Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Okanagan Architect Designs Terravista Vineyards

Okanagan Architect Designs A Winery Facility that Reflects the Region

Terravista Vineyards, a new Naramata Bench winery, worked with renowned Okanagan architect Nick Bevanda to design an efficient, elegant winemaking facility tailored to its location.

[reprinted from Press Release]

Kelowna, BC, September 18, 2012 — The original founders of Black Hills Estate Winery have opened Terravista Vineyards, a new boutique winery nestled into the natural contours of the BC’s Naramata Bench.

Bob and Senka Tennant started Terravista Vineyards with a commitment to producing small volumes of high quality estate-grown white wine. One of their first steps was investing in a winery facility customized to this task and infused with local flavour. Designed by award-winning architect Nick Bevanda, a partner with BC-based CEI Architecture, the building is uniquely sculpted to its site, using materials that make it an ideal match for the climate and landscape of the region.

“The objective was to complement the landscape, not to overwhelm it.” Bevanda says. “We kept the building design clean and efficient, providing everything the winemakers need to make a great product.”

The winery building is constructed from concrete, with an angled roof that complements the contours of the surrounding hills. The structure is nestled into the corner of the five-acre vineyard, in a natural bowl in the landscape. It was designed to suit the production and storage needs of the winemakers, who plan to produce up to 1800 cases of wine a year.

“The reaction has been that people love it,” says Tennant. “It’s modern without being austere. It’s clean and it screams function, but you really like being in it and around it.”

The building’s deep roof overhang is cantilevered to provide a natural sunshade, supported by a minimal structure that does not interfere with the circulation of people and machinery during the wine production process. The building’s face is clad in glass to provide expansive views of the vineyard, and to draw natural light deep into the building.

“We are a little off the radar, and the building is not really viewable from anywhere unless you are on our property,” says Tennant. “It's fun watching people come to the place now that we are actually open. They come down our driveway and they’re wondering, where do we go? Then they look at the building and go, ‘Oh wow.’”

Born and raised in the Okanagan, Nick Bevanda is one of the most prolific architects of wineries in the region. His designs includes the Black Hills Estate Winery, the only winery in Western Canada honoured with the Lieutenant-Governor of BC Award of Merit for Architecture, in 2008. He also led the design of Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery, Road 13 Winery, the Hooded Merganser Restaurant, and the recently opened Black Hills Wine Experience Centre.

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Posted via email from Okanagan Food And Wine

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saint-Emilion Wines 2012 Classification

by Paige Donner
Just released is the new 2012 Saint-Emilion Classification which ranks 82 of the most respected chateaux and wineries of Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux. Four made it into the Premier Grand Cru Classé A rank: Château Angélus, Château Pavie, Château Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone. This rank was awarded based on the wines' exceptional ageing potential and their celebrated reputations. The two newcomers to the A rank for 2012 are, of course, Château Pavie and Angelus.
align=Different, and innovative, for this 2012 classification is that the whole of the procedure was put under INAO (Institut national des appellations d'origine) supervision alongwith the Ministries of Agriculture and Consumption. Within the INAO a special commission was appointed made up of 7 carefully chosen evaluators who were not from Bordeaux. This commission in turn enlisted the support of the two certifying organizations, Qualisud and Bureau Veritas Certification.
"64 Grands Crus Classés and 18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés are awarded their precious status in recognition of the work accomplished by the estates, their consistency in quality and their quest for excellence," stated the Saint-Emilion Wine Council.
This following classification list was was submitted for approval to the National Wines and Brandies Committee of INAO on September 6th, 2012 and was accepted. The Ministries of Agriculture and Consumption must now officialize it.
(in alphabetical order):
Château Angélus (A), Clos Fourtet,
Château Ausone (A), Château la Gaffelière,
Château Beauséjour (héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse), Château Larcis Ducasse,
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot, La Mondotte,
Château Bélair-Monange, Château Pavie (A),
Château Canon, Château Pavie Macquin,
Château Canon la Gaffelière, Château Troplong Mondot,
Château Cheval Blanc (A), Château Trottevieille,
Château Figeac,  Château Valandraud

