Hi Sperling friends,
September often feels like a new beginning as the summer comes to a close. Harvest for our table grapes started at the beginning of the month, school is back in, family tourists trade places with wine enthusiasts who like to visit after the busy summer season, keeping the wine shop busy through the fall months during harvest.
Events @ Sperling
Late summer and fall are exciting times to visit Okanagan wine country, events continue to happen, and the wine is still refreshing!
On October 2 we will once again be hosting Gratitude and Grapes alongside Mind Over Mat with all proceeds benefiting the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA). Tickets are available on the COHA website.
Our next Colour Drop Silk Scarf Workshop will take place October 29th & 30th. You can learn more and reserve your space by clicking the button below.
Did You Know?
If you live in BC, you probably heard about the recent BCGEU strike. It has affected liquor store inventories across the province, with the BC Liquor Stores limiting purchase quantities. We want to remind you, our online store is always open, without limitations. Each order is packed with extra love and a little happy dance. If you aren’t sure what to order, save the decision-making and check out our team-curated wine bundles. We encourage you to make the most of the shipping fees by ordering in 12 - bottle increments. We’d love to be able to offer you free shipping, however in the current climate of the world, this isn’t feasible for small producers like us.
Meet the Team
Next up in our Meet the Team series is the start of an introduction to our vineyard crew. This month we’d like to introduce you to Pedro, pictured below - first on the left, in the front.
Q. What is your name?
A. Pedro Nafate
Q. Where are you from?
A. Chiapas, Mexico
Q. You must miss your family. Tell us about them.
A. I have a 15 year old daughter that I love to spoil and spend time with. I miss very much her while I’m in Canada.
Q. How long have you been working with Sperling?
A. 3 years
Q. What is your role?
A. To take care of the vines, harvest, and various jobs around the vineyard and cellar.
Q. What led you to work with Sperling?
A. The need to learn the wine process, and the lack of well-paying work in our country.
Q. What do you like about working here?
A. All that I have learned from the processing of the vines, bottling, and packaging the wine. And the coexistence between employers and employees.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, take good care.
Vineyard Update + Introducing Kim!
Hi Sperling Friends,
We hope you’re making the most of the long summer days and warm weather. From beach days to music events, to yoga in the Labyrinth, or our favourite farmer’s markets, summer is in full swing around here.
Have you had the opportunity to check out the Kelowna Farmer’s Markets held weekly on Saturday and Sunday mornings? It’s fun to interact with vendors and pick out fresh and local produce with which to meal plan. Now that summer is in full swing, market tables and fruit stands across the province are overflowing with goodness. We encourage you to check them out, and ask farmers all kinds of questions about themselves and their farms.
We had a very cool spring in Kelowna, so flowering and fruit set were delayed so we'll be looking at a later than normal harvest this fall. How late will depend on how the weather plays out for the rest of the summer. Ideally, we'd like to see Mediterranean conditions in the 25-30 C range, each day. Grapevines photosynthesize, grow, and develop most efficiently under these warm-day/cool-night conditions. If you're loving the weather, there's a good chance the vines will be thriving too. A typical harvest date for Chardonnay would be the 3rd week of September however, in 2022 we're thinking it could be closer to Thanksgiving.
Due to the severe winter cold we experienced last December, we're retaining a shoot at the base of every vine to establish a new trunks, if needed. This is extra manual work but is one way to keep our old vines thriving. By keeping this "renewal shoot" we make use of the well-established root system of our old vines and refresh the above-ground parts of the grape vine. Our old vines have adapted to our vineyard site over 15 to 50 years, so we know that the DNA has adapted to our unique growing conditions. Renewing and keeping these vines going in our vineyard is superior to planting new vines that were raised in another locale such as France or California.
Above, we mentioned the manual labour it takes to manage the vineyard. Our team truly is incredible, and we are so grateful for them every day. Whether it is our dedicated vineyard or wine shop crew, they work so hard and manage to have fun while they do it. We want you to get to know them too, so will be introducing them in our next blog posts.
First up is Kim Rosenberger, she’s been with us since 2015 when she started as a Tasting Room Associate. Now she takes care of the order desk. Meet Kim:
Q: Why did you want to work with Sperling Vineyards?
A: I wanted to work for Sperling from the moment I met Jill for my interview. She was so lovely and passionate about the history of the family, the wines and the connection to the land. I was hooked from then on!
