Stag's Hollow Winery News
Welcome to the Stag's Hollow blog. We will be highlighting articles that feature our wines, awards won, events that are happening at the winery as well as wine education features.
We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Tragically Vidal won Double Gold at the Great Northwest Wine Cascadia International Wine Competition! Once thought a "tragic" grape many years ago when most of it was pulled from the valley, quickly became our founder's most popular white wine. Quite opposite to its moniker, this playful wine is elegant, fruity, aromatic, and an absolute stunner. Click here for more information on this special wine.
New OFSL event! As part of the Okanagan Falls | Skaha Lake Winery Association Spring Cheer Weekend (May 7-8), Stag’s Hollow Winery will be offering free tastings by reservation from 11am to 5pm each day over the Mother's Day weekend, accommodating walk-ins if there is availability.
On Sunday, sip our new spring releases on the patio as eight local artists paint en plein air overlooking the hollow. Featured artists: Lynn O'Brien, Cindy Smith, Janice Cornett-Ching, Ron Gladish, Vicki Rogers, Sharon Snow, Cindy Smith, Carol Avedon Savage and more.
For more information on what our neighbouring wineries are also offering that weekend, please visit www.theheartofwinecountry.ca.
Visit us at the Wine Shop or online to shop our new Spring Releases just in time for Easter weekend sipping!
To celebrate, all tastings on our patio overlooking the hollow will be FREE over April for groups up to 4. Reservations recommended. Use promo code BCWINEMONTH22 when you book your spot.
Orders of 12 bottles or more receive FREE shipping in BC and Alberta. Use promo code BCWINEMONTH at checkout.
All other orders of 12 bottles or more across Canada will receive $25 OFF shipping fees. Use promo code BCWINEMONTH-EAST at checkout.
We are excited to announce that after a year of a lot of hard work from the team, Stag’s Hollow Winery and our two vineyards in Okanagan Falls have achieved sustainability certification from Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia (SWBC)! Sustainability has been something that has always been important from the beginning, but it’s nice to now be part of a program to ensure that our efforts are quantifiable.
The SWBC certification recognizes the industry responsibility to minimize its impact on the environment and maximize its contribution to sustainability. This means taking a holistic and systematic management approach to all aspects of the operation, such as: enhancing soil health and carbon capture, promoting biodiversity, protecting waterways from contamination and degradation while using water wisely, minimizing inputs and outputs to create a regenerative, resilient system, and working to enhance employee health and safety and community wellbeing, all to grow a thriving business.
Sustainable winegrowing is the right action for the planet, its people, the environment, the industry, our community, and future generations.
Given the epic heat wave we experienced in the summer of 2021, we were prepared for an extra-early start to harvest. As a surprise to everyone, though, the first of our fruit wasn’t harvested until September 10th; one of our later start dates in recent years. Gotta love that hurry-up and wait! We think this is due to the fact that the majority of our vines are very well-established, and therefore less inclined to be affected by extreme temperatures. We toasted to the new harvest and blessed our first bin of estate-grown Muscat Ottonel with a sprinkling of last year’s Muscat Frizzante.
Despite the leisurely start, the remainder of the harvest season flew by in a blur, and we were finished nearly a whole month earlier than usual. A much more condensed (and intense!) harvest than we’re used to. Thanks to our incredibly hard-working cellar crew, their long hours of cleaning, sorting, pressing, stomping, more cleaning, punching-down, pumping-over, forklifting, racking, tasting, inoculating, evaluating, and—oh yeah!—even more cleaning, we’ve been able to produce some of the most delicious and exciting wines to date. Our vineyard team’s hard work throughout the season really paid off, as despite there being less fruit than usual, the quality across the board was exceptional. It makes our job in the cellar a lot easier when the fruit looks that good. It was (and always is) a labour of love, and we are so excited for our wine club family to be the first to try the newest releases from this exceptional vintage.
