Wine is big business, but as we know, most big businesses become faceless brands, and the passion for the craft and quality of the product can be lost when the focus turns from the product to increasing sales volume.
And this is why boutique wineries are the most fun to explore and often yield the best wines and most interesting stories.
Lunessence boutique winery and vineyard is one such gem of winery. Visitors are warmly welcomed and can relax on the spacious patio, listening to classical music and tasting an array of inspiring wines.
Is there a better way to spend a sunny afternoon in the Okanagan?
Lunessence opened its doors in 2014, and in just three short years, it has gained a reputation for producing superior quality, small lot wines. In fact, Lunessence has earned 26 Canadian and International awards to date, including three awards from the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
General manager and winemaker Michal Mosny and wife and viticulturist, Martina run Lunessence with a philosophy that respects the vineyard as a living and varied ecosystem, and the belief that the health of the vineyard directly affects the quality of the wine.
The property is uniquely situated between two wetlands; a much-needed habitat for native species in the dry Okanagan. And luckily for the local flora and fauna, the goal at Lunessence is to work with nature, not against it.
Michal and Martina are dedicated to maintaining a healthy eco-system in the wetlands, and they met with the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society to understand how to manage the vineyards without upsetting the natural balance of the marshes.
They currently follow an integrated plant protection method of vineyard management and include biodynamic practices into their current system. No pesticides are used in the vineyard as this would have a severely detrimental effect on the delicate balance of the wetlands.
Today, in addition to collecting multiple awards for their wines, Lunessence is proud to be a “Wildlife Habitat Steward” with the Stewardship Society. Proof that the wine industry can be sustainable and profitable while producing superior quality wines.
The care and attention in the vineyard is apparent. The air is fresh and free from chemical residue and the atmosphere is buzzing with life – and music. The care of the land, vines and wine extends beyond the physical and into the metaphysical.
Classical music is played throughout the vineyard, winery, and cellar. Michal carefully selects music to influence the wine while it is being grown, made and aged. The notes of Giuseppe Verdi, W. A. Mozart, Gioacchino Rossini, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Pietro Mascagni and many others resound throughout Lunessence sending the subtle influences of sound through the atmosphere.
Just as music has the ability to elevate our emotions, so it affects the plants with the notes and melodies that soothe, uplift, and inspire.
As Michal states, “Classical music is the thread that connects our vineyard, winemaking and our winery philosophy as a whole and we don’t take it lightly… Each wine requires different technique, music and feeling.This attention helps us to produce fine wines with deep character.”
Michal began making wine in Europe and brings a traditional approach to winemaking. He believes that wines made traditionally hold the character of the varietal. They tend to have bigger structure and bouquet with deeper complexity and taste.
Lunessence white wines benefit from long contact with both their skins and lees, which makes the lack of pesticides even more attractive. And the barrels used are carefully selected to ensure the character of the variety is emphasised. Aging takes place in a variety of French, American, Hungarian and Slovakian barrels and even in old neutral wooden vats.
Michal Mosny and Martina have worked hand-in-hand to manage the land and make the wine. And the dedication to quality has paid off. No marketing needed, the Lunessence label is gaining the recognition it deserves and the wines sell quickly.
The best way to get your hands on a bottle of Lunessence before they sell out is to join the wine club, Amadeus.
The Winemaker’s Cut Wines represent two special wines chosen from the vineyard: Sauvignon Blanc & Syrah