It’s the time of year we start thinking about relaxing with rosé. To be truthful, we enjoy our RED SKY rosé all year round as our after work, pre dinner choice of aperitif. But now we’re thinking of being in the garden, getting out the hammock and listening to the sound of the world suddenly a little warmer in our neighborhood.
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We’re shipping two Pinot Noirs in the first allocation of 2016.
Members of the Cloudy Day Club – our wine club that receives our Pinot Noirs three times a year – can look forward to two different Pinots in this package.
We’re sending the Fleuvage – our anyday, medium-bodied PN that works wondrously with light pasta dishes, poached wild salmon or crumbled goat cheese on toast.
We’re also sending some RED SKY rosé because – SPRING! The 100% Pinot Noir, made in the saignée method, is our go-to casual wine all year. But it’s especially welcome during the warm months when it makes a great partner with lighter foods served at room temperature or cooler. It’s a picnic in a glass.
photo by Jennifer Schell
The wines will be shipped in a 2 to 1 ratio. If you’re a Straight Six member, for example, you’ll get four Fleuvage and two RED SKY. There’s still time to add to your order. Cloudy Day Club members should contact us to put more wine in your shipment.
Not a Cloudy Day Club member? Just head to our website to subscribe. It’s better than ever to be a member because we’ve just made shipping FREE.
There’s still time to join. There’s about 13 days left before cut-off on the day this was posted.
Just about every winery has a wine club. From a simple mailing list to a sophisticated e-commerce site, there’s no shortage of ways to become a club member of your favourite winery. Or three. But why do people join these clubs? Have you been considering joining?
There’s a ton of different offers out there for fans of #BCwine. You’ll have to determine how often you want wine delivered, how much you can afford, what kind of wines are offered by the clubs and are their any hidden fees or extras.
Here’s five reasons clubs are popular.
1) Exclusivity – A lot of people get annoyed when they discover a wine they really like and when they check in to it, the wine is sold out! You can avoid that problem by joining a club.
We make no secret about the fact that our Cloudy Day wine club is the easiest way to be guaranteed access to our diminutive 500 case annual production.
Our members get a chance to ensure our various Pinot Noir bottlings find their way to their homes. You can try to find us in the few restaurants and fine wine stores around BC that manage to grab a case or two. But that might prove to be hit and miss.
So, scarcity is probably the number one attraction to the Cloudy Day club. But there are a few more reasons that may appeal to your logic.
2) Special offers. Wineries like to make sure their best customers (the wine club) gets first crack at small lots, library releases, wines made expressively for the club, and occasionally co-promoted offers from other services and retailers. For example, when we released our 275 bottle Cumulus Nimbus Pinot Noir in the spring, Cloudy Day club members had an opportunity to purchase first.
3) Better prices – most of the clubs offer a percentage off retail prices and often there’s a deal to be had on shipping too. Some even offer free shipping at certain purchase thresholds.
4) Delivered to your door – make no mistake about it, people love have their wine delivered right to their door. So civilized!
5) Access to events (on-site and off) and the people behind the wine – when you’re interested in something like wine, finding out more about the products and the people is often very rewarding. From our perspective, we love having opportunities to connect with our fans and customers. That’s why wine clubs make sure their members get first opportunity to attend events at the winery or when they’re on the road. Wine tastes even better in the company of friends and like-minded strangers!
Do you have some other reasons? Are you already a member of a wine club or two? Let us know what you think.
After a long wait, we’re releasing this special edition Cumulus Nimbus. This is a single-barrel, handcrafted Pinot Noir from the 2013 vintage. The fruit was chosen cluster by cluster from our source vineyards on the Naramata Bench and fermented in a small, segregated batch. Aged for 14 mos in French oak and further bottle conditioned until its early release to Cloudy Club members a few weeks ago, this Pinot Noir is the epitome of our wine making goals and sets our performance bar a few notches higher.
We reserve the Cumulus Nimbus name for vintages of exceptional conditions. 2013 was the first vintage since we began Black Cloud in 2008 that we felt confident in making such a declaration.
Each bottle is numbered and personally signed by the winemaker and only 275 were produced. Best way to obtain is to head over to our Cloudy Day Club site and hit the ‘store’ tab. We ship anywhere in Canada.
A vertical of three magnums of our Altostratus Pinot Noir was one of last year’s auction items at the Grapejuice! 2014 event.
We’re happy to report that we’re pouring our Black Cloud Pinot Noir at Grapejuice this year (March 5) in Vancouver. If you didn’t know, Grapejuice is an annual event in support of the Big Sisters of BC (Lower Mainland). We’ve participated in the past by providing items for the auction. This year we get to attend and pour our wine for the throngs of guests that make this a sell-out every year. If you’d like to know more about this event or would like to buy tickets, check out Grapejuice with this link.
