Black Swift Vineyards is a premium wine venture based on the rapidly evolving regions of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. While only around 9,000 acres, these regions are distinct in the world of wine for their ability to grow a diverse array of premium vitis vinifera grapes from an assortment of macroclimates. From North to South and East to West, we enjoy a multifaceted variety of soil types, topography, environments, and people. We hope to celebrate these differences by farming numerous varietals in the localities that we feel suit them the most. In this way we hope to help share with the world the incredible depth, variety, complexity, and most importantly quality, that British Columbia wine has to offer.
Thus it is our quest to create the first exclusively single vineyard, multi-regional wine project in British Columbia; one which seeks to capture the diversity of our young, but exceptional region. We feel that it is only by focusing on the various smaller districts (which will one day no-doubt become officially recognized sub-appellations), that we can claim to pursue this project in earnest. It is our belief that this is the way to truly explore the notion of terroir in our great emerging region.
The linking of our project to the Black Swift is no coincidence. Native to the Okanagan, the rare sighting of a Black Swift is an experience prized by birders. It is famous for its high arching flight, slow and precise wing beat, and its unique reliance on a single egg for each year’s procreation. Inspired by this distinctive bird, we aspire to yield great wines…one vineyard at a time.
We hope you enjoy the wines as much as we enjoy working with the land that they are from.
For more information about Black Swift Vineyards and where you can purchase our wines, please contact Andrew Melville at Andrew@terrabella.ca
Black Swift ‘The Long Road’ Pinot Noir 2014
Another East Kelowna site is fast becoming the go-to but not yet approved pinot noir sub-region of the Okanagan Valley. Diverse soils within a single vineyard help to shape the complexity here, as well as the final taste. Sand and gravel over deep clay with glacial till mixed throughout seem suited to Pommard and Dijon 115, 667 and 777 plantings. The grapes were fully de-stemmed and fermented on the skins for 28 days to maximize full extraction before being aged in a mix of 2 and 3-year-old French Oak barrels. Expect a fairly hedonistic style here rich in oak and sweet pinot fruit that are still robust and youthful. Time in the bottle over the next three years should help this wine gather itself. Solid.
– 89 points, Anthony Gismondi Gismondi On Wine January 2017
Black Swift Riesling Kirkjian Farm 2014
Kurkjian Farm is an organic four-acre vineyard located in East Kelowna, directly below Summerhill Winery. This is bone dry riesling that takes its cue from the powerful, dry rieslings coming out of the Clare and Eden Valley. East Kelowna is making a strong case for riesling, think Tantalus for one, and winemaker Jason Parkes has done a fine job here, pushing that electric, salty, mineral style. The clay-based soil accounts for the depth and power. Look for stone fruit and plenty of citrus with some serious bitter rind notes in the finish. Best with food now but this will age. Good effort.
– 88 points, Anthony Gismondi Gismondi on Wine January 2017
Black Swift Oak Street Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
Oak Street Vineyard is a cool, south-east facing site on the Golden Mile Bench appellation that gathers the warm morning sun and escapes the baking heat of the afternoon. You sense that from the acidity that greets you right off the top, and freshness that continues throughout. The fruit is a mix of clones 53, 76 and 96, adding more complexity to the palate. The wine is aged in new French puncheons for 14 months. The nose is a mix of aromatic pears, orange spice, melon and apples. The palate is similar with more red apple and citrus and a touch of oaky bitterness. Fine elegance here with a dash of smoke. A little more refinement, less new oak and this wine is poised to soar. 89 points
– Anthony Gismondi, Gismondi on Wine, February 15 2017
Black Swift Vineyards ‘Long Road’ Syrah
Long Road is a 100-acre vineyard at the northern extent of the Osoyoos Bench. It was planted in 1999 to clones 99 and 100 and is sustainably farmed at 3 tons to the acre. Expect an impressive flavoured bottle of syrah with perhaps a touch too much chocolate in its sweet fruit but the soft, at times soupy, structure makes it easy to sip. Look for black licorice, pepper, raisins and blueberry fruit too. Needs some time to pull it all together. Less new oak or better oak would make a difference here but don’t let that scare you off. Grilled lamb is the ticket here. Post fermentation the wine spent 16 months in a 50/50 mix of new and older French oak. 89 points
– Anthony Gismondi, Gismondi on Wine March 20 2017