Q: What is your role?
A: Fortunately, I’m able to work remotely for Sperling, after moving to the Fraser Valley, as an order desk administrator and admin assistant.
Q: What do you love about working at Sperling?
A: Being part of the 'Sperling family' and the commitment to respecting the land, environment, and all of us who have the pleasure of working here is the reason I still love working for them. I've watched the family, the vineyards, and the business grow. Being part of it has been an awesome and rewarding experience.
Q: What is your favourite Sperling wine and food pairing?
A: There are many favorites of mine, and it's hard to choose just one. But I LOVE our Pinot Noirs (both Heritage and Vision) paired with 'anything pizza' as well as my ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta shells with marinara sauce. Delish! (But honestly, it's paired best with great company!!)
Q: What is your favourite wine bundle that Sperling offers?
A: My favorite bundle right now is the Bubbles and Brights bundle, it's the perfect bundle for summertime fun!
Q: Final thoughts?
A: I've learned, and continue to learn, every day about this amazing industry, from the people who work hard in the vineyard to the people who sell the final product, and everyone in between.
The next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by and say “hi” to our team. We are always happy to see you! If you’re local or visiting, book a tasting or event ticket now - they book up quickly! Wine Club Members, remember that your tastings are always complimentary. If you live further away, our online store is always open, we pack every order with a little extra love and care. We're always happy to hear from you, reach out anytime with questions, or share your favourite Sperling wine experience with us.
We hope to see you in person, or online, soon! Until then, take good care.
Summer Fun at Sperling Vineyards
Hi Sperling Friends,
Are you like us and find it hard to believe that it is July? The Okanagan sun is warming up nicely and we are excited to welcome you to the winery, locals and tourists alike. Last month we told you about the winery events happening this summer. This month, we want to make sure you know about all the opportunities that you have to enjoy a tasting experience with us. We also have news about our latest bundle to share with you, it includes a couple of exciting, brand new, non-wine items in the form of wearable art, with a family connection! Read on to learn more.
Available Tasting Flights - All Organic Wines
Wine Club Members Always Taste for Free
You can choose from 5 different Tasting Flights, outlined below, to enjoy at the winery in the heart of Kelowna's Mission. We have a licensed Picnic Area, a tent for shade in the middle of our Vineyard Labyrinth, our enclosed Heritage Room, and our wine shop. We invite you to spend some time with us! We encourage you to make reservations in advance for parties of 1 to 14. Fees range from $10-25/person (complimentary for Wine Club members).
Children and families are always welcome at our winery. We have an outdoor play centre in view of our tasting areas, so parents can relax while the kids play. Bring lunch or seasonal eats from the markets up the road. We’ll provide the beautiful grounds and exceptional organic and vegan wines. Spend some time at our long-held family property that dates back to 1909!
Estate Whites: 3 Wines
In this tasting experience you’ll enjoy our cool-climate whites. They are terroir-driven and 100% estate grown on the East Kelowna Slopes. This tasting is $10 per person and includes our organic Pinot Gris, Old Vines Riesling (recently awarded 94 points), and our elegant Vision Chardonnay.
Estate Reds: 3 Wines
Taste through our line-up of old vine, cool-climate reds. The tasting fee is $10 per person and includes our organic Pinot Noir, Old Vines Foch Reserve, and Market Red.
Premium Tasting: 4 Wines
This includes a four-pour tasting of some of our small lot and flagship wines. This $25 per person tasting offers a flight of our Old Vines Riesling, Vision Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Old Vines Foch Reserve.
The Naturiste: 4 Wines
Enjoy pours of our Speritz Pet Nat, Ruby Pet Nat, Natural Amber Pinot Gris, and our NEW natural, orange wine, Flint. This tasting is $20 per person.
The Summer Fun Bundle
If you can’t make it to the winery in person, our online store is always open! And as a bonus, our Summer Fun Bundle is now live! We love wearable art and are very fortunate to have incredibly talented artists in our family who are generous with their creativity. This bundle includes wine, a hoodie, and a tote bag. Both the tote bag and the hoodie feature a stunning line drawing by Jill & Rickard’s daughter, Sophia. The hoodie also includes the eye from our Vision Series label on the arm, designed by Lauren, Ann Sperling’s daughter. It’s truly all in the family!
