Recline Ridge Winery Just Being Frank

 Recline Ridge
Recline Ridge Vineyards and Winery is family-owned and operated and nestled in the heart of the Shuswap Lake area of British Columbia. Although north of the 50th parallel, the vineyards enjoy sun-drenched days and cool evenings.  The climate maximizes varietal character and set the stage for the production of award-winning wines noted for their clean sound structure, intense flavours, and perfect balance.
The Recline Ridge Winery was established in 1999, and the original vines were planted in 1994.  The winery itself is a cedar log house, originally constructed as a family home for a customer in Japan.  After construction by a local builder, and during the ocean voyage to Japan, heavy seas and poor weather caused the shipment to arrive wet.  The customer refused the shipment, returning it to BC.  A duplicate house was constructed to replace the original one.  This ended up being erected as the Recline Ridge Winery building.  The Wine Shop and Tasting Bar occupy the main floor.

The Vineyard

Recline Ridge
The vineyard is not irrigated as there is normally sufficient moisture available.  The region is sometimes referred to as “the Shuswap rainforest”, evidenced by the naturally-growing cedar and larch trees everywhere.  That, combined with a natural clay soil-type, provides plenty of moisture for the vines.
Recline Ridge specializes in wines produced from grapes that can be grown in the Shuswap, so they are cool-climate varietals, capable of surviving harsh winters, and also with early-ripening characteristics.  Bud-break is usually not until mid-May, and harvest usually commences around Labour Day, with final harvest for the later varietals near the end of October.
The vineyard occupies 6-acres and includes 6 varietals:
  • Whites:  Madeline Angevine, Madeline Sylvaner, Ortega, Siegerrebe, Optima
  • Red:       Marechal Foch

The winery has a contract with another local (Shuswap) vineyard, of about 15 acres, for the following varietals:

  • Whites:  Ortega, Siegerrebe, Kerner, Bacchus
  • Reds:     Marechal Foch, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt

Another small vineyard supplies Blaufrankisch (red).

The Winemaker

Jaime Flemke provided the following background. “As a winemaker, I enjoy almost all wines and as a result, I’m always keen to try my hand at new styles. Last year we released a medium sweet sherry-style wine made from Ortega grapes. This year we have a few ideas so stay tuned for something exciting!

Originally from Alberta, I decided to take the plunge for a new career as a winemaker. In 2010 I moved to Ontario to study winemaking and viticulture from Brock University. I worked in the vineyards for one of Canada’s largest grape producers scouting for pests and disease during the summers of 2012 and 2013. I worked in the cellars at Inniskillin Winery in Niagara for the 2013 vintage and moved back to BC for fulltime work with Constellation Canada doing my 2014 vintage at Jackson Triggs in Oliver.

The position as winemaker/vineyard manager at Recline Ridge Winery was accepted in February of 2015. We grow all cool climate German and Austrian varietals and all are grown locally in the Shuswap region. These are such fun grapes and make such lovely vibrant aromatic wines.   I thoroughly enjoy everything about the job from working in the vineyard and producing the best grapes possible to turn them into award-winning wines.”

Vintage 2017

Jaime provided the following comments on the recent vintage. “The winter of 2016/17 was very cold and some winter damage was seen in the Siegerrebe vines.  All other vines faired very well.  Winter was followed by heavy spring rains and we were hit twice with hail. Thankfully the vines had not budded out and minimal damage was seen. This was then followed by very dry weather.  The last recorded substantial rain was mid-May. We are not set up for irrigation but our soil is heavy clay with lots of water retaining potential. The majority of the vines are very well established with deep roots and they were able to uptake the moisture held in reserve from the spring rains.

We had a very heavy smoke cover for most of the summer which blocked the UV rays and slowing sugar accumulation and delaying harvest by about 3 weeks. Harvest quality was very good with minimal damage from disease, birds, bees, wasps and bears. As a result, tonnage increased over last year.”

The Recline Ridge Wines

Recline

 

 

Recline Ridge Shuswap Serenade 2016  A blend of early-ripening, Madeleine Angevine and Madeleine Sylvanner grapes, with a light oak finish. VQA describes this wine as Fruity, Citrus, Apricot, Tropical, Melon, Strawberry, Spicy, Cinnamon, Cloves, Caramel with a fruity, muscat nose. An extremely versatile wine. Shuswap Serenade pairs well with seafood, poultry, most cheeses, fruits or enjoy it on its’ own.

 

Recline RidgeRecline Ridge Just Being Frank 2014 The wine is 100% Blaufrankisch. The name describes this wonderfully-fruity red varietal as a straight-forward, simply-delicious cool-climate red.

Blaufrankisch (German for blue Frankish) is a dark-skinned, late-ripening variety, and produces red wines which are typically rich in tannin and may exhibit a pronounced spicy character.  This varietal has its’ origins in Central Europe, and is grown successfully in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and also in North America and specifically in Washington State, where it is often known as “Lemberger”.

Just Being Frank has aromas of dark ripe cherries, red currants and blackberries and can be paired with lamb dishes and grilled meats.

You can visit the Winery website for their complete portfolio of BC wines here.

Source: Recline Ridge Vineyards and Winery provided the Winery and Vineyard information and the tasting notes.