You may recall that I removed the head of a French oak barrel a few weeks ago to do an open top ferment of our 2014 Cumulus Nimbus Pinot Noir. Now it was time to put the head back on so I could re-fill it with #Pinot. Taking the head off was easy. Getting it back on so it would seal would be a bit more of a challenge.
I was careful to save the small custom nails that help keep the hoops in place. They don’t sell them yet at my local hardware store. I also prepared a thick, gooey flour paste that I used in the croze or groove the barrel head sits in to help seal the deal. I’d read somewhere that corn flour is used but I just used regular old Robin Hood.
I removed the quarter hoop and the French hoop. That let the sun in but it was the only way the head could be manipulated back into place.
Not such a neat job but I didn’t want to miss a spot.
And here it is the next day – being tested with 225 liters of water over the next 48 hours. Not the slightest drip at this point. Success!
We don’t have a lot of “sales” in the traditional retail sense but we do like to reward our customers and attract new ones who really enjoy their Pinot Noir.
Yup, that’s all we make. This year has been excellent and the new harvest is looking exceptional. We’ve moved our administration offices and our production scene and there’s plenty more change on the way. We’re celebrating and giving everybody a chance to stock up their cellars with Black Cloud by knocking 20% off their order.
You can order through our online store at www.blackcloudwine.ca ,call us at the office (number below), or track us down in person! Use coupon code TAKE20
This is a good time to start thinking gift giving (how about a magnum of Altostratus?) and getting hold of some your favourite vintages before they run out.
Remember, Cloudy Club members get additional savings with this offer. To become a member, just go to the www.blackcloud.ca site and subscribe to one of the 3, 6 or 12 bottle packages that we deliver three times a year.
If you’re in Penticton, why not drop by the Cannery Trade Centre and visit our new offices? We’d love to see you but do call first as we’re open by appointment or by chance during the fall and winter months. The number is 778.476.1655
We seldom get a chance to see where some of the things we use on a daily basis come from. So as a winemaker, I was thrilled to visit Dargaud & Jaegle in Romaneche Thorins, France this spring as a guest of Eric Fourthon and directorJean-Marcel Jaegle to tour the amazing facility that builds some of the best wine barrels in the world.
Eric spent a few years in the Okanagan Valley working at a local barrel maker.When he returned to France, he left an open invitation to look him up. So we did.
After a brief welcome from Mr. Jaegle, we started our tour.
At one time, before plastic and cheap steel and other modern materials, goods moved in barrels or casks made of wood. Whether it was nails, biscuits or mackerel; when it had to ship a crate or a barrel was the only way to go.
These days, your new sneakers don’t come packed in barrels but beverage producers still make use of this ancient packaging custom to enhance their product.
If you drink a little wine now and then, especially red wines, you may know that many wines spend a period of their development in barrels made of wood, for the most part, oak. The barrels impart flavour and allow the wines to grow more intense over time due to evaporation and transpiration.
In my role in the cellar, I’ve been treated to endless glossy images and dazzling videos of the barrel making process. But until you actually visit, it’s difficult to appreciate the artistry and dedication to quality that occurs at every step of the barrel’s creation.
Oak from selected forests is stored in the yard where it ages over a set period, often for two years or more.
Strict rules are in effect for the oak yard. Spacing and height are regulated. One person’s stacks of valuable oak are another’s fuel for a damaging fire.
At every step, care and attention is paid to spotting defects in the oak. Here the rough cut staves are inspected for flaws.
Each piece of wood and each barrel can be traced back to the yard stack it came from, and from there, the forest it was cut from. At this point the staves are still straight and are ready to be bent into their familiar shape.
The barrels are placed in extremely hot water for a set time period and then sent directly to the machine that pulls them into shape.
The still steaming barrel has a steel cable placed around it and the wood is pulled into shape. Temporary bands are at hand to be placed over the newly shaped barrel when the procedure is complete.
Newly assembled barrels get more attention while they wait to have the ends formed for the addition of the heads.
Barrels heads are assembled on this table before their circular shape is cut.
At the end of the process, barrels are wrapped and identified with the name of the purchaser for shipping. On the day we were there, a number of these barrels were destined for Stryker Vineyards in California.
We’re heading to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of BC over the next couple weeks to debut our new RED SKY release. The 2013 RED SKY rosé is the big news – a fresh and lively addition to your patio or festive table and, of course, 100% Pinot Noir. We’ll also have our Altostratus and Fleuvage on hand and you will have an opportunity to taste these 2010 vintages just to see how each evolves in the bottle and to explore the vintage characteristics.