Aside from the hoodie and tote, this bundle also offers two bottles each of our organic Vision Series Pinot Noir Rosé and Speritz Pet Nat. The price is $196 or $177 for Wine Club Members. The tote bag is perfect for carrying these wines to your next event and the hoodie will keep you warm as the sun sets after a long, Okanagan, carefree day.
The Speritz Pet Nat - "Pet Nat" is a naturally fermented bubbly that starts with wild yeast in vat, then is transferred to bottles to finish fermenting and capture all the remaining bubbles, freshness, and goodness. No fining, nor filtering is done. “Refreshing and lovely, made from Perle de Csaba planted in 1934. Aromas of pear, peach, with some hints of stony mineral hint on the palate along with a soft effervescence. A perfect patio afternoon wine, enjoy with some fresh grilled calamari or any seafood appetizer.” -Jennifer Havers, Natalie MacLean
Organic Vision Pinot Noir Rosé is made from Pinot Noir clone 777, this block is favoured for its slightly darker-skinned berries, and strawberry and bramble fruit aromas. Hand-harvested grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed and fermented in two barrels. Bottled dry under screw cap to capture the fresh berry profile of this west-facing block of vines. Enjoy as a starter and continue into your main with herb-infused, steamed mussels or your favourite seasonal risotto. Yummm!
We hope to see you in person, or online, soon! Until then, take good care.
Sperling Vineyards: Summer Events, Camping Wines, and Chardonnay
Hi Sperling Friends,
As winegrowers, we look forward to the new hope of each changing season. While it often feels like the seasons unfold in their own unique ways, we can count on the vineyard cycle to bring us the welcomed budburst, followed by flowering, and shortly after, fruit set.
Regardless of the pace of the vines, visitors respond to the moon cycles and, of course, public holidays, so a top priority welcoming you. The grounds have all been meticulously prepared, and our tasting room team trained to welcome visitors to the winery for tastings and fun events for the summer season.
Here is what we have lined up for you to enjoy at the winery:
- We are excited to host live music in the Labyrinth weekly on Thursdays from 6-8 pm
- Join Budda Beats for yoga in the Labyrinth each Sunday from 3:30-5 pm.
- Bring your bestie and make a beautiful colour drop silk scarf at one of the many workshops we’re hosting.
To be first in line and ensure access to our events and exclusive new releases, join our Wine Club. Buy event tickets and learn more by clicking the button below. We'd love to host you and your friends!
This month’s 6-pack of wines is a Camping Bundle and perfect for spring and summer enjoyment. Put together with Canadian spring camping, glamping or staying close to home, we’ve included two bottles each of Chardonnay, Ruby Pet Nat, and Pinot Noir. These easy-open, screw-capped, organic, and vegan wines are perfect for enjoying at the campground, beach, beside the campfire, or relaxing after the kids are in bed. Delicious on their own, or with a variety of foods - from picnics to smokies & burgers off the grill, to gourmet camp-stove meals!
The world celebrated International Chardonnay Day on May 26. There are few places on the planet that can truly make mind-blowing Chardonnay - our 2017 Vision Chardonnay fits the bill - its amazingly rich, yet elegant - the perfect Cool Climate Chardonnay.
The label art was created is by Ann's daughter, Lauren Gamble. Our Chardonnay vines are grown on deep, calcium-rich clay soils with ultra-fine limestone particles. These deeply rooted vines find their own water and nutrients while capturing the essence of this special place, we call Sperling Vineyards. Hand-harvested on cool September mornings at 13% potential alcohol. Gently whole cluster pressed, settled juice was transferred to 500L French oak puncheons to wild ferment and complete a native malolactic fermentation. Select barrels were blended and bottled after 11 months of aging on lees. Battonage was employed 6 times during barrel aging. Enjoy this wine with grilled Kokanee or caramelized onion tart with salty accents like anchovies, or mushroom ragout. It also pairs beautifully with delicate white fish and rich lemony butter sauce. Learn more and order here.
