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Growing Season 2022: The Summer Heat has Arrived
A cooler than average Spring resulted in a later start to the season with budburst happening throughout the first week of June. The tender new shoots thrived slowly but surely throughout the rest of the month, with our lower block of Chardonnay leading the way. We also established a new 1.7 acre block of Chardonnay this year and the Spring conditions offered a most hospitable environment for the young vines going into the ground. What a perfect year for planting!  The hot Okanagan temperatures arrived just at the right time at the beginning of July and our vineyard team is now working tirelessly to keep up with the growth. Canopy management is a meticulous and crucial task to ensure optimal vine health and grape ripeness. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, tucking and leaf thinning are all done on a vine by vine basis to ensure each plant will yield the correct amount of fruit and be structured within the trellis system to optimize air flow, light exposure and photosynthesis. Flowering and fruit set are now complete and we're looking forward to bunch closure in the next 7-14 days. With more summer heat & sunshine in the forecast, we can expect harvest to begin in late September or early October; quite typical for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on our higher elevation site. Stay tuned for more updates as harvest approaches and the new winery/tasting room nears completion. We'll be making some new wines this year as well including a Traditional Method Sparkling and a Riesling. So many exciting things to come!  
Solvero Wines - 7 Years in the Making
We sat down with Matt Sartor, Founder and President of Solvero Wines to tell us how the vision for a premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard & winery in Garnet Valley came to be a reality. Here is our conversation: Q. When and why did you first decide to pursue the vision of a vineyard and winery? A. After 5 years selling wine and immersing myself in the wine world, I found myself gravitating towards viticulture when reading. I began talking incessantly about the fascinating way in which a grapevine translates a time and place into a bottle of wine. Eventually friends and family politely suggested I leave to pursue what was clearly an enduring passion. In 2010 I decided to enroll in the viticulture course and move to the Okanagan. By the time I visited the valley for the first time in August of that year it was clear to me that I was in the right place to nurture that passion into a lifelong pursuit. Q. What led you to this place? A. A conversation in early 2012 started our family down the road towards Garnet Valley. While enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir, we discussed the qualities of the variety in the Okanagan, and what climatic conditions may be obstacles to showcasing its more delicate and nuanced personality. This led to over two years of searching for a site in the Okanagan that would fit a stringent set of parameters we felt would allow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to flourish. Q. What is special about this Garnet Valley vineyard? A. During our search for the perfect site, a pattern emerged to us while tasting through Okanagan Pinot. The majority of the wines we preferred tended to be from cooler sites, and more often than not east or north facing aspects. While the Growing Degree Days, Mean July Temperature, and other related growing metrics for Summerland are in league with renowned Pinot/Chard regions of the world, we had an issue to resolve: sunlight. With a short, continental season, high latitude, and generally clement summer conditions, sunlight can be too abundant. This leads to a ripeness conundrum. Long, sunny days drive photosynthesis so efficiently that sugar production outpaces grapevine physiology. Finding a warm, steep, southwest facing bowl in narrow Garnet Valley solved the problem in theory, with each vintage to date serving as a proof point of the concept. I also think it's the most beautiful place on the planet.
The blog
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Meet the Maker
We are pleased to introduce our Winemaker and General Manager Alison Moyes, who joined the team last summer in time to craft the 2021 vintage.  Alison brings extensive experience and a unique blend of scientific knowledge, creativity and passion to the role. After completing a Science degree at Dalhousie University, she found her calling in wine through the food and beverage industry. With the opportunity to taste through, explore and experience the world of wine, Alison was hooked. She studied and acquired her Sommelier certification through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and managed one of the top wine lists in the Maritimes for several years. This amazing experience however, left one facet of wine unexplored. The Science. It was the Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock University that completed this final piece and Alison graduated with Honours in 2009. With vintages in Niagara and over a decade in the Okanagan, Alison has 15 years of experience in cool climate winemaking. We sat down with her to talk about all things Garnet Valley, Pinot Noir and her role at Solvero: Q. What drew you to the project at Solvero? A. I have followed the progress of this special place in Garnet Valley, since the vineyard was planted here in 2016. The focus on Pinot Noir & Chardonnay and the care taken in clonal selection impressed me from the outset. The vineyard in this narrow valley, is a high elevation, steeply sloped planting on mixed glacial soils lending itself to premium grape growing. I believe the potential for Garnet Valley and this site in particular is extraordinary. The challenging terrain is not for the faint of heart though! I knew that the ambition and passion it takes to thoughtfully farm here is something I wanted to be a part of. Q. Why Pinot Noir? A. I have always been captivated by Pinot Noir. First as a wine drinker and then as a Winemaker. It is a variety that is particularly suited to expressing a story of region, vintage and winemaking philosophy. Pinot Noir is also unique in it's clonal diversity, with such varied growth and ripening tendencies and indeed flavour profiles as well. As a result, I find it to be the most artistic wine to blend with so much potential for depth, nuance and elegance.  Q. What do you see as the direction and growth for Solvero and the wine portfolio? A. It is important that Solvero stay true to our focused portfolio and premium small batch production, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay being central to this. As we grow our production in size to approximately 5000 cases over the next several years we will also be introducing you to several other wines that fit within the same philosophy. In 2021 we produced a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir Rose. Future wines will include Traditional Method sparkling, Riesling and Gamay. You may even see a Reserve series as well, should the vineyard and vintage call for it. Q. What are you most excited about? A. Between our recently released first vintage of Pinot Noir, new whites from 2021 and budburst right around the corner, there is a lot to choose from! We're also well into construction of a new state of the art winery and tasting room. It's starting to really come together and I'm excited to host here and share a bit more about what we're working on. This is an amazing place, but you really have to see it to believe it.