Cool Climate Wines From A Pretty Warm Place
It’s the defining quality of our site: our wines profile as cool climate, but like many vineyards in the Okanagan it’s anything but cool here during the growing season. But with the moderating effect of the lake to our east, and shade from the mountain to our west, our vines retain the freshness and acidity characteristic of cool climate wines. It’s like they don’t know it’s 35°C a lot of days.
Our Cool-Climate Still Wines
With 40 acres planted to vines, and seven varietals in the vineyard, we grow eight still wines at Fitz: six varietal wines and two blends (at this point there'll be no varietal Meunier wine).
Big Leap Chardonnay
The first dream we had as winegrowers was to produce great Chardonnay. It was 1987. To do that, we had to pull up every last vine we had, and replant new French ones. At the time, no one really knew for sure that great Okanagan wine was even possible. It was a big leap. But we took it.
The 2020 Chardonnay is made from a blend of estate grown fruit and grapes sourced from South Okanagan. 50% fermented in stainless steel and 50% a long slow ferment in neutral French Oak. Monthly batonnage. 30% went through malolactic fermentation.
This Chardonnay has aromatics of honeydew, stonefruit and citrus with slight edge of butterscotch. Nicely acid driven with good weight and length. The palate shows a crisp minerality that is textural and refreshing.
The Unwinder Ehrenfelser
No grape in our vineyard loves sun like Ehrenfelser. It basks in the August heat, soaking up the light while its tropical flavours deepen and intensify. So it’s no coincidence that the wine is most at home on hot, lazy days—paired perfectly with an advanced state of relaxation.
Our discerning, resident bear loves Gewϋrztraminer. She picks perfectly ripe clusters from the vine with the same care we do, and then makes short work of them. We, on the other hand, gently press ours, and then use a long, cool ferment to preserve all their beautiful flavour. To each their own.
Pink Mile Rosé
Our Rosé’s delicate pinkish colour evokes our vineyard’s century-old legacy as a peach orchard, where the blossoms stretched for a pink mile each spring. It was these peaches that attracted us here in the 1940s with Mac & Fitz, the family packing house. So memorable, here we are eight decades later.
The Lookout Riesling
Perched above our Riesling block, an osprey keeps a sharp eye on the comings and goings at the winery. She’d notice, then, we keep a very close eye on that block, monitoring sugar levels to find a perfect balance between ripeness and acidity. It’s possible we’re out eagle-eyeing a hawk.
Sudden Inversion Meritage
The warm air rising off Okanagan Lake creates very bumpy air for local pilots. It also warms our vineyard, but not quite enough to ripen the “big reds.” So we turned the Valley upside down to find perfect fruit for our Meritage. Rich, ripe and smooth. If we want bumps, we’ll rent a plane.
There’s something classic about a good white blend. The kind you toss in the cooler in the back of the boat on your way across the lake to visit friends. We have been refining that art for decades now, and they always seem to be welcome on any table. Or bow.
The Elusive Pinot Noir
The pursuit of the perfect Pinot Noir is as near-impossible as the one for Ogopogo who, according to legend, lives just across the lake from here. But after 20 years of hand-holding the famously thin-skinned grape from vine to bottle, it’s much less mysterious. Ogopogo? Still pretty mysterious.
The 2020 Pinot Noir is 100% estate grown, and a single block selection from our organically farmed South Block.
The aromatics lead into spicey dark plums with an earthy note. A firm mouthfeel to start, with evolving tannins to finish with good length. The dark fruit gives weight, while the acidity and tannins give structure and complexity.
The Lava Bomb Gamay
The 2020 fruit is a single block selection from a Summerland vineyard. The aromatics are driven by red fruits with earthy notes and a hint of violets. This approachable Gamay is light bodied with an elegance balance of fruit, tannins and acidity.
The Mischief Pinot Blanc
A strong southerly wind blows in our vineyard, and sometimes it creates a little mischief. But all that air circulation is ideal for our Pinot Blanc vines. It keeps them warm, healthy and happy, and there is something undeniably beautiful about grape leaves blowing in the wind. Just hold onto your hat.