Sandhill Winery Pinot Gris Columbia Valley 2007

External Review:

Just prior to the 2006 vintage, a $193,000 press was installed at Calona Vineyards winery where wine is made for several related labels, including Sandhill. Winemaker Howard Soon considers this to be the best Pinot Gris he has ever made. At least some of the credit, he says, belongs to the new press which gave him the ability for the first time to do gentle whole-cluster pressing of the fruit.Some credit also goes to growers Rod and Don King, former apple growers who converted their orchards to grapes between 1992 and 1997. They’ve never regretted it. And Rod King maintains that Pinot Gris is becoming British Columbia’s signature white wine.Howard Soon describes this wine as a “lean, zappy, cool climate” Pinot Gris. Those are good adjectives for a wine that is crisp, tart and fresh, with aromas and flavours of citrus and pears and with a vibrantly edgy finish. 88 points.

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Winery: Sandhill Winery
Color: White
Varietal: Pinot Grigio
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Sandhill Winery:
Working with single vineyards is about showing off the lineage of the wines. With vineyard designators, you know that the wine comes from the same piece of ground in British Columbia, vintage after vintage. The style will progress but the fundamental fruit flavors will remain the same, an assurance of consistency and high quality. Our winemaking techniques are designed to enhance, not interfere... Read more
Working with single vineyards is about showing off the lineage of the wines. With vineyard designators, you know that the wine comes from the same piece of ground in British Columbia, vintage after vintage. The style will progress but the fundamental fruit flavors will remain the same, an assurance of consistency and high quality. Our winemaking techniques are designed to enhance, not interfere with, fruit flavors. Two words you will hear frequently from Howard to describe his winemaking technique are "gentle" and "non-interventionist". Great fruit, helped along only when necessary using a soft touch, will result in great wine. Sandhill Red Wines Howard applies this philosophy to making red wines by using gentle techniques to extract colour, aroma, and flavour compounds from the grapes. In order to realize the quality needed for Sandhill, the juice must have intimate contact with all parts of the ripe grapes. During the subsequent pressing of the grape skins only the high quality first pressings are gathered into oak barrels for ageing. To ensure that only the finest quality lots go into our wines, Howard keeps all lots separate, from the vineyard block through to the barrel ageing. With this dedication and attention to detail, only the top lots will be developed and then selected for the final Sandhill blend. Sandhill White Wines The methods used to extract the greatest fruit qualities from white grapes are slightly different than for reds. With whites, whole cluster pressing is used to preserve the characteristics of the grape by extracting the juice quickly so it does not extract phenolics (astringency) from the skins. As with reds, we use only the finest quality juice from our press, principally free run and juice from low pressure pressings. Even during the fermentation and ageing, Howard prefers not to interfere with the pure taste from the vineyard. Malolactic fermentation is rarely used and ageing in oak is kept to a minimum. Finally, as with reds, Howard uses careful lot selection prior to creating his final blend, ensuring that all of the wine that goes into the bottles is a true expression of the single vineyard he is working with. Read less

External Reviews for Sandhill Winery Pinot Gris Columbia Valley

External Review
Vintage: 2006 10/16/2008

Just prior to the 2006 vintage, a $193,000 press was installed at Calona Vineyards winery where wine is made for several related labels, including Sandhill. Winemaker Howard Soon considers this to be the best Pinot Gris he has ever made. At least some of the credit, he says, belongs to the new press which gave him the ability for the first time to do gentle whole-cluster pressing of the fruit.Some credit also goes to growers Rod and Don King, former apple growers who converted their orchards to grapes between 1992 and 1997. They’ve never regretted it. And Rod King maintains that Pinot Gris is becoming British Columbia’s signature white wine.Howard Soon describes this wine as a “lean, zappy, cool climate” Pinot Gris. Those are good adjectives for a wine that is crisp, tart and fresh, with aromas and flavours of citrus and pears and with a vibrantly edgy finish. 88 points.


External Review
Vintage: 2005 10/16/2008

At Sandhill Wines, winemaker Howard Soon makes only single vineyard wines. It is a commendable effort at starting to define the terroir of the Okanagan. The King Vineyard is on the Naramata Bench, just outside Penticton. It is on a plateau high above Okanagan Lake; the immense lake tempers the climate, so that this vineyard is never too hot but has a long season, ideal for producing ripe grapes with vibrant acidity.That comes through in this crisp, tangy white wine, with aromas of pears and melons and flavours of green apples and honey dew melons. The “mouth-watering” acidity – to quote the back label – gives the wine a lean, crisp, even tart finish. Definitely a food wine. 86 points.




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