Daniel and Christy Bibby purchased Nighthawk Vineyards in 2014. The boutique farm gate winery is located in Okanagan Falls close to See Ya Later Ranch. The vineyard which slopes toward Green Lake covers 10 acres (5 acres Gewurztraminer, 3 acres Pinot Noir and 2 acres Chardonnay). They also work with Sonora Pines vineyard in Oliver, who exclusively grow their Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. I first met Daniel pouring his fine BC wines at Garagiste North in Kelowna.
Matt Dumayne was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. After completing a course from the Auckland University of Technology and Eastern Institute of Technology’s wine courses in Hawke’s Bay, he launched his winemaking career in 1998. Matt worked for eight years under the guidance of Grant Taylor, the only winemaker in the world to win three times world’s best Pinot Noir Trophy at the London IWSC. There he gained a unique understanding of the various microclimates and pockets of terroir that make this southerly region so exciting, and creating wines for award-winning labels such as Bald Hills and Valli Vineyards.
Wanting to make expressive, yet delicately balanced Pinots, with savoury complexity, Matt travelled to Oregon during the New Zealand winters, increasing his winemaking skills at Panther Creek Cellars, Archery Summit, Patricia Green Cellars, and Bergström Wines. He also made wine for one vintage at Pine Ridge Winery on the Silverado Trail in Napa, and at Stella Bella Wines in Margaret River, Australia.
Matt has lived in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia since 2011 and has been based out of Okanagan Crush Pad since 2012. He started working with Nighthawk Vineyards in 2015 and has played a critical part in evolving the style of the wines, focused on natural wine making practices.
Daniel provided the following comments. “The 2016 season was a hard one to predict, as it was one of the earliest starts to the season in recent history with record temperatures hitting over 40 degrees in April. Ironically the harvest season featured many weeks of rain, which caused a few complications, but overall in was a great growing season. For the first time, we held a few rows of Gewurztraminer to make our first dessert wine, which proved to be a huge success. On December 18th temperatures fell below -15 degrees for a couple of days, so we did a “family harvest” in our snowsuits with an amazing result…the 2016 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer received Special Select status.”
Nighthawk Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 This estate Pinot Noir features delicate hints of ripe berries, vanilla bean, and the minerality distinctive to our high altitude vineyard. This complex wine was finished in Tuscan concrete tanks, creating a textured mouth feel.
Please go to the Nighthawk website for information on these excellent BC wines.
“At Nighthawk Vineyards we pride ourselves in creating high quality small lot vintages. Although we are not certified organic, we are sustainable in nature and focus on growing low volume crops with a concentrated flavor profile distinctive to our terroir. This year we are very excited to release our single varietal 2015 Cabernet Franc, and 2016 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer. This will also be our second year of production of our Pinot Noir Rose’, although this year we have increased production due to last year’s vintage selling out in six weeks. We have been very fortunate to have had our 2012 Syrah and 2015 Chardonnay win several awards, including Gold as “Best of Varietal” in the Spring Wine Festival, Bronze in the Pacific Northwest Wine Festival in Oregon, and Bronze in the “Best of British Columbia” awards. What is truly exciting, is that we feel the wines from our 2015 and 2016 vintage are even better…exciting times ahead!”