Hello to you all and happy Wednesday!
I hope the ghosts and goblins that came to your home this week were adorable and you had a few left over treats to nibble on for yourself.
This week, I would like to introduce you to Coolshanagh Wines – if you haven’t already heard of them…
Located along the waters’ edge in Naramata, British Columbia, Coolshanagh is the 10 acre vineyard belonging to Skip and Judy Stothert. I was lucky enough to have a chance to sit down with them both, tour the vineyard, feel the soil and sip their delicious Chardonnay.
As most of you know by now, I am a huge Chardonnay fan. I applaud the decision to focus on two grape varieties instead of an enormous portfolio. “We did our research and found that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were the best two grapes for our specific vineyard site and we wanted to grow the best grapes we possibly could,” stated Skip when he was driving me around on the tractor. “This was a dream of Judy and mine when we were living in North Vancouver and we have been able to make it a reality – with a lot of hard work.”
I was intrigued by the name ‘Coolshanagh’ and asked Judy to talk to me about the inspiration for the name and the label, “Coolshanagh was a saying that was on my Grandmother’s letterhead which means ‘a meeting place of friends’. That stayed with me always and it perfectly fit the feeling behind what Skip and I set out to do here. The label is open to interpretation but it shows that we are all a ‘work in progress’. The label has flow and mirrors the relationship between the terroir and the vine – a line of topography showing the grapes and the rocks.”
Skip and Judy Stothert have their wine made by Matt Dumayne at Okanagan Crush Pad. Dumayne does an excellent job delivering stunning Chardonnay from the Coolshanagh fruit. The vineyards of Coolshanagh have been ranked by Dr. Pedro Parra, a Chilean wine terroir consultant, as being in the top 15% of vineyard sites for Chardonnay in the world.
During my visit, I was able to sample both the 2012 and 2013 vintages. Both were outstanding – the 2012 was the first vintage ever released and is sold out. The 2013, which happened to appeal more to my taste – is available in limited quantities through the website and I know that the Village Liquor Store in Park Royal Village in West Vancouver currently have a few bottles in stock. I am told the 2014 vintage will be released in April or May of 2016 – as I type with baited breath…
The 2013 Chardonnay is sensuous and striking…I could wax poetic but nothing I can say will do better than your own experience with this wine.