If you prefer your Chardonnay in bubbly form, check out our Blanc de Blancs Traditional (Champagne) Method. This limited-edition, single batch sparkling wine is from our highest elevation block of Chardonnay planted to clone 548. By making a wine without dosage (no added sugar), it shows off the unique character of sparkling Chardonnay. Hand harvesting at ideal sparkling ripeness starts the process, followed by gentle pressing of whole clusters. The cuvee is fermented to dryness, and then without malolactic was sent to a second fermentation in bottle. Think of this wine as an accompaniment to life’s daily accomplishments. It pairs well with the classics, such as raw oysters or ripe Epoisses cheese, but take it out on a limb and try it with grilled lamb chops, or spinach pie loaded with pine nuts.
Fun Fact: Did you know that in Champagne, Blanc de Blancs is synonymous with sparkling Chardonnay? However, Pinot Blanc is a rare, but officially permitted, grape variety in Champagne.
If you’re local or visiting, book a tasting or event ticket now - they book up quickly! If you live further away, our online store is always open, we pack every order with a little extra love and care. We'd love to hear from you, write us and let us know what you'd like to learn or hear about in our future blogs and emails.
Comparison of Organics, Biodynamics, and Regenerative Agriculture
Hi Sperling friends,
Winery ownership is a complex business. It’s about agriculture and manufacturing, marketing and retailing. It involves diverse activities such from tourism to distribution logistics in a highly regulated and highly taxed environment. Now add to that - climate uncertainty. Talk about living and working with a lot of balls in the air.
We hear a lot of terms around the wine world that may be familiar, but do we know their true significance or intention? Organic, Biodynamics, and Regenerative Farming are three terms we’d like to shed light on. We are very familiar with all three at Sperling - our vineyard and winery are certified organic, we use biodynamic practices, and are proud members of Regeneration Canada.
There is overlap between these practices and a few differences, all shown in the image below. Of course, a diagram doesn't cover every detail but it’s a good starting point and overview of how these practices are interrelated and subtly different.
Regenerative Farming is likely the aspect the wine-loving public knows the least about, whereas terms like organic and biodynamic have become more familiar in recent years. Regeneration Canada is a reliable source for good information about these climate-friendly farming practices, where consumers can support and buy products made by regenerative farmers and offers peer-to-peer learning between farmers.
“Regeneration Canada helps get the word out about farmers who are committed to grasslands, permanent cover crops, biodiversity, and farming that benefits the environment instead of degrading it. Our treed perimeters, native bushes, and permanent cover crops support habitat, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, unlike conventional agriculture with tillage that releases CO2.” -Ann Sperling, Winemaker
Our family has been farming this land for 135 years. We have immense respect for the land our great-grandparents chose for us, and a strong sense of responsibility to work in ways that allow nature’s forces to develop even better conditions for future generations. Regenerative farming focuses on improving and rehabilitating the land, going beyond the status quo. By keeping it covered in green/growing plants year-round and leaving the roots there even under cover of winter, we can optimize photosynthesis using plant power to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and hold it in the soil while increasing soil fertility.
In addition to preventing erosion, undisturbed roots function to permit water to percolate into the soil, allowing more rainfall to be absorbed and held, making it more drought-proof. Those roots form intricate relationships with fungi to transfer minerals and nutrients to our grapevines, reducing or eliminating the need for soil amendments. And super important for our cool climate grape varieties, such as Riesling, and sparkling wines – green, growing cover crops keep the vineyard environment as much as 15C cooler in the middle of hot summer days.
Visiting the Winery
We'd love to see you at the winery for a tasting or bring a picnic, grab a bottle, and wander the Labyrinth Vineyard path. Be sure to book in early as the tasting slots go quick! We’re now open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, reservations are required.
If you’re local, book a tasting before tourist season, or when you pick up your online order. If you live further away, our online store is always open! Check out our Wine Club for exclusive wines and savings. If you're looking to stock up for the weekend or try some new wines, see our latest wine bundles. Check them out here. We hope to see, or hear, from you soon!
Family & Winery Fun
Hi Sperling friends,
Spring Equinox has come and gone, the vines have been pruned and prepped for budburst, and the growth of the season ahead. The vines are waking up from their winter dormancy, the next step is budburst followed by shoot and leaf growth. To reach budburst, the vines need the air and soil temperatures to average above 10 degrees Celsius. Some varieties, like Chardonnay are the first to bud out, with others a few days later. Our biggest concern during budburst is frost - tender new buds can be easily damaged by temperatures below zero. We are forever at the mercy of Mother Nature.
