Check Out What’s Happening at Culmina
Winter is a quiet time here in the South Okanagan. The vineyard is resting, the skies are grey, and tourists have long returned home, but our team is busy at work behind the scenes.
After all, the making of award-winning wines is a year-round endeavour.
Here are some of the things going on in and around the estate.
Preparation for Bottling:
With our spring bottling just around the corner, winemaker Jean-Marc is putting the finishing touched on some of our 2023 vintages. Varietal blending for our ever-popular rosé, Saignée, has been completed, this year incorporating Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon to achieve a perfect balance of full body and elegance. Having been fermented this vintage entirely in concrete, Decora too is being blended with portions from both our egg and amphora, resulting in a new Riesling that combines fresh acidity with just enough residual sugar. Our Chardonnay is undergoing bâtonnage, which is the stirring of the lees in order to extract flavour, aroma and texture, creating the silky mouthfeel and rich flavours for which Dilemma has become known. Lastly, cold stabilization is being carried out for our whites and rosé, which involves lowering the temperature of the wines in order to remove tartrate crystals. While not impacting the flavour of the finished wine, and in fact a reflection of high quality, the crystals, sometimes referred to as “wine diamonds” are removed to prevent them from forming in the bottle after production. Our upcoming bottling will take place in late March, and from it we can look forward to new vintages of Decora and Saignée, as well as two new additions to our Number Series.
In recent years, the existing wood siding on our main building has been extensively damaged by resident woodpeckers and starlings, necessitating its replacement. Sourced from Westform Metals in Chilliwack, our new metal siding is comprised of 30% recycled steel and is fully recyclable. This durable product is sure to last for decades with minimal care and maintenance, thereby furthering our goal to be an industry leader in sustainability. Great care was taken to respect the vision of Culmina’s architect, so we can expect the refurbishment to blend seamlessly with the existing design.
We are anxiously awaiting the start of our 2024 hospitality season and look forward to welcoming guests once again upon the re-opening of our tasting room in mid-March.