There are approximately 192,000 acres of Sangiovese (San-jo-vay-say) planted around the world and although most of it can be found in Italy, we’ve actually got three glorious acres of these luscious vines planted right here in our very own backyard.
Sandhill Estate Vineyard, located just outside of Oliver, is a Sangiovese-growing sweet spot where temperatures regularly register near 40° Celsius. This heat combined with rocky cliffs of granite and a gentle west-facing slope produces beautifully ripened, well-balanced fruit, year after year.
The 2016 growing season provided a bounty of fruit that most winemakers only dream of and when the Sandhill Sangiovese hit the crush pad in early September, master winemaker Howard Soon decided quickly that not all of it would get equal treatment. Instead of crushing and soaking all the grapes to make his award-winning Small Lots red wine, some of them were sent to the press almost immediately to produce a one-of-kind Rosé.
Mr. Soon had learned from experience that the larger berry size and thin-skinned nature of Sangiovese make it a dream candidate for whole cluster pressing. That being said, there is no right answer when it comes to how quickly, or how long to press. It’s this kind of variability in the winemaking process that makes rosé one of the more stylistic wines in any winemakers’ portfolio. Although rosé is often referred to as an expression of the growing season, the creativity and skill of the winemaker also have great influence.
2016 Sandhill Rosé
Floral, fruit-forward and off dry makes it the perfect patio companion. The beautiful watermelon colour, and food friendly nature of this wine also make it a welcome addition to any spring picnic or Sunday brunch. We highly recommend you find a sunny patio, open a bottle of Sandhill Rosé, and take the rest of the day off.
~ Joanna Schlosser