We recently welcomed back our vineyard and winery team from Mexico. Marcos and Pedro are both back for their 3rd season and Alexis joins us for his first. As pictured below, this week they were busy hand bottling (en Tirage) our Brut sparkling wine with the help of Tessa (puddle jumping supervisor) and Dexter (protector of the vines).
Jill's Spring Family Fun Tips
After a long winter and COVID restrictions, this Spring feels like a great time to get outside and around town for some family fun! I've put together a few ideas to make it easy (as easy as it is to get the family out the door) to hop in the car and go this weekend.
- This is the best time of year for Spring skiing - blue bird days and fresh tracks without freezing! Our local hill, Big White, is open until April 10.
- Our family loves a good beach walk any time of the year! It's always a bit windier beside the water, so be sure to bring a coat or blanket. We like to bring a charcuterie picnic with us and stop by a favrouite winery or brewery on the way home.
- Okanagan Lifestyle & Gneiss Climbing have collaborated with a climbing wall in their shop for people to try out for free!
Ready for Riesling?
It was International Riesling Day earlier in March. We love Riesling and make two styles, from the vines our grandfather, Bert Sperling planted in 1978. Our Old Vines Riesling and our Dry Riesling are both grown on fine mineralogical clay, high in calcium -- the ideal soil type for fine Riesling. When soil is paired with moderate Kelowna days and cool nights, Riesling grapes are balanced with freshness and complexity. Both styles we offer are delicious and age-worthy. Our vineyard has been continuously owned, loved, and farmed by our family for decades. The original Clone 21 Riesling vines in our vineyard came from the Weiss Family in Mosel, Germany.
These wines are fun to explore, compare, and play with food pairings. We've put together this 6 bottle bundle (3 of each Riesling style) so you can explore these wines and enjoy. These Rieslings age wonderfully, we encourage you to lay some bottles of each one down for another year or two and then enjoy how they've continued to evolve. Note that next time you visit in person, we’re offering a vertical of Old Vines Riesling. Look for it when you book your visit.
Save $21 on this bundle
Club Price: $189
Regular Price: $210
Visiting the Winery
We’re quickly booking up for April & May. We'd love to see as many of your smiling faces as we can accommodate! Be sure to book in early. We’re open Thursday through Monday from 11 am to 5 pm, reservations are required. Stay tuned for a schedule of our summer events. The best way to stay up to date is to keep your eye on your inbox or join our Wine Club. Be sure to share our newsletters with your fellow Sperling fans.
If you’re local, we’d love to see you for a tasting soon, or when you pick up your order from our website. If you live further away, our online store is always open! We hope to see, or hear from you, soon.
A vineyard in winter can be stunning, ours was covered with a beautiful blanket of snow for what seemed like months this winter. Thankfully there were many blue-sky days when we caught the snow crystals sparkling like a blanket of calm over the vines. With the snow now melting, we dream of warmer days and the lush rows of summer to come. But in the meantime, there’s winter work to do like pruning and bottling. The first photo below shows a glimpse of the pre-bottling filter prep and the second photo shows the bottling line.
We bottled a handful of wines in mid-February, with the help of student volunteers from the Vinica Education Society.Sending a big shout-out to María José and Sara for helping us out.
Before heading out to the vineyard to prune with our returning vineyard team, we check the health and survival of the fruiting buds and canes. We experienced a significant cold snap in December and are certain that some of the primary fruiting buds were killed. Rickard & Ann have been working through the strategy to keep vines healthy and manage the vineyard with a smaller than normal crop. Below is a simple sketch over a Foch vine. We use images like this to communicate best practices with the team. It doesn't have to be high tech to work.
We recently bottled our natural, organic Amber Pinot Gris, as pictured above. It’s available for pre-order now with a 3-bottle minimum requirement. Shipment is planned for April. Pinot Gris whole clusters and stemmed grapes ferment together with wild yeast in vat, similar to red winemaking. It undergoes wild malolactic conversion, taking sugars and malic acid to complete dryness. We press the must and settle, rather than fining or filtering, and do not use additives, such as sulpites to give you a pure expression of the complete Pinot Gris grape adapted over 20 years to our site. You can read more about orange wines in this Vitis Magazine article.
