Black Market Wine and the Calgary Connection

Black Market Wine Company is the new brand owned by Rob Hammersley and Michelle Shewchuk from Calgary and Okanagan Falls. Production is only about 180 cases. Their wines are handcrafted at the BC Wine Studio under the watchful eyes of Mark Simpson and Rob.

In his day job Rob is the Director, Valuations & Business Analytics for a Calgary-based power generation company. So after a hard week of M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) in Calgary, he travels to Okanagan Falls and turns back into a winemaker. Rob commented that he can’t wait to be in the Okanagan on a permanent basis. I first met Rob and Michelle at Garagiste North in Kelowna and had the chance to sample the Syndicate red, which is a solid Bordeaux style blend and the Secret Society white.


Secret Society White 2014 (125 cases). The blend is not disclosed on the label, likely to underline the mystique suggested by the name. But John Schreiner suggested it was Gewürztraminer (50%), Ehrenfelser (45%) and Chardonnay (5%). The Ehrenfelser was aged six week in acacia barrels. A dry aromatic white, the wine is crisp and dry, suited to food. It has herbal aromas and flavours, along with a hint of grapefruit. The Syndicate Red 2012 (120 cases). The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon (37%), Merlot (36%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Petit Verdot (4%). The Cabernet Sauvignon contributes notes of mint to the red fruit aromas. On the palate, there are flavours of black currant and blueberries with hints of coffee and chocolate. The texture is concentrated. The 2012 is almost sold out (down to about 15 cases left in BC)!!!


For the 2014 vintage, Black Market is adding 150 cases of Syrah to their repertoire. “I have a pretty strong belief that Syrah is going to find a great home in this valley,” Rob asserts. “It is a wine I personally enjoy drinking. It is a varietal I have studied in my viticulture program. It is just perfectly suited for the right sites in the valley.”

Can’t wait to sample the Syrah.