We are going to talk about of a couple of Tinhorn Creek wines and then Tinhorn’s environmental and sustainable efforts in both the vineyard and the winery. No matter how much effort you put into being green and sustainable, you still have to make good or great wines. So, first we are going to review a sampling of Tinhorn wines.
We have probably drunk cases, maybe gallons of this wine sitting on decks in the Okanagan. We like this chard. A great summer sipper, it is what we look for in a Chardonnay. A lightly oaked, fruit forward wine.
Tech Stuff PH3.7, RS<2.0g/l, TA6.0, Acl 12.9% 15% new Oak 100% malolactic fermentation.
Cabernet Franc 2010 $19.99
This is, for me, a great example of what British Columbia can do with Cabernet Franc. A varietally correct wine with dark fruit, tobacco, cedar and herb notes. A big Cab Franc with lots of tannins and a long finish. This wine has vintage variations making it interesting to try, year after year.
You know those days when you kick your shoes off, put your feet up and go ahhh. This is the bottle of wine to pair with that feeling.
Tech Stuff PH3.71, RS<2.0g/l, TA 6.0, Acl 13.9% , 2-3 year old American and French Oak barrels for 12 months.
Oldfield Series 2Bench Rose 2011 $22.99
If you are looking for a sweet Rose this is not it. This is a dry style rose with strawberry and some pepper and spice notes. We have tried to kill this wine with food pairings, to date with no success . Deep fried anchovies did not even faze it. Hot sauce and dim sum? A match. Peppered steak? Good with it. We can see why some restaurants are now serving this wine by the glass. Sorry, it is only sold at the winery, but if you join the wine club there is a discount. We bought a case late this spring and it is all gone.
Tech Stuff PH 3.42, RS <2.0g/l, TA 6.75G/l, Acl 12.9% 100% Cab Franc
“The team at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards believe that as stewards of the land they must strive for a balance between agriculture and nature”
Tinhorn Creek was the very first Canadian winery to complete the Climate Smart Program and the first winery in Canada to be carbon neutral. The winery was also the first in the Okanagan to use bio diesel in all its tractors. Used barrels are recycled. The winery tanks are cleaned with a super efficient high-pressure system to reduce water usage by 80%.
The bottles used are made from 50% reclaimed glass. All glass, cardboard and paper is recycled.
To quote Andrew Moon, the goal is to manage the vineyards as naturally as possible. All grape residue from the wine making process is composted and used on the vineyards.
The winery plants vegetation in between rows to reduce erosion. No toxic baits are used to control animal pests. All the vineyards have a buffer zone between the vines and sensitive areas .The winery is converting their overhead irrigation to drip in order to save water.
The winery also has taken a stewardship role. Tinhorn has been recognized by The Land Conservancy www.conservancy.bc.ca as a Conservation partner thanks, in part, to their Endangered Snake Protection Program. The winery has erected snake barrier fencing, which is about a foot high. This keeps the snakes in their natural habitat which keeps them of roadways, thus drastically reducing their mortality rate.
Tinhorn staff, with much TLC, have replanted around 6000 native plants at the top of the vineyard to help with the Antelope Brush Habitat Restoration Program.
Tinhorn also supports the Boys and Girls Club of Canada with 2.5% of their annual income after taxes, exhibiting great corporate responsibility.
So, not only are these good wines to drink, but every time you do you are helping the environment as well. A quote from Tinhorn Creek: “We are stewards of the land and our relationships with them; people rely on us for their livelihoods and trust us to keep them safe; we must reduce our production of carbon and conserve the use of water, preserving the integrity of our watersheds”. Pretty much says it all.
Owners Sandra and Ken Oldfield with Bob and Barbera Shaunessy and Shaun Everest
Acreage 150 acres 100 Black Sage Bench, 50 Golden Mile
Year established 1993
Wine Maker Sandra Oldfield
Viticulturist Andrew Moon
Cases Produced 35,000
Tasting room is open daily from 10am to 6pm from March 1st to December 31st and from 10am to 5pm January 2nd to February 28th.
by Frank Haddad