There’s a new kid on the Naramata Bench playground. Lock and Worth partners Matthew Sherlock and Ross Hackworth (lock and worth—get it?) know a good vineyard when they see it, so when the old Poplar Grove vineyard came on the market four years ago, they jumped. Ross, who owns Nichol Vineyard, the northernmost Naramata Winery, and Matthew who works for Ross and is also a wine importer, make their mission clear—make very good wines (definition: wines they like to drink) but know they can’t please everyone.
“We produced only 1200 cases in 2014, from a pretty awesome vintage, so we are never going to be a mass market wine,” Matt says. “It’s exciting for Ross to be able to push the boundaries in making our wines. Because we are small producers are vintages might be completely different. Our customers are people who celebrate differences.”
At the wine shop, which they share with Gitta Pedersen’s Poplar Grove Cheese, visitors will find 2013 Cabernet Franc Square I, 2014 Merlot, 2014 Cabernet Franc Rosé, 2014 Sauvignon Blanc + Semillon and a very small quantity of 2014 Semillon. All wines are single vineyard productions.
Most of the Lock and Worth wines are unfined and unfiltered. For Ross, natural winemaking is a priority, so natural ferments with no added yeasts are used wherever possible. There is no questioning the commitment the owners have to quality, but if you are looking for middle market wine that is manipulated to be predictable the same despite variations in the growing season from year to year, it’s probably best to move on.
~ Lorne Eckersley