Château l’Arrosée, Château Fleur Cardinale, Château Monbousquet
Château Balestard la Tonnelle, Château La Fleur Morange, Château Moulin du Cadet,
Château Barde-Haut, Château Fombrauge, Clos de l’Oratoire,
Château Bellefont-Belcier, Château Fonplégade, Château Pavie Decesse,
Château Bellevue, Château Fonroque, Château Peby Faugères,
Château Berliquet, Château Franc Mayne, Château Petit Faurie de Soutard,
Château Cadet-Bon, Château Grand Corbin, Château de Pressac,
Château Capdemourlin, Château Grand Corbin-Despagne, Château le Prieuré,
Château le Chatelet, Château Grand Mayne, Château Quinault l’Enclos,
Château Chauvin, Château les Grandes Murailles, Château Ripeau,
Château Clos de Sarpe, Château Grand-Pontet, Château Rochebelle,
Château la Clotte, Château Guadet, Château Saint-Georges-Cote-Pavie,
Château la Commanderie, Château Haut-Sarpe, Clos Saint-Martin,
Château Corbin, Clos des Jacobins, Château Sansonnet,
Château Côte de Baleau, Couvent des Jacobins, Château la Serre,
Château la Couspaude, Château Jean Faure, Château Soutard,
Château Dassault, Château Laniote, Château Tertre Daugay,
Château Destieux, Château Larmande, Château la Tour Figeac,
Château la Dominique, Château Laroque, Château Villemaurine,
Château Faugères, Château Laroze, Château Yon-Figeac,
Château Faurie de Souchard, Clos la Madeleine,
Château de Ferrand, Château la Marzelle

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gosset Champagne

by Paige Donner

There are two new exciting developments at Gosset Champagne. The first is its "new" cellars and the second is its brand new eco-friendly bottle labels.


Gosset Champagne Epernay Cellars

For the "oldest wine house" (est. 1584)  in Champagne to expand much of their operations to Epernay from Aÿ, is no small feat.  It's also not as if there are exquisite champagne cellars up for sale every day in Epernay. Most of the cellars in this quaint little Capitale du Champagne have been inhabited for centuries and mostly by the really big boys, you know the ones, the household name champagnes.

So  in 2009,  when the Group Laurent Perrier put these cellars up for sale, the team from Gosset Champagne, including their cellar master Jean-Pierre Mareigner and the President of the house, Jean-Pierre Cointreau, took one look at these exquisite 60-foot deep cellars carved out of pure chalk and said, Oui. Oui! Oui! Oui!

Purchased in the 425th year of the house's existence in Champagne, they are located just off of the Avenue de Champagne and just behind Pol Roger. The grounds also include a National Heritage Classified 2 hectare park with ornate wrought-iron gate and 19th century buildings, dating back to the 1850s.



International Director Gosset Champagne, Philippe Manfredini


On a guided walk through the 1.5 kilometers of cellars 60 feet underground, surrounded by cool, damp chalky soils, you can just feel how happy the more than1.2 million bottles of aging champagne grapes are nestled back in the womb of their natural habitat. On one of the walls, there is even an engraving from a former G.I., one of the WWII liberators, who carved his name along with his home state - Connecticut. The date? 1944.

The buildings can also house 26,000 hectoliters of vinifying vin clair or still champagne wine. With this allowance of space, many of the growers from whom Gosset purchases their Grands Crus and premiers Crus (only) grapes have dedicated vinification tanks. Some even as small as 20 hectoliters. For their growers, many of whom they've worked with for decades and some for centuries, whose grapes are harvested from the 60 best-rated villages in Champagne, this is a source of pride. It also gives Mareigner luxurious precision for his assemblages.  In a second tank room are multiple 1,000 hectoliter tanks filled just with reserve wine.

The distinction of being the oldest wine house in Champagne is that Gosset was producing the favored red wines back when Fracois I and Henry IV spent much of their time in Aÿ (1584 and thereabouts). The Salamander emblem on their Aÿ cellar walls is testament to the Francois I connection. 

These exquisite Pinot Noir red wines are still used today for Gosset's signature Grand Reserve Rosé, whose hints of wild strawberries and red fruits balance out its non-malo freshness. Wonderful accompaniment with poached lobster, red mullet, Asian sweet pork. And, of course, as an aperitif. 


Eco-Friendly Labeling

Gosset Champagne bottles are instantly recognizable. They haven't changed since the house first started bottling their champagnes in the 1800s. The heavy, hand-blown bottles were able to withstand the pressure of the bubbles which can be as much as 6 atmospheres. The house has kept the bottle design and their trademarked jewel neck label, but innovated significantly in terms of sustainability.

The materials used for the modified powdery gold cap now comply with European environmental directives and American standards. This Antique range  by Gosset Champagne labeling has received acknowledgment for their innovative as well as eco-friendly design, including "Imprim'Vert" label.

In addition, their gift boxes are now FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.  And the Gosset Champagne new Ecological "Green Line" caps are made with a glue-free complex - aluminum-polyethylene-aluminum - and biodegradable acrylic inks. The acrylic inks are water-based so completely naturally solvent and rather than using glue to afix the label onto the bottle, polyethylene is melted between the layers of aluminum.

Tradition, innovation and, of course, fabulous champagnes: Gosset. 







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