Yeast, tension and crap grapes.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce to Awesome People, Jacq Kemp, winemaker at Moraine Winery, and winner of many awards.
Moraine Estate Winery produces one of my favorite wines - a Malbec that is spectacular, AND they are located on the Naramata Bench just 7.2 km from my home. How lucky am I?!
I first made my way to Moraine Winery completely by chance. My friend, colleague and wine connoisseur Domingo, who’s podcast was the one prior to this one, was in Penticton for a long weekend this past summer. I've been slowly making my way around Penticton and Naramata, my new home for just over a year now, enjoying biking and wine tasting and sun. But it wasn't until Domingo was here that I really started appreciating the subtleties in wine. Domingo is a chef and a foodie and is incredible at wine pairing. We have had many a dinner party with (of course) wine, but when he came for the weekend we did what we do best - drink wine and talk. And since he lives in Calgary we were determined to to pack in as much as we could over three days.
Day three of our wine extravaganza took us up the hill from point zero, aka my place, and continued into Naramata. The drive is spectacular, and the ride the KVR Trail, if you're a cyclist, is a wonderful experience that should not be missed. But for this trip we were driving, and not driving fast because the views are so distracting that it is really difficult to speed, which worked in our favour. “Winemaker on Premises” was the sign we saw!!! A sharp left!
Jacq Kemp is the winemaker for Moraine Estate Winery and is the focus of this incredible podcast. Meeting Jacq this past summer was a gift. Not only was I introduced to a wine that has become my absolute favorite, but Jacq is incredibly knowledgable and, luckily for me and you, loves to teach.
This podcast is full of (and I mean FULL) of all things wine. My learning curve was like that of a rock climber's...straight up and steep. The process of dirt to vine to bottle is humbling, to say the least. The work involved is beyond what I thought and one must have an incredible passion to want to work so hard. Jacq is that person.
Now before you start thinking i'm biased, here is a list of awards that Moraine Winery has won...and this is just in the past 2 years.
2016 Gewurztraminer - Double Gold in the all Canadian Wine Competition.
2016 Gewurztraminer - Bronze in the International Fingers Competition.
2016 Cliff Hanger Red - Silver in the International Fingers Competition.
2016 Riesling - Gold in the International Fingers Competition.
2015 Pinot Noir - Double Gold in the International Pinot Noir Competition.
2015 Red Mountain - Bronze in the BC Wine Awards.
2015 Cliffhanger White - Silver BC Wine Awards.
2015 Syrah - Bronze BC Wine Awards.
2015 Viognier - Silver all Canadian Wine Competition and the BC Wine Awards.
2015 Malbec - Bronze in both BC Wines Awards and the all Canadian Wine Competition.
Jacq grew up in England, Brussels and New Zealand so her accent is spectacular! There are many great things about this interview, but having her pronounce "deck" is definitely a highlight. But it's not just her accent or the wine and all its glory that impressed me, it was Jacq, herself.
“Talking about what you're doing wrong is super important. It helps you move a step forward towards right.” This honesty exudes from her and is, by far, one of the features that made this interview so enjoyable. It's an incredible way to live one's life and a humbling life lesson we can all strive for.
“Talking about what you're doing wrong is super important. It helps you move a step forward towards right.”
The Canadian wine industry is at an exciting time in the world. We are just past the development stage and starting to be recognized as as an international competitor. Wineries, like Moraine, are pushing the boundaries and putting Canada on the map of really, really great wine!!
2017 brings the B.C. Pinot Noir competition to Kaleden, which is just outside Penticton on Skaha Lake. Save the date, August 19th! You will be sure to catch Jacq at this event, as she is incredibly proud of her Pinot Noir!
If you are into wine or interested in the exciting changes happening in the Canadian wine market, I encourage you to come see what we are doing here in the Okanagan. For more on Canadian practices in the wine industry, here is a great link to the Canadian Vitners Association
Here is the location for Moraine Winery.
The owners of Moraine are Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov. Oleg still drives the tractor on the vineyard eventhough they have a big staff of five in the summer. Two are in the tasting room - sometimes this includes Jacq - and there are 2 at the moment, Jacq and Oleg. It is amazing to me that something so incredibly complex can come to fruition with just a handful of people.
There are many things that happen at the end of the season after the wine has been bottled, one of which is pruning. There are many types of vines; some vines go up, some across, some split. As I walked or rode through the vineyards this past summer, the question on my brain was, "why?"
There are two styles that Moraine uses, VSP and a modified Scot Henry. Here is Jacq to explain.
At some point the topic of women in the wine industry came up, and as per a lot of male dominated industries, it's not an easy go. That said, Jacq encourages women to enter this incredible world, and she is always open to talking about it. The opportunities are there, so all we have to do, as women, is say YES. If you're a wine connoisseur please come to Moraine, meet Jacq, and get a first hand look at this budding Canadian industry.
This interview is such a treat. I could go on and on, but really it's time to just listen, so grab your notebook and pen, and enjoy!