lui être arrivé tout cuit dans le bec. Mes parents étaient des producteurs de raisins, c’est-à-dire qu’ils vendaient toute leur récolte à des vignerons locaux, souligne-t-elle. Pour faire du vin, il m’a donc fallu aller travailler ailleurs et gravir les échelons un à un.” Read More...
- Ruby Pet Nat Review, Quench Magazine (July 28, 2021) :
“Sperling Vineyards Ruby Pet Nat, 2020 ($30)
Based on red hybrid grape Maréchal Foch (with 15% Pinot Noir). The former was once widely planted in BC before vineyards were largely replaced with Vitis vinifera – post 1988. Some old plots remain, and Foch has a bit of a cult following. This Pét-Nat is a new take. With fermentation finishing in the bottle, some CO2 is trapped giving a light frothiness – somewhat reminiscent of a Lambrusco. It sports Foch’s signature tooth staining purple colour along with mouth filling, wild dark berries and grapy, bubble gum accents. Slight bitter twist piques the curiosity as well as the appetite. Simply a ton of fun. Adult pop?” Read More...
- Jill & Rickard Branby, General Manager and Winegrower/Winemaker, Tasting Room Radio with Terry David Mulligan, (Interviewed August 2021)
Pinot Noir Pack: August 18 was International Pinot Noir Day. We celebrated by launching our limited time offer - our Pinot Noir Pack. There’s still time to order this box before it’s gone. We have put together this organic and vegan Pinot Noir influenced pack from our Heritage Series of wines at a special price. It includes one bottle of our 2011 Brut Reserve Sparkling wine, one bottle of our 2020 Family Rose, and one bottle of our 2018 Pinot Noir.
Pinot Pack Special Offer Price: $132 | Club Price: $122.40 | Regular Price: $152
We continue to accept tasting reservations daily between 10:30 and 6:00pm. We encourage you to book in advance. When you are inside the winery, masks are required. If you’re not able to make it in person, we recommend joining our wine club and ordering online to have wine delivered right to your door!
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