This past weekend was exciting for a couple of reasons! We are now open on Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm - 5 pm. It was wonderful to welcome guests back to the winery and pour wine for them. This weekend was also Open That Bottle Night. This happens annually on the last Saturday of February. It’s a chance to dig into the depths of the cellar while providing a reason to open a special bottle - not that we ever need a reason! Rickard and I (Jill) opened up a bottle of our 2010 Old Vines Foch Reserve for movie night and it was so good! It has held up beautifully. We also enjoyed a bottle of our 2013 Old Vines Riesling which was stunning. We paired it with baked steelhead trout. We are inspired by the ageability of BC wines. We love to explore our aged wines and have back vintages laid down for our Wine Club members and special offers. We’ll tell you more in future newsletters.
If you’re looking for wines to enjoy now and want to explore our portfolio a bit, you’ll want to check out this 6 bottle mixed-pack that we currently have on offer for $145. These wines are great to enjoy with friends at the ski hill for your weekend away, or alongside your pizza take-out or charcuterie platter. Have a look and order the bundle here.
If you're looking to get your hands on our newly bottled wines, joining our wine club is the best way to ensure you will see those bottles delivered right to your door before they sell out. We hope to welcome you to the winery soon!
Intentions for 2022
Hi Sperling friends,
With a blanket of snow covering the vineyard, January is a good time to reflect and plan. Each new year brings a refreshed vision along with new challenges and opportunities. Before getting absorbed in the “new”, we like to review our established principles and restate our intentions.
- With care, dedication, and work, we aim is to produce wines that reflect where they’re grown (terroir) and the year in which they were grown (vintage variation). Our family has been farming this land for 135 years, so we know our terroir, and know that we play a role in the terroir. We have immense respect for the land our great-grandparents chose for us, and a strong sense of responsibility to work in ways that allow nature’s forces to develop even better conditions for future generations. Organic and regenerative farming practices focus on improving and rehabilitating the land beyond the status quo.
- Allowing terroir and vintage variation to shine through in the bottle is an important part of our winegrowing and winemaking. This means adapting to the growing conditions and unpredictability of Mother Nature. Upon reflection of past vintages and thinking about the 2022 harvest, winemaker, Ann Sperling, jokingly states that this year will be the best ever! In all seriousness though, Canadian winemakers are adaptive. At the 50th parallel and a desert-like climate, we're on the edge of vinifera grape growing. There's no other wine region like ours...in the universe! We have gained all our winegrowing experience through vintage variation, so we constantly think about how we can do things better, how we’ve succeeded and how we may be called upon to adapt.
Looking to Spring – Something new to add to your summer wine list – Orange Vidal! From the Labyrinth, we’ve made a new orange wine, to be called “Flint”. Why FLINT? Joining our line-up of gemstone-named natural wines: Amber, Ruby, Perle… Flint promotes strength and courage (good qualities in these difficult times), inner peace, and restful sleep. FLINT was used in early times to make tools, knives, and other useful things that helped homo sapiens succeed. The characteristic to create sparks (for lighting fire) is unique. Flint is also a type of quartz. We use quartz crystals in biodynamic Prep 501 (horn silica) to bring light and lightness to the farm and balance earthly forces. And finally, a fun fact: Clear wine bottles are known as "flint" - we love to use light weight flint bottles for our natural wines since they support our values (lower carbon foot-print and recyclable) and support our wish to be "transparent" in all that we do. Watch for more info to come on this wine.
Celebrate life's little moments...
With that, we'd like to leave you with a couple of Sperling wine recommendations to celebrate making it through what often feels like the longest month of the year. Whether you're excited to welcome a new calendar page, survived another round of COVID restrictions, or are looking for something to sip on as you end dry January, we've got you covered.
Crack open a bottle of Speritz Pet Nat – any day of the week or for a more reflective celebration, the very fine Brut Reserve. Ann says, "These wines are subtle but complex; refreshing while lingering; bright and clean and soulful." Until March 15, the tasting room is open by luck or by appointment made on our website. You can order these wines for yourself or for a gift online for direct delivery in Canada or for pick-up at the winery. We hope to see you soon!
Warm Holiday Wishes & Gift Ideas!
Hi Sperling friends,
The holiday season is upon us, and although the vines are happily slumbering in the vineyard, activity in the winery and tasting room has been bustling.
We appreciate you sending in your holiday orders, buying gifts for your family and friends, and stopping in to share a tasting with your loved ones. Our guests, the twinkling holiday lights, and gentle snowfall have us feeling all the love from this wonderful season.
