Spring is here! Here’s the tasting events calendar…

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.IMG_20140226_174534

Friday April 4th –  

Sheraton Wall Centre Fine Spirits
1075 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC
604-893-7254
wine@wallcentre.com

4 to 7 pm

A new place for us.  Our first time pouring there!

Saturday, April 5

Value on Liquor

1450 SW Marine Drive

Vancouver, BC

3 to 7 pm

Sunday, April 6th

–  Broadway Wine Shop 

2752 West Broadway Vancouver BC

Canada  V6K 2G4

2 to 5 pm

We’re pleased to return to one of the finest shops in the city and one of the first merchants to support our fledgling enterprise many years ago.

Thursday,  April 10

Whatcom Wines and Spirits

100-1900 N. Parallel Rd.
Abbotsford, BC  V3G 2C6

t. 604.746.3455

4 – 6 pm

Looking forward