It was a fantastic turnout for the launch of Jason Yamasaki’s Okanagan Wine Campus creation last week at JOEY Bentall One.  More than 40 people eagerly walked through the door and gladly accepted a glass of jy. 2015 Pinot Noir Ancient Method sparkling wine – I was one of them.

Since the program started in 2011, Okanagan Crush Pad (owned by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie) started a very successful mentorship program where British Columbia’s Best Sommelier of the Year recipient winner has a chance to create a small lot wine of their choice. In 2015, Jason Yamasaki won this coveted title and chose to make an ancient method sparkling wine to showcase how pure our Okanagan Valley terroir is.


Ancient Method sparkling wine differs from champagne in that there is only one fermentation, not two, as in champagne production.  jy. Ancient Method is made from 100% organic Pinot Noir grapes sourced from the OCP’s Garnet Valley Ranch in the Okanagan Valley.  Yamasaki, Group Sommelier for the JOEY Restaurant Group, promotes the purity of red fruit and excellent acidity in this wine and is quick to suggest pairing it with JOEY’s sushi cones or tuna tacos.

Jordan Kubek, Okanagan Crush Pad’s assistant winemaker, heads the sparkling wine category and mentioned she was, “terrified yet extremely excited” to be making an ancient method wine. Kubek did not add sulphur during the winemaking process and likes that it is only 6 g/l of residual sugar.

Personally, this wine pleased me on many levels.  First – the wine is excellent.  I enjoyed the fuller bodied, Pinot Noir flavour profile that is allowed to shine through.  The wine spent 10 months ageing which allows for some subtle biscuit and brioche notes to flirt to the back of the palate.  The acidity, lightness and balance come together beautifully.  It is, without a doubt, my favourite sparkling wine that I have ever tried from a British Columbia producer…it is that great.

Finally, I am thrilled that $5,000 of the total sales of each Okanagan Wine Campus wine is donated to the B.C. Hospitality Foundation.

jy. 2015 Pinot Noir Ancient Method Garnett Valley Ranch, Okanagan Valley, B.C. retails for $39.90 and you can treat yourself to a bottle through the Okanagan Crush Pad online site or at JOEY Bentall One, Marquis Wine Cellars, Brewery Creek and Anna Lena Restaurant.