Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery

Month: November 2021

By in winery news, wine education Comments Off on Disgorging Traditional Method Wines

Disgorging Traditional Method Wines

Stellaris has been coming and going in the store as we disgorge each batch. But what does it mean to disgorge a traditional method wine? And why the wait?

Most often, we get a wine into the bottle and that’s it. Job done. Not so with sparkling wines like Stellaris or Zephra. Both of our sparklers are made using the traditional method. This winemaking method is synonymous with French Champagne, but it’s also used to make sparkling wines in other parts of the world like Italy (Franciacorta) and Spain (Cava). BC producers are also employing the technique and Vancouver Island’s cool climate makes for some of the best examples in the province.

 

In traditional method sparkling wines, autolytic yeast particles (or lees) coalesce into a kind of beneficial sludge after the wine has undergone its secondary fermentation. The lees remain in the bottle for a period of many months to many years, lending key flavours and aromas to the wine as it ages.

While lees are harmless to consume, they result in a cloudy wine if they are not removed; so the bottles are riddled (placed at an angle in a special frame and turned incrementally over a period of weeks to encourage the lees down into the neck of the bottle). When all the yeast particles have gathered in the crown cap that temporarily seals traditional method wines during the aging period, the bottles are disgorged. Disgorging removes lees in a very fun, but very messy and labour-intensive process: the neck of each upturned bottle is rapidly chilled, creating a frozen plug of wine and lees in the bottle’s neck. Next, the crown cap is quickly removed, and the bottle turned upright. The pressure that builds up behind the frozen plug–remember each bottle contains about 90psi–is enough to force it straight out of the bottle.

The bottle, now upright, is topped up with a ‘dosage’–a small amount of wine, typically sweetened to balance the wine’s acidity. The bottle is then sealed with a cork, wrapped with a metal cage, and given a few turns to help integrate the dosage. The bottle is then washed, labelled, and boxed, ready for sale within a month or two.

While riddling and disgorging can be automated in large Champagne houses, we do it by hand–20 cases at a time. It’s a methodical process that resists expedition. And while we are sorry that Stellaris takes a little longer than most wines, we assure you that good things come to those who wait.

STELLARIS IS BACK IN THE STORE (ONLINE, AND AT THE WINERY) from mid-December. $42.50+tax.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Christmas 2021 Store Hours

Christmas 2021 Store Hours

Our WINERY STORE will be open on two weekends in December for wine and gift card purchases. We will be open from 11am to 4pm on the following dates:

Friday 10th, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December
Friday 17th, Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th December

We look forward to having you stop by to pick up your winemaker’s case, or just a few bottles for the festive season! Please remember your mask.

Please note that we will NOT be hosting tastings this holiday season.

By in offers, pairing suggestion Comments Off on 2021 Winemaker’s Case

2021 Winemaker’s Case

Our winemaker’s case is an annual traditional that guarantees savings and delight in equal measure.

We hope you’ll enjoy sharing, and maybe even cellaring, this year’s selection. Winemaker’s cases are not available in our online store and, as always, are first come, first served. This year, we have just 60 cases available so don’t delay! To RESERVE your case, please fill out THIS SHORT FORM. We’ll be in touch within a day or two to process payment. Payment guarantees your case.

The winemaker’s case is offered at the very special price of $251.36+tax, for a saving of 20% on tasting room prices*. Shipping IS available to select Canadian provinces; pick up is possible on store open days in December; and FREE delivery is offered in the Comox Valley/Campbell River. Here’s what you’ll get:


1 x 2019 Pinot Noir (pre-release): Berry bright in the glass with cherries, huckleberry and something a little woody and resinous too. This is a Vancouver Island Pinot; fresh and light with great structural acidity. Aged in 2nd year French oak. Dry. We suggest cellaring this one for 2-5 years. We won’t be releasing this vintage until next year, which means you’ve got your hands on an exclusive pre-release.

1 x 2019 Ça Beautage (new release): 100% estate grown Marechal Foch and Leon Millot give Ça Beautage its deep ruby red colour. Expect a rambunctious fruity profile with blackberry, blackcurrant, and cherry. The palate is smooth, with light tannins and a med-long finish. 2019 was a warm one for us in the Comox Valley and we harvested a bumper crop on Oct 1st. Aged in American oak. Dry. Drink now or cellar 1-2 years. Ça Beautage is a light bodied Island wine –– try it with pizza, or stuffed portabello mushrooms.

1 x 2019 Epic (new release): Wily fans will notice that we usually hold onto Epic a little longer in bottle, releasing it 2 years after the vintage, rather than the standard 1 year for whites. This gives the acids a little more time to settle because Epicure (the grape variety from which Epic gets its name) is a sassy hybrid. It’s also one of Freya’s favourites. 2019’s vintage is lemony bright with some honey and pear to boot. On the palate, expect Epicure’s acidity to lead (the blend contains 20% Ortega). Dry. Drink now, or let sit a year or two if you prefer the more mellow characteristics of the 2018 vintage (also included in the case). Try Epic with Indonesian gado-gado.

1 x 2018 Pinot Noir: Light in body and in appearance. Cherry cola, spice and cranberry. Aged in new French oak for toast and texture both. Dry. Drink now or cellar for 2-4 years. Drink at cellar temp or, as we discovered in the summer, slightly chilled makes for a refreshing take on things. As for pairings, lighter dishes get our vote; a garlicky tomato pasta with parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs, for example.

2 x Cab Libre: Savoury as she goes. Light roast coffee, tobacco and blackcurrant leaf. Bell pepper too, perhaps. Dry, with a medium body and finish. Structural tannins and acidity contribute to Cab Libre’s distinctive personality. Cab Libre is a unique Island variety (it was hybridized on Vancouver Island by Swiss grape breeder Valentin Blattner). As for aging, this one is dealer’s choice: why not drink one now and save one for later (2-4 years cellaring)? Pair this robust and savoury wine with lasagne, or a winter stew and creamy mash.

2 x 2018 Epic: An opportunity to see where Epic goes as it ages. The slightly oxidative notes in the 2018 vintage are a fun departure from the freshness associated with the younger vintage. 2018 gives honey, beeswax, propolis, and orange marmalade. It’s dry, and still bright of course, but mellow by comparison, with more complex aromatics. Drink now. We always advocate opening two bottles at once, and we especially recommend doing that when you have two vintages of the same wine; vertical tastings are a great way to understand the changes that occur in bottle as a wine ages.

1 x 2020 Borealis: Our Siegerrebe and Schonburger blend is a perennial favourite, and for good reason. Its aromatic profile is a pleasing swell of honeysuckle, lychee candies and elderflowers. It’s off-dry too, which softens the acidity that otherwise typifies Island whites. Drink now. The typicity and balance of Borealis is best enjoyed when the blend is young and fresh. Siegerrebe’s genetic connection to Gewurtztraminer, aided by the blend’s residual sugar, makes it an ideal wine to pair with spicy dishes. We’re partial to a Goan curry with BC spot prawns.

1 x 2020 Ortega: A Spanish name. A German grape. An Island wine. Jasmine, apple blossom, something citrusy. If we said yuzu, would you call us pretentious? Either way, this is a wine with a zesty mouthfeel. Dry, and fermented only in stainless steel. Drink now to best enjoy the bright aromatics and structural acidity synonymous with Ortega on Vancouver Island. Ortega pairs with such west coast delights as seared scallops, halibut, or a steaming pile of Manila clams with french fries.

2 x 2018 Petite Milo: Apples, nettles, hops. This Blattner hybrid has been a favourite of ours for some time. There’s something so pleasing about cool climates wines with perfectly integrated aromatics, alcohol, and acidity. Petite Milo is dry (it was crash chilled at zero brix), but it’s still got oodles of intrigue. We suggest sharing Petite Milo with someone who indefatigably claims to dislike dry wines. We think they’ll change their mind. Drink now before the acids wane. A fantastic friend to Vietnamese spring rolls and a salty dipping sauce.


* Sorry; no trade outs, and no other discounts apply on bottles in the winemaker’s case.