Jamie Fochuk hedges some grapes at his winery

Local vineyard wins national medal

Soahc Estate Wines of Fruitvale won a bronze medal for their 2013 biodynamic Riesling at the National Wine Awards of Canada

Jamie Fochuk and Soahc Estate Wines of Fruitvale won a bronze medal for their 2013 biodynamic Riesling, but this is only the beginning.

The winery took home the bronze medal win at the 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada in its first full year of production, but Fochuk, Soahc general manager, doesn’t let it get to his head.

“It is great to win an award in our very first year, for sure” said Fochuk, adding that wine tasting is subjective. “It is not something that I put a lot of stock into.

“There are other wines on the list that people think shouldn’t be there and other wines that aren’t on that list, that should totally be there.”

According to Fochuk, Soahc wines have a more European flavour to them, and that is where their product will be heading next.

“I think from now on, we will be doing international competitions,” he said. “We will probably enter ones in France or England. There are North American styles of wine and there are European styles.

“Ours is more of European style because we aren’t making it with tons of oak and things like that.”

Soahc Estate Wines is still new to the wine industry and Fochuk entered their biodynamic Riesling in the contest to see where it sits with its first final product, especially after a rough growing season in 2013.

“I wanted to put it in to see how we would do and the bronze is even a bit cooler for use because it wasn’t a great year,” he said. “There was tons of rain in the fall, so I actually picked the grapes about 10 days early because I wanted to get them off the vine. We made the wine in the Okanagan and we got in there before everyone else did and we didn’t have to worry about sour rot.”

Sour rot starts with a kind of fungus that can infect grapes, beginning the fermentation process early. The grapes start to smell like vinegar and make a not-so-good tasting wine.

With the bronze medal behind them, Soahc Estate Wines is already looking towards the future of the winery and final products.

“We should have a little bit of pinot this year,” said Fochuk. “It will be next year that the pinot comes in. In 2015, we will have a fair amount.”

The vineyard is also growing Gamay grapes, used mostly in beaujolais wines.

For more information on Soahc Estate Wines, visit www.soahc.com.

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