It’s all about quality,” says Oleg Aristarkhov. Moraine Winery owners Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov with Winemaker Jaqueline Kemp use small batches to allow them to focus on the needs of each variety of wine. With the 11 varietals planted in Moraine’s two vineyards, each one will be produced with superior quality in mind.
Since opening early in 2012, Moraine has fast become one of the Naramata Bench’s hidden gem boutique wineries. The 2012 harvest was the first one completed in Moraine’s own winery under the direction of Kemp. “The surprise this year was the Syrah,” says Kemp. “It’s showing fantastically in the cellar.” Pinot Noir is also high on Kemp’s radar for Moraine. “It is a really fantastic year for Pinot Noir. I think the site played a huge role.” Naramata Pinot Noir lovers will surely be on the lookout for that one when it is released.
For the Spring Wine Festival, the Aristarkhovs have something special in mind. “We’ll have a barrel tasting,” says Oleg, “with a meats and cheeses.” Kemp will be there as well to guide visitors through a barrel tasting and answer questions.
This spring will see the release of new vintages of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Rosé, and the next Cliffhanger Red – Moraine’s popular fruity and elegant red blend. With limited quantities of all of their wines, one would be advised to get there early in the year to avoid missing out on this exciting boutique winery.
~ Luke Whittall