If you’ve visited the tasting room, you’ve likely seen at least one member of our family on site (pictured above). Jill (that's me) is the General Manager at Sperling, Rickard manages our vineyards and oversees Winemaking, along with Ann Sperling (my aunt.) We have 4 kids ranging in age from 21 years to 3.5 years that are routinely involved in a variety of tasks in retail, production and the vineyard. Jackson, Sophia and Magnus have grown up on this incredible site we are fortunate to farm; little Tessa is living her best life, and we can’t forget Dexter, the 3 year old black Labahoula, who’s at Rickard’s side every step of the way. We are a family winery, in every sense of the word. Every sale and visit results in celebration, cheer & a little happy dance. Thank you, we are so grateful for your support.
Team Picks & Gift Guides
My favourite Sperling wine and food pairing for the holiday’s is the Ruby Pet Nat alongside a Neapolitan pizza with gluten free crust. Whereas Rickard prefers to pour the Blanc de Blanc with any kind of sushi - bento box with sashimi, tempura, maki, nigiri…you name it! You can find both of these wines online and in the wine shop, along with other holiday gifting goodies.
If you are local and have last minute gifts to check off the list, we have you covered! We have two guides on our Instagram page to help you find exactly what you need:
In addition to the guides above, we have added a new page to our Online Wine Shop called Bundles. These are perfect to carry you through the holidays season. If you are local, you can order these online for pick-up in the wine shop by selecting pick-up at check out. You can learn more about them below.
- Snacks & Starters Trio - $139.00 (Wine Club: $125) It's the time of year when we live on snacks and appetizers. Surprise holiday drop-ins, get-togethers, parties, cocktail hours, and hanging on the couch with a charcuterie platter are all happening regularly. Be sure you have quality wine on hand for those enjoyable and easy holiday food and drink pairings. Included: Speritz Pet Nat, Blanc de Blanc, and Old Vines Riesling.
- The Rest & Relaxation Trio - $124.00 (Wine Club: $112) A little rest and relaxation does us all good! It's also the best time to sip on really great wines. You can slow down and appreciate them even more at this time of the year. This bundle was designed for those quiet moments paired with a good book or show, a comfy couch with a cozy blanket in front of the fire. Included in this trio is one bottle each of Pinot Noir Rose, Pinot Noir Reserve, and Old Vines Foch Reserve.
- Dinner Party Favourites 6 pack - $249.00 (Wine Club: $224) Dinner parties with friends and family create many memories of the season! Make your dinner table even more memorable with this 6 pack of mixed wines designed to pair with a variety of dishes and good times. Let us take the guesswork out of your plans. Included in this pack is one bottle each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Old Vines Foch Reserve, Pinot Gris, Brut Reserve, and a sweet finish with our Late Harvest Vidal.
- The Crowd Pleaser 6 pack - $117 (Wine Club: $105) This Crowd Pleaser bundle features 3 bottles each of Market White and Market Red. This is the perfect bundle for those hard to shop for folks. The Market White and Market Red wines are delightful crowd pleasers that are affordable and enjoyable for all.
If you’re further afield, our courier elves may not deliver your order before Christmas but you can still enjoy free shipping until the end of the month. We promise the wines will still taste great after Christmas! Use the code LOVESPERLING when shopping our online store to save on shipping.
Visiting the Winery
We continue to be open Thursday - Monday between 10 am and 6 pm for shopping and tastings. Our holiday and winter winery hours are as follows:
- December 24: 10 am - 4 pm
- December 25: Closed
- December 26 - December 31: 10 am - 6 pm
- January 1: 10 am - 5 pm
- January 2: 10 am - 6 pm
- January 3 - March 15 open by luck or advanced appointment made on our website.
If you’re local, we’d love to see you for a tasting soon, or when you pick up your order from our website. If you live further away, our online store is always open, don’t forget about free shipping until the end of December!
From our family to yours, may the season be as merry and bright as you can handle, filled with many special memories, and well wishes for next year. Happy holidays!
