Jacq Kemp (pictured) and Pinot Noir are turning out to be a great match at Moraine Winery. The New Zealand-born winemaker clearly has an affinity for Pinot Noir grown on the Naramata Bench vineyards.

Since its release in January 2014 Moraine’s Pinot Noir since its release in January 2014 has been selected three times as one of the top nine BC VQA wines to be served at a Visa Infinite Dining Experience. Already in 2014 it has been featured in Calgary and Vancouver Visa Infinite dining events, a clear sign that Jacq’s passion for the Heartbreak Grape is showing up in her wines.

Once a nutritional research scientist, Jacq earned her winemaking degree in New Zealand in 2000, and has since gained experience working in Burgundy, Western Australia, New Zealand and Canada. She and her family have settled in the Okanagan, where her goal is “to make vineyard-focused wines that are balanced, elegant and distinctly varietal.”

Wine critics like David Lawrason have embraced the 2012 Pinot Noir, Jacq’s first vintage at Moraine Winery. After a tasting in February, he described it as having “nicely ripe cherry fruit, complexity and balance”, adding “it is a gutsy Pinot that Pinot fans will like to dig into, it has character and excellent length with cranberry-currant fruit.”

The grapes for the 2012 vintage were picked from Sophia’s Vineyard (named for a daughter of owners Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov) on October 14th, and fermented in small bins to allow bright fruitiness and lovely aromas to develop. The wine was aged for 10 months in premium French oak from the Troncais forest, which produces wood with exceptionally tight grains.

“It is exciting for us to see the success Jacq is having with fruit from our vineyards,” Oleg says. “Our customers have responded enthusiastically to our wines and it’s great to see that the critics agree.”
~ Lorne Eckersley