the hatch – Wine with an attitude!

The-Hatch-with-grass-1140x640“the hatch” is one of two wineries and three brands operated by Terrabella Wineries, a holding company based in Summerland. The winery is housed on a vineyard that Terrabella purchased in 2013, just north of Quails’ Gate Estate winery in West Kelowna. The 15 acres of vines include Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Gamay.  At the 2016 Wine Align Awards of Canada, the hatch was named the 9th Best Winery in Canada and 5th Best in British Columbia.

“the hatch” branding theme comes from the work of Paul Morstad, a Vancouver artist whose style draws from the work of the legendary Ralph Steadman well known for the labels he created for Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, California.  There was an early plan for a grand Hatch facility on Mt. Boucherie road, a prominent feature of the westside wine trail, but it was decided to renovate old barns at the rear of the vineyard for the tasting room. The wine tasting area displays the unrestrained art of the labels.  It would be hard to find a tasting room in the valley with more personality!

The Winemaker

MothJason[2039769]Jason Parkes is the force behind the hatch’s liquids. Jason has been in the BC Wine Game making wines for 15+ years. He’s a shy character, and has always been a behind the scenes kind of guy but with ‘The Hatch’, Jason has the  opportunity to place his personality front and centre. A gifted musician, Jason’s history in the Okanagan Valley and connections with growers adds a unique element and allows the hatch to create a spectrum of fine wines from a wide range of vineyards and sub-areas.

Challenges of the 2015 vintage

The fruit for the 2015 vintage across the board was very good. Our biggest challenge was timing; everything came on at once and that was really hard to keep organised.  Ripeness levels were quite proper and rot wasn’t much of an issue with the supplying vineyards. Because the vintage was early, bottling was early as well which gave the crisp whites a few extra weeks in the bottle before been shown off and the finished quality has been really well received.

The Wines

Here is just a small selection of the hatch and Black Swift Vinyard wines portfolio.

Rhymes with 2014 hatch Orange. This new wine will be released at the end of September. We wanted to err on the side of caution and wanted our orange to have a fruit component that we find lacks from a lot of these wines. So we made ours from Kerner, Schönburger and Chardonnay; co-fermented and kept on the skins for 6 weeks in two historic puncheons. This provides unique and high-toned aromas of nut and linseed oil mixed with stone fruit and fresh bread. The palate is textured, dare I say tannic (like a soft red) that adds notes of juniper, nectarine and that bergamot. The acidity is low and the intensity high. Enjoy the ride. For all, you have ever wanted to know about Orange Wine check out the What Your Madre Never Told You About Orange Wines blog.

2014 the hatch ‘Hobo Series’ Semillon.  Hunter Valley in Australia makes a pretty legendary Sem and yet it’s a wine that despite its greatness never caught on. Semillon to us is a hobo because we know how great it can be; how flavourful and unique. In need of no oak, this delicate wine has the hallmark notes any wine-geek can dream to expect; it has the lanolin, it has the fresh pear, it has the lemon zest. All it needs now is your respect.

Black Swift Vineyards 2014 “Long Road” Syrah The100-acre Black Swift vineyard was planted in 1999 at the northern tip of the Osoyoos Bench. Planted with clones 99 and 100, this south facing vineyard site is a theoretical combination of the Santa Ynez Valley and St. Joseph in the style of wines that have emerged from it. Sustainably farmed, this vintage was cropped at 3 tons per acre.

All destemmed after gentle sorting at the winery, this wine was fermented slowly at 25 C to fully maximise extraction of the abundantly ripe fruit. After fermentation was complete, the wine was finished in a mix of new and older French oak (50/50) for 16 months. This vintage has an incredible mixture of concentration and elegance. Despite the intensity at this stage, the wine remains beautifully smooth and pleasant to drink at this point but shows enough stuffing to it that indicates it will have a long and complex life ahead. The 2013 vintage was a platinum award winner!

For a complete list of the wines please go to the winery site.

Plans for the future

Andrew Melville “Chief Steward” provided the following comments. Now that ‘the hatch’ itself is established, next up for us is releasing the ‘Black Swift’ line of wines. These are our most coveted and premium wines that we’ve been working on for 3 years now, but with our extended barrel aging program, and bottle ageing before release we are just starting to get these wines ready to dance. Always lots of new wines coming, including our take on an ‘Orange’ wine, and a clone series of Pinot Noirs coming soon. For now, our priority is locking things down in the vineyards and ensuring grape supply and taking the vineyards to a new level in quality.

Source: Winery background and tasting notes were provided by ‘the hatch’.

Make sure you check out The Hatch the next time you are in West Kelowna.