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Solvero winemaker Alison Moyes is NOT boring, so why would she make a boring Pinot Gris?
"Definitely, the goal here was NOT to make a boring Pinot Gris," said Moyes with a laugh.
"A common complaint about Pinot Gris is that it's everywhere and it can be pleasant, but it's boring. That's why Solvero's Pinot Gris is NOT boring. My aim is always to create complex wines with multiple fermentations and flavour profiles."
So, Moyes aged the 2022 Solvero Pinot Gris ($25) half in neutral oak barrels and half in big stainless-steel tanks.
A neutral oak barrel has been used at least twice before, essentially letting the previous wines suck the oak aroma and flavour out of it.
The third fill with Pinot Gris imparts no oak flavour or aroma to the wine, but it does give the wine texture and beautiful mouth feel.
That, combined with the fresh wine from the stainless-steel tanks makes for an aromatic Pinot Gris with mouthwatering minerality and richness and a textural, dry and balanced taste.
The wine has a layered profile of nectarine, peach, honey and white flower blossoms.
Gorgeous -- and, as discussed earlier, most certainly NOT boring.
If you haven't heard of Solvero it's because its a new winery hidden away at 25585 Wildhorse Rd. in Summerland's Garnet Valley.
It's worth seeking out -- in person or online at www.solverowines.ca -- not just for its fascinating Pinot Gris, but for stellar Burgundy varietals 2021 Chardonnay (not available yet), 2020 Pinot Noir ($35) and 2022 Rose of Pinot Noir ($25) made with New World grapes, but with Old World flair.
Again, Moyes gives these wines the multiple fermentations treatment to create complex, delicious vintages.
While Solvero is newly open to the public, it's a winery that was a decade in the making.
Bob Sartor, who owns the winery with his wife, Andrea, describes himself as a serial entrepreneur who's had nine careers, the latest being winery proprietor.
He's also a chartered professional accountant and his most previous job was president and CEO of Calgary Airport.
Thus, quite a career switch.
But, his mom is Italian and wine is part of his everyday life, so a winery felt like the natural next step.
By the way, Solvero is from the Latin for 'truth in soil,' a mantra the winery takes very seriously.
Sartor's son, Matt, is Solvero president and vineyard manager who jokes that he "is weirdly obsessed with reinventing the wheel."
As such, he searched two years to find the Garnet Valley and Happy Valley vineyards in Summerland that are in a narrow valley.
The steep slopes block out some sunlight for parts of the day, allowing the grapes to grow at low yields and ripen slowly for intense flavour concentrations with lower alcohol and higher acidity, all contributing to fresh, but complex, wines.
Bubbles & Oysters
Oysters, sparkling wine, stunning views, good company and lawn games.
It doesn't get any more quintessentially Okanagan summer than that.
That's why Mirabel Winery at 3740 Hart Rd. East Kelowna is celebrating its third anniversary on Sunday, 2-5 pm, with Bubbles & Oysters -- a party with all those aforementioned attributes.
Last-minute tickets are available for $55 each at www.mirabelvineyards.com and include four oysters on the half shell from Shucked Oyster Co. and a glass of Mirabel's newly released 2019 Blanc de Noir sparkling wine.
More wine and oysters can also be purchased on site.
Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space. Cheers.