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O U R    I N A U G U R A L    P I N O T    N O I R    R E L E A S E

 

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Over the course of our 30-year history, Poplar Grove Winery has built a solid, international reputation as meticulous crafters of award-winning wines.

With vineyards perched on the gently rolling slopes of the Naramata Bench and nestled among the cacti and antler brush of Osoyoos, Poplar Grove’s impressive portfolio ranges from a rich Cabernet Franc to its signature Bordeaux-style red, The Legacy, and from balanced rosés to crisp, refreshing whites. And yet, with all that diversity, our family-run winery had never turned its winemaking talents to Pinot Noir.

That changed in 2016, when proprietor, Tony Holler, hosted a dinner for renowned New Zealand winemaker and passionate Pinot Noir advocate, Blair Walter, of Felton Road Winery. “That night, I tasted several different Naramata Pinot Noirs from local wineries that had worked with Blair,” Tony remembers. “There are some great Pinot Noirs coming from the Bench so it didn’t take much to convince me that Poplar Grove should expand our offerings.”

This new varietal would be a departure for Tony and the team and required a separate operation specifically for Pinot Noir production. Tony and wife Barb’s sons would lead in the vineyard while Poplar Grove Assistant Winemaker, Dan Marshall, was chosen to head up the production team, under the mentorship of Executive Winemaker, Stefan Arnason. Inspiration would come from Poplar Grove’s guiding adage: “Make what the fruit is, not what you think it should be.”

An ideal property was secured in the 13-acre Hudson Vineyard, where loam soils of rock and sand slope down towards Lake Okanagan and each evening, the vineyard is cooled by high-mountain katabatic winds that flow down from the surrounding peaks.Cultivation began in the spring of 2019, with the planting of six Pinot Noir clones (091, 667, 777, 114, 115, and 828), each carefully chosen to account varying weather conditions.

The wine itself would be made in a dedicated 3,000-square-foot facility on the winery’s Upper Bench North property, to allow the Pinot Noir team to focus exclusively on its production. Elements of this include 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.

Eight years on, Poplar Grove has released its first vintage of the new varietal: Poplar Grove Pinot Noir 2022.

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. In the 2022 launch vintage, clones 777 and 828 are dominant.

Poplar Grove Pinot Noir program stands as a testament to our 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 our stellar international reputation. In a world where change is constant, Poplar Grove stands as a beacon of resilience and creative exploration, inviting us all to savour the unexpected and embrace the beauty of evolving palates and endless possibilities.

 


P I N O T   N O I R  2 0 2 2

Tasting Notes

Pale purple in colour. Aromas of red fruit, baking spice and a subtle earthiness. Your palate is delighted with notes of ripe raspberry, red cherry and dark plum. Medium in body with velvety tannins, bright acidity and a long finish.

Awards

Double Gold – The Great Northwest Wine Competition

Gold – Los Angeles International Wine Competition

Gold – The Drink Business Global Pinot Masters

Gold – Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Levels: pH 3.77 TA 5.5 g/l
Sugar: 0.4 g/l
Harvest Date: Oct 10 – 28, 2022

Production Notes

Our Pinot Noir was harvested from six Pinot Noir clones planted on our Hudson Vineyard located on the Naramata Bench . Each clone was hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard prior to moving over to our Pinot House, a separate winemaking facility specifically designed for Pinot Noir. Whole berry fermentation took place at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks; breaking and soaking the cap through punch downs to ensure a gentleness was taken with the fruit. Next came a short post-alcoholic maceration of the submerged caps for a further 7 days before pressing into barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel over the winter into spring aging in 25% new oak. The remainder was aged in a combination of 1 to 3-year-old French oak barrels and bottle aged for 6 months prior to release.

Harvest Notes

The 2022 vintage arrived from a very challenging 2021 winter with an arctic outflow that lasted for almost 2 weeks. Fortunately, all of our vineyards escaped the extreme cold unscathed. The rest of the 2022 winter was seasonal with the occasional dip in temperature past -8°C. Cool early spring temperatures led to a bud burst that was 10 – 14 days later than average and a slow start to the growing season. The cool weather and above average rainfall persisted through the entire spring. By the end of June, the weather had turned around and the typical dry, hot summer weather arrived and persisted until mid-August. A couple of typical Okanagan heatwaves came our way in July. Mid-August saw two weeks of unruly summer storms during which our vineyard on Upper Bench Road suffered a 15% crop loss due to hail damage. September was beautiful with +30°C temperatures for the first two weeks and clear skies throughout. For the last two weeks of September and the entire month of October the weather was beautiful with +25°C every day making these two months perfect for ripening grapes. Harvest was approximately 2 weeks later than normal. With a tight time frame to get all the fruit off our vines, harvest began with the Chardonnay, picked for our Extra Brut on September 29, and ended on November 12, when the Munson Mountain Cabernet Franc was harvested. A steady growing season that started slow and ended fast resulting in ripe, well-balanced grapes for the 2022 vintage.

H U D S O N  V I N E Y A R D

Our Hudson vineyard was established by the Holler Family in 2019. This 13-acre site is planted with 6 different clones of Pinot Noir and is located on the south end of the Naramata Bench. Pinot Noir is a FIckle grape and needs optimal conditions to grow successfully. West facing slopes encourage air drainage to help mitigate spring frost and keep mildew from forming which Pinot Noir is generally susceptible to. The sand silt loam soil, drainage, and cool nights allow the fruit to properly ripen and provide us with quality clone variation in our Pinot Noir.

C L O N E S

1 . P N 0 9 1 Originally from Pommard, Burgundy, this clone produces small berries in small
clusters. Provides firm tannins and deep colours with notes of dark plum and earthy characteristics. 1 acre

2 . P N 1 1 5 Early ripening with high sugar content, intense flavour and excellent colour.
Provides good tannin structure with notes of cherry, leather and anise. 2 acres

3 . P N 1 1 4 Small and compact clusters, very dark in colour. Provides soft and delicate
tannins with notes of spice, black cherry, and dark plum. 2 acres

4 . P N 6 6 7 Small tight clusters making for naturally concentrated wines. Provides thick
tannins with red fruit notes like raspberry, strawberry, and baking spice. 1 acre

5 . P N 7 7 7 Low-yield with thick purple skins. Very aromatic, intense colour with good tannin structure. Provides intense aromatics and colour with notes of Black cherry, cassis, and tobacco. 3 acres

6 . P N 8 2 8 Low pH with high sugar content. Aromatic with a fruit forward characteristic and notes of ripe blackberry, plum, and red cherry. 4 acres

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