Crescent Hill Winery is distinguished as one of Penticton’s earliest vineyards. Owner Teresa Murray-Wiseman and her family love to have fun with the brand. Take the highly acclaimed blush, a light, bright, floral and fruity wine irreverently named Hissy Fit.
Once a Hobby
Teresa’s father, Glenallyn, planted his vines roughly 40 years ago to indulge his winemaking hobby. Leveraging his self-taught knowledge and information gleaned from his professional winemaker friend Tom Hoenisch, plus research by Elias Phiniotis, he planted Vinifera grapes. By 1980, he made his first vintage using European equipment he’d purchased. Still, he never took himself too seriously. He sold his “juice” without a winery license to friends, neighbours, and to Casabello and Calona Wines.
From Family Recipe to #1 Seller
Hissy Fit is Glenallyn’s old recipe that the family rediscovered and refined by current winemaker Russell Wiseman, Teresa’s husband. Today, Crescent Hill’s number one seller, it was famously known in Glenallyn’s circles as “blush.” Teresa’s sister Teena Murray-Christiansen first recalled it and suggested, “Why don’t we make some of Dad’s blush?” Family folklore hints that the original may have sported a touch of moonshine. However, Russell’s modern refinements create a refreshing twist on white wine, infused instead with raspberries. Layered with Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Verdelet and raspberry infusion, expect a fruit blast on the nose and tongue at the outset. In the middle, it balances well to a stone fruit sensation and closes out clearly citrus.
Have a Hissy Fit
The label by talented local artist Janis Blyth playfully depicts the light and fun spirit of the wine. On the back it states: “Are you a PRINCESS, a demanding DIVA, or just OVER WORKED? If yes, then you are familiar with the following…TANTRUMS, OUTBURSTS, AGITATIONS, EXPLOSIONS, ERUPTIONS, FIRE WORKS, FLARE UPS, HUFFS AND DELIRIUMS. Well now there is a wine made JUST for you. Go ahead. Have a HISSY FIT, you deserve it!” Clearly, it’s a teasing prompt to just enjoy the wine and not take yourself too seriously. (The adjacent illustration extends this tenour and exemplifies the family focus by including a precocious young lady who happens to be Teresa’s niece, Sophie — granddaughter of Glenallyn.)
Hissy Fit, says Teresa, receives a warm appraisal from young to old, men and women. “It’s often purchased as a gift for baby and bridal showers, birthday and weddings.” It has also been praised by wine experts, receiving such awards as Silver for Semi Dry Rosé in the Great American International Wine Competition New York.
Whimsical Marketing – Great Wine
Watch for another strong statement in Vendetta, Crescent Hill’s first sparkling wine, which was released in late July. Visit the winery or taste the wines where available. The marketing may be whimsical, but the winemaking is not. See crescenthillwinery.com for a full list of awards and most recently, results from the All Canadian Wine Championships and the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada.