Winemaking begins in the Vineyard. Sandhill's 6 unique BC Vineyards:
Each bottle of Sandhill wine is made from grapes that come from one of six unique BC vineyards - Sandhill Estate, King Family, Phantom Creek, Osprey Ridge, Hidden Terrace and Vanessa Vineyard. Each vineyard possesses a unique combination of soil composition, slope, sun exposure and drainage. As well, each vineyard manager employs techniques that bring subtle influences into the growing environment. These one-of-a-kind conditions inevitably produce grapes with unique characteristics.
This, in turn, provides us with the opportunity to create a wine that’s truly distinct. In the winery, a non-interventionist approach allows the character of the fruit to shine through in the wine. This allows the complex, subtle, unique character of each vineyard to reveal itself in your glass
Non-Interventionist Winemaking Techniques
Our winemaking techniques are designed to enhance, not interfere with, the naturally occurring fruit flavors in our wines. Two words you will hear frequently from Sandy to describe her winemaking technique are "gentle" and "non-interventionist". Great fruit, helped along only when necessary using a soft touch, will result in great single vineyard wine from BC.
SANDHILL RED WINES
Sandy applies gentle techniques to extract colour, aroma, and flavour compounds from the grapes. In order to achieve the highest quality, the juice must have intimate contact with all parts of the ripe grapes. During the pressing of the grape skins, only the high-quality first pressings are gathered into oak barrels for ageing. To ensure only the best fruit goes into our wines, Sandy 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 bottling. Discover our red wines.
SANDHILL WHITE WINES
Unlike reds, our whites undergo whole cluster pressing. This is intended to preserve the characteristics of the grape by removing the juice quickly, while avoiding the extraction of phenolics (astringency) from the skins. As with reds, principally free run juice from low-pressure pressings are used. Even during the fermentation and ageing, Sandy prefers not to interfere with the flavour profile from the vineyard. Malolactic fermentation is rarely used and ageing in oak is kept to a minimum. Finally, as with reds, Sandy uses careful lot selection to ensure each bottle is a true expression of the single vineyard
The Sandhill Small Lots Program
Each year we discover a few distinctive barrels that deserve extra special attention. The result is our ever-evolving Small Lots program. The grapes may be from small, specific blocks where promising varietals are being tested. Or there may be blocks that Sandy and the grape grower decide to use innovative vineyard techniques such as lowering yields, different canopy management or hand pruning. Or there may be small lots, even individual barrels, Sandy decides to treat differently. The program allows our winemaker to handcraft wines by design and groom them to perfection. To date, our Small Lots wines have included Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Viognier and some unique blends.
A few unique varietals get bottled in the extremely small quantities of our Single Block Program. The fruit in these wines have distinct characteristics that set them apart from the other blocks. These discoveries provide the opportunity to explore and evolve our wines to reflect the very best in the region, vineyard and block. Single block wines provide the opportunity to pursue the ultimate single vineyard wine experience. Currently, there are two Single Block wines available: B-11 Chardonnay and C-8 Merlot.
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