Keira LeFranc, Winemaker
The 12th, and final, wine of our 12 Wines of Christmas is our 2017 Vidal Icewine. What a great way to celebrate Christmas dinner - serve our Vidal Icewine with dessert or turn it into a Holiday cocktail (see suggestions below)!
This was the first icewine we’ve ever produced here at Stag’s Hollow, and it was truly a team effort. Everyone brought their family and friends that were willing to help out in the wee hours of the morning, and we were able to bring the majority of the fruit in before it started to warm up. We have never seen the press so full! The remainder was picked in the New Year, and the two lots were blended together. Not in the least cloying, this wine has a richness of flavour that only comes about from extended hang time, but is balanced by a surprising amount of acidity. It finishes clean, but the lingering finish seems to go on forever.
The grapes were hand harvested on December 23, 2017 & January 3, 2018 at -10°C and -12°C, respectively. Harvesting stopped when the temperature started to rise. They were then whole-cluster pressed into tank, where the juice was allowed to settle before being racked, warmed and inoculated using selected yeasts. The wine followed a long, slow ferment (nearly a month), until it reached a point where we wanted to preserve the remaining sugars. The wine was then chilled to 0°C to stop fermentation, stabilized, filtered and bottled later in the year.
Varietals: 100% Vidal
Alcohol: 12.7% alc./vol.
Residual Sugar: 224 g/L
Total Acidity: 9.7 g/L
Harvest Dates: Dec 23, 2017 & Jan 3, 2018
Bottling Date: Aug 2018
Release Date: Sept 2018
Icewine Cocktail Ideas
2 tbsp of Stag’s Hollow Vidal Icewine
2 tbsp of vodka
Pour 2 tbsp each icewine and vodka into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling white wine or cranberry ginger ale. Garnish with an orange twist or frozen grape.
Tequila Ice Rise
1oz of tequila
1oz of Stag’s Hollow Vidal Icewine
3oz of fresh fruit juice
1 tsp of cranberry juice from concentrate
Iced Apple Jack
1.5oz of Stag’s Hollow Vidal Icewine
1oz of apple juice
Splash of Chardonnay
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
½ ounce ( 1 tablespoon) Stag’s Hollow Vidal Icewine
Splash of Soda optional
Add gin, lime juice, and ice wine to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold. Strain into glass and top with a splash of soda water, if desired. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve
The 11th wine of our 12 Wines of Christmas is our 2019 Muscat Frizzante. Whether it’s 'Christmas Vacation' or 'Home Alone', pair your favourite Christmas movie with truffled popcorn - see Julie's recipe below.
A fresh and vibrant wine with bright, natural acidity, and a fun spritz that’s fitting for any occasion (including breakfast). Usually the first to be harvested, and the first to be bottled each year, our Muscat Frizzante is always an exciting glimpse at the quality that the new vintage promises.
Each lot was hand-harvested, sorted, destemmed and pressed. The juice was transferred gently into individual stainless steel tanks, where it was cold settled for 72 hours, and then racked, warmed and inoculated with selected yeast strains. All ferments were kept cool, in order to maximize aromatic expression, and were racked and chilled upon completion. All pieces were then blended, and the final wine was stabilized, filtered and bottled with in-line carbonation.
Varietals: 49.7% Muscat Ottonel, 45.3% Orange Muscat, 5% Riesling
Alcohol: 10.0% alc./vol.
Residual Sugar: 9.77 g/L
Total Acidity: 6.28 g/L
Harvest Dates: Sept 6 & 20, 2019
Bottling Date: Jan 2020
Release Date: May 2020
The 10th wine of our 12 Wines of Christmas is our 2018 Dolcetto. Christmas carolling would not be the same without a thermos full of mulled wine. Check out the delicious recipe below - we served this at our Holiday Cheer Weekend and it was a hit.
Dolcetto is a grape that consistently inspires experimentation and excitement, with every new vintage. In 2018, we decided to experiment with delestage (a two-step “rack-andreturn” process in which fermenting red wine juice is separated from the grape solids by racking and then returned to the fermenting vat to re-soak the solids) through the peak of fermentation, which has resulted in a wine with deliciously soft tannins, and vibrantly expressive grape character.
