Sunday, November 1, 2009

What a Joie

211. 2008 JoieFarm Riesling (Okanagan)

JoieFarm Winery arrived on the BC wine scene with a bang in 2004 and they haven't stopped impressing writers and consumers since. Proprietors, Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn, have tackled the industry in a manner that's different from many of BC's winemakers.

Both had backgrounds in the restaurant business and the Vancouver wine agent scene - where they refined their palates. They've been quoted as pondering how someone can make fine wine if they don't first know what it tastes like.

The winery has evolved from a guesthouse and cooking school set in an orchard on the Naramata Bench to a full-fledged winery that concentrates exclusively on grapes found in the Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne areas of France. As might be expected with grapes from these regions, the winery features mostly white wines - there are no big red wines to be found here.

JoieFarm's fruit tree orchards have been replaced by grapevines and their fruit is added to grapes that have been procured from a number of small family farms. The grapes for this vintage of the Riesling were grown on three such farms - two on the Naramata Bench and one in Okanagan Falls.

They only produce a little more than a thousand cases of the varietal but it is regularly seen as one of the province's top received Rieslings. Their aim is to produce a wine in the vein of the great German Rieslings - seeking a fine balance of acidity and sugar, with plenty of "fruit, flowers and spice."

Due to the limited production, it can somewhat difficult to find JoieFarm wines - particularly since they don't have a tasting room at the winery. Unless you're on their mailing list, you just have to know the merchants or restaurants that carry them and keep an eye open for them. This matched our turkey chili wonderfully.

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