East Kelowna Bench boutique winery SpierHead has just been named the Best New Winery at the 2012 BC Wine Awards. They grow Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in their vineyards, sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the Black Sage Bench in Oliver.  Wines are hand-crafted, in small lots, at their property by veteran Winemaker Bill Pierson, so that quality can be rigorously controlled.

This focus on quality has yielded a Gold Medal for their 2010 Pinot Noir at the Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards.  This Pinot Noir was French oak aged for 11 months and shows notes of cherry and oak with a smooth finish – an exceptional value at $17.90!  Bronze Medals were also awarded for their 2010 Chardonnay, the 2010 Vanguard and the 2010 Pursuit.  The two Meritage blends, both French oak-aged for 18 months, make for excellent drinking this winter. The Merlot-based Pursuit is drinking well now, while the Vanguard, with higher Cabernet Sauvignon content, shows more complexity and aging potential.

SpierHead was a featured winery at Cornucopia at Whistler and is being featured at a number of restaurants and special events throughout the Lower Mainland.  The proprietors will continue to build on their successes by launching two new wines next spring – their first Pinot Noir Rosé and a Pinot Gris.

Happily, the 2012 harvest has been much better than the previous two years with ripening  back on a normal schedule after several challenging autumns. The winery expects to increase production – possibly up to 2500 cases for 2013 release.

The Ribs & Reds BBQ was big success and the winery hopes to do a Whites & Wings in the spring to showcase new releases.  As part of the Fab five, SpierHead promotes this new wine trail route by participating in a number of fun, joint special events.

Stay tuned to www.spierheadwinery.com for release dates and upcoming special events!

~ Allison Fader