For over 40 years, this family-owned winery has farmed the majestic slopes of the Brenta Dolomite Mountains, next to historic Lake Garda and at the foot of Castel Madruzzo. Growing on steeply-terraced slopes that require Herculean efforts and hand-harvesting, these wines are singular in style and a totally different experience from other Northern Italian regions. Some of these vineyards rise as high as 3500ft above sea level. Pravis has plantings of the autocthonous Nosiola, existing only in a few small parcels in this region and nowhere else in the world. There are an array of other aromatic whites, such as Kerner, Muller-Thurgau and Gewürztrmainer. The reds are exposed to intense daytime sunlight, as the Dolomites form a natural cloud barrier, with temperatures dropping dramatically in the evening. These diurnal shifts allow full phenolic ripening of the grapes, while retaining acidity and freshness. These are red wines of both power and elegance.
Skaha Bench is a mountainous subregion of the Okanagan Valley, in the heart of British Columbia. The days here can be extremely hot, which allows for full phenolic ripeness. The glacier-fed Skaha Lake forms a protective microclimate bubble during the cool evenings, which helps maintain the acidity necessary for balance. This region, near Penticton, is home to some of the most iconic wineries in Canada.
Vistaridge was the original estate vineyard. Set against the stunning backdrop of glacier-fed Skaha Lake and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the soil is a mix of loose sand, silt and stone-free glacial sediment. The vines are planted north to south to get the most of the midday sun, in the seldom-used Lyre trellising system. Dirty Dozen Vineyard, purchased in 2007, has a similar soil composition to Vistaridge, but is planted with the Geneva Double Curtain trellising system which allows for more sunlight to hit the grape clusters.
A proprietary blend, highlighted by the classic Bordeaux grapes (Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot) as well as some other international varities like Tempranillo and Petite Sirah.
Hand-harvested and hand-sorted grapes are vinified separately, with regular manual punchdowns to extract colour and tannin. They were then all aged separately for 18 months in a combination of new and second fill French and American oak barrels before the final assemblage and bottling.
Rich and luxurious, with aromas of black plum, ripe Bing cherry, juicy raspberry and strawberry and baking spice. On the palate, this full-bodied red replays the plum and red berries, along with black currant and cassis. There is some oak vanilla, but it is wound in with the fruit to accentuate, not dominate. There is some mild tannic grip, but the extra aging shows through and those tannins are very soft. Pair with braised short rib or pepperoni pizza.