Hand-harvested fruit from our Shuttleworth Creek vineyard was sorted, destemmed, lightly crushed and fermented in 1-ton open-topped fermenters, using selected yeast strains. The ferment was punched-down by hand 2-4 times daily, and then at the peak of fermentation, delestaged daily. The ferments were pressed off into concrete and stainless steel tanks, where they completed alcoholic fermentation, and then malolactic conversion. The wine aged gracefully here for 8 months, when it was finally racked and blended together. The wine was bottled in September 2019, after being stabilized and lightly filtered.
Varietals: 100% Dolcetto
Alcohol: 13.0% alc./vol.
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/L
Total Acidity: 6.0 g/L
Harvest Dates: Oct 5 & 16, 2018
Bottling Date: Sept 2019
Release Date: Aug 2020
The 9th wine of our 12 Wines of Christmas is our 2019 Pinot Noir, Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard. It’s time to wrap those last-minute gifts - so do it with our Pinot Noir - it really does make everything better. Cheers!
Our Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard continues to prove itself as an ideal site for high quality Pinot Noir. Being slightly cooler than our Estate vineyard, the fruit shows a distinctly different profile. A lifted, more feminine style to counter-balance the powerfully- structured wines produced from our Estate vineyard. 2019 was a cooler-than-usual vintage, which resulted in a lighter, more elegant style of Pinot Noir. 5 Dijon clones (777, 115, 667, 828 & Pommard) were blended to create this wine. All were kept separate through fermentation and 12 months of barrel ageing, until a final blend was decided on.
The grapes were 100% destemmed, without crushing, leaving as much whole berry fruit as possible. After a 48 hour cold soak, the must was warmed and inoculated with selected yeasts. Hand punch-downs started at 3 times daily and tapered off to once a day as tannins progressed. Free run juice was drained off and the skins were pressed off as soon as the primary ferment was completed. All lots were racked into 300L French oak barrels (16% new, remainder 2nd fill & 3rd fill), where each lot rested, untouched, for 12 months, before being blended, stabilized and bottled.
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.0% alc./vol.
Residual Sugar: 1.4 g/L
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
Harvest Dates: Oct 14, 2019
Bottling Date: May 2021
Release Date: Aug 2021
The 8th wine of our 12 Wines of Christmas is our 2020 Albariño. This is such a delicious pairing with seafood - so we’ve got a recipe for Pan-Seared Halibut & Crispy Caper Beurre Noisette from Chef Jordan Ash from Flambé @ Home below. Enjoy!
For the most part, the winemaking for this wine was very similar to our 2019 vintage. The goal was to build a richly textural wine that was true to its varietal character, but also complex and intruiging, and I think we achieved this. On the complexity front, we experimented with a small amount of skin contact and spontaneous fermentation, and I believe this had a really positive impact on the depth and interest of this wine. Interestingly, as this block has matured, we’ve found that the salinity that Albariño is so known for worldwide has become increasingly pronounced with each new vintage.
The fruit hand-picked and hand-sorted, destemmed, and lightly crushed before being pressed. A small portion of the fruit was crushed into a picking bin and allowed to spontaneously ferment on skins for 5 days before being pressed into a stainless steel tank. Of the pressed juice, a portion was racked, after 12 hours of settling, into stainless steel barrels and French oak barriques (one new, one 3rd fill & one 4th fill). The remaining portion settled a further 24 hours and was transferred into 2 concrete tanks. These inoculated ferments were kept cool (12-14°C), monitored closely, and all were aged on their lees with frequent stirring to build texture. After 6 months, the lots were blended, stabilized, filtered and bottled.
Varietals: 100% Albariño
Alcohol: 13.0% alc./vol.
Residual Sugar: 1.0 g/L
Total Acidity: 6.08 g/L
Harvest Dates: Oct 19, 2020
Bottling Date: Apr 2021
Release Date: June 2021