Winemaker of the Year goes to Ann Sperling
We are super proud to announce that our Winemaker, Ann Sperling has been named Winemaker of the Year 2021 by the prestigious Cambridge Food & Wine Society and is the recipient of the coveted RIEDEL Award. In addition to our Sperling wines, Ann’s wines include Southbrook Vineyards’ Poetica and Estate series in Ontario, and those of her iconic Versado Malbec in Mendoza, Argentina. Ann’s wines are considered by international wine writers to be among the finest in their respective regions and are widely acknowledged on the world stage. Ann has consistently been one of the most enthusiastic promoters of Canada’s wine industry. She is a pioneer of organic and biodynamic wine production and has helped achieve international recognition for our country around the world.
“It’s an honour to receive this important award,” said Ann. “In our relentless pursuit of great winemaking, we have learned the high value and relevance of organic and biodynamic viticulture, and this has instilled in us a deep respect for the soil, water and ecosystems upon which great wine, and our planet, relies. I am delighted to be recognized for these efforts.”
The Society recognizes achievements made in the global wine industry and the creation of fine wines around the world. In the past, they have recognized such luminaries as Robert Mondavi, Miguel Torres, Lamberto Frescobaldi, Eduardo Chadwick, and Sandro Bottega, among others.
At the Winery
As the thermometer drops and snow blankets the valley, it’s time for quiet, calmness and dormancy in the vineyard. After their hard work through the summer and a tough harvest, our dedicated vineyard team went home to Mexico early in November. That leaves Vineyard Manager Rickard Branby to put the vines to bed. Hey… we’re a small but mighty team. The focus now shifts to the cellar, following each wine’s progress slowly towards blending and bottling. The first wine style to bottle is Pet Nat -- it actually finishes fermenting in bottle. We bottled two versions again this year: the juicy Ruby Pet Nat and the fresh Speritz Pet Nat - see the photos below. Aren’t they gorgeous sitting there in the sunshine? They’re just as tasty too!
Watch the Labyrinth...Sleep
We have enjoyed watching our Labyrinth Vineyard grow this year with you. Each monthly blog post we’ve shared the development and stages of vines and grapes, from budburst through to harvest. It’s been a journey. We can now report that its quiet in the vineyard and our work is done until pruning starts in February.
The vines continue to work distributing energetic resources like nutrients and minerals from the soil through plant tissues. While there were green leaves, photosynthesis helped built carbohydrate reserves that are stored in the woody structures of the vine - trunk and roots. The carbohydrate stores are important to protect next year’s fruiting buds during cold weather and they will fuel new growth in the spring. None of this is overly visual however the canes have changed from green and lush to lignified red and woody. Watch with us as the Labyrinth Vineyard rests for the winter in peaceful slumber.
Due to gaining popularity of our Amber Pinot Gris, and orange wines in general, we decided to make and new skin fermented wine. The Labyrinth Vidal will be introduced as “Orange Vidal”. This varietal has become Canada’s reference for orange wine, so we’re ready to throw our hat in the ring.
Holidays Special Offers
As we head into the festive season, we have two holiday wine bundles that will soon be available online, the Snacks + Starters Trio for $139 and the Dinner Party Favrouites 6 pack for $249. Watch for an email soon with more details on how to order these bundles. Both will offer free shipping!
Shipping is incredibly unpredictable right now, more so than ever to the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast. We unfortunately, cannot guarantee that all orders will arrive before the holidays, but we’ll work closely with our couriers and stay in touch with you. We encourage you to order as soon as possible to receive delivery in time for your gifting and festivities.
If you’re looking for recommendations on what to pair with your special dinner or for that perfect gift for the hard to shop for person on your list, please reach out via email or phone. We are more than happy to help you!
Stay tuned to our Instagram account, we will soon be releasing a local gift guide. It is more important than ever to support our local artisans, stores, creators, and businesses. We are so excited to bring you this guide with local shopping options.
Visiting the Winery
We continue to be open Thursday - Monday between 10 am and 6 pm for shopping and tastings.
Our holiday winery hours are as follows:
December 24: 10 am - 4 pm
December 25: Closed
December 26 - December 31: 10 am - 6 pm
January 1: 10 am - 5 pm
January 2: 10 am - 6 pm
January 3 - March 15 open by luck or advanced appointment made on our website.
If you’re local, we’d love to see you for a tasting soon, or when you pick up your order from our website. If you live further away, our online store is always open! And if you’re looking for that perfect gift for the wine lover in your life, our Wine Club is the answer.