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Poplar Grove Winery Launches First-Ever Pinot Noir

Published 05/01/24

May 1st, 2024 (Penticton, BC) — Over the course of its 30-year history, Poplar Grove Winery has built a solid, international reputation as meticulous crafters of award-winning Bordeaux-style reds and crisp, refreshing whites. 

What the family-run winery had not yet turned their talents to was Pinot Noir.  That changed in 2016, when Poplar Grove proprietor, Tony Holler, hosted a dinner for renowned New Zealand winemaker, Blair Walter, of Felton Road Winery.  “I tasted several different Naramata Pinot Noirs that night,” Tony remembers. “After that, it didn’t take much to convince me that Poplar Grove should expand our portfolio.”  The fruit of that evening is today’s launch of Poplar Grove Pinot Noir 2022, the first vintage of this new varietal. 

A medium-bodied Pinot Noir with velvety tannins, bright acidity and a long finish, Poplar Grove Pinot Noir 2022 is akin to those produced in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and New Zealand’s Central Otago. Pale purple in colour, aromas of red fruit, baking spice and subtle earthiness intertwine with the first breath, followed by notes of ripe raspberry, red cherry, and earthy, dark plum. 

Poplar Grove’s Pinot Noir grapes are grown by Tony and wife Barb’s sons in the Hudson Vineyard, a dedicated 13-acre parcel chosen specifically for loam soils of rock and sand that slope down towards Lake Okanagan. Each evening, the vineyard is cooled by high-mountain katabatic winds that flow down from the surrounding peaks. 

Poplar Grove’s Pinot Noir is made in a dedicated 3,000-square-foot facility on the winery’s Upper Bench North property. This allows the production team— headed by Assistant Winemaker, Dan Marshall, under the mentorship of Executive Winemaker, Stefan Arnason — to focus exclusively on making Pinot Noir. The process includes a rigourous sorting table routine, separate destemmer, manual punchdowns, carefully chosen yeast, and six 6,000-litre coopers tailored to highlight the unique characteristics of the grape. 

Meant to be enjoyed upon release, Poplar Grove Pinot Noir 2022 has already won Double Gold at The Great Northwest Wine Competition in Oregon, Gold at The Drink Business Global Pinot Noir Masters in the UK, and most recently, Gold at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. 

Poplar Grove Pinot Noir 2022 stands as a testament to the winery’s unwavering commitment to making exceptional wines. The new varietal also marks a pivotal chapter in the winery’s ongoing journey, deftly embodying the spirit of innovation on which Poplar Grove has staked its stellar international reputation.

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