Taking a new direction in concert with its transition to organic practices, Desert Hills Estate Winery has launched a wine series called Flora & Fauna.
Head winemaker Anthony Buchanan, assistant winemaker Rajen Toor and the cellar team were inspired to create a low-intervention series as a creative departure from Desert Hills’ classic wine offerings. Flora & Fauna reflects how making low-intervention wines mirrors the extra care and attention required in organic farming. With hand-picking as always, the process included some old-world foot-treading and wild fermentations to craft wines that are playful, textural and alive.
Introducing the Releases
First released was Desert Hills’ first sparkling wine, the 2019 Ancestral Method Sparkling––a blend of foot-tread Viognier, gently pressed Gamay, and Chardonnay, co-fermented, bottled while still fermenting, and then riddled and disgorged by hand. This ancestral-method sparkling bursts with crisp minerality, refreshing stone fruit, guava and white flowers.
The Amber Wine is 100 per cent Gewürztraminer from Desert Hills’ Sage Brush Vineyard and was fermented on the skins for 38 days, then aged eight months in concrete amphora. Absolutely glowing, it is full of fresh floral spice, candied ginger, blood orange and orange pekoe tea.
Born from fruit of the estate’s Three Boys Vineyard, the 2019 Pinot Gris shows soft passionfruit, cantaloupe and spiced tangerine. Wild fermentation was followed by 10 months of aging in neutral oak puncheons sur lie with no bâtonnage for a silky textured feel.
The whimsical label art by Furhouse reflects the playful style of Flora & Fauna. Stay tuned for this series’ availability near you as it arrives exclusively at restaurants and select stock lists.
Head Chef Andrew Kraeft’s new menu presents Canadian comfort food and Indian-flavoured features. The Black Sage Bistro is open daily, 12 noon to 7 pm, except Tuesday, when it is closed.