Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Olympics – Day 3

There is so much that can be said about Summerhill Pyramid Winery that it is hard to know where to start. The owner has won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the winery is Canada’s most visited winery, the wines are aged in a pyramid and they have won awards that, in a logical sense, should have been impossible to win. Stephen Cipes, owner, has been described as looking more like a spiritual visionary than a Wall Street hard-nose. When he first visited the Okanagan in 1986, he believed he had found the perfect conditions – i.e. terroir – to grow intensely flavoured small grapes, which is the perfect base for sparkling wine so he set off developing his plans for Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

You know how I mentioned that Stephen Cipes seems more like a spiritual visionary than a Wall Street hard nose? Well, Stephen has put a lot of time, care and spirituality into his approach with Summerhill Pyramid Winery. The wines are aged in a geometrically precise pyramid that is aligned to True North. Although there are benefits to performing the final step in wine production inside a pyramid – for both the wine and the people working inside it – the website is quick to point out there are no easy answers to how the pyramid shape benefits this step except to say “the Pyramid connects us to the unseen world of pure form, and to things surpassing the intellect's understanding.” If you are interested in learning more about why the pyramid was built and the benefits attained by using it in wine production, there winery’s website has much more detailed information and, when visiting the winery, if you ask, they will play a video that was made for them by UCLA professor Dr Valerie Hunt showing some of these benefits in action.

So, how does this translate into great wine? Well, using the pyramid to age wine in, combined with the organic practices used in the vineyard, as well as their biodynamic practices in the vineyard have created wines that repeatedly win awards against almost insurmountable odds. One of Stephen’s happiest moments with his winery was when they won gold in Champagne, France…against French Champagnes. Aside from their outstanding sparkling wines, Summerhill Pyramid Winery also makes reds, whites, a variety of Icewines and three specialty wines two of which are bottled in uniquely shaped bottles – a Jazz Blush in trumpet shaped bottles and a Late Harvest Ehrenfelser in a violin shaped bottle. With the variety in their wine list, their Organic restaurant on site and the unique architecture of their winery, why not stop by Summerhill Pyramid Winery and become visitors of Canada’s most visited winery?

Wine shop and tastings available year round.
Tours available at 12 noon and 2 pm
Restaurant closed from January 2nd to February 10th; open daily the rest of the year.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
4870 Chute Lake Road
Kelowna, BC Canada
V1W 4M3
(250) 764-8000
toll free: 1-800-667-3538
fax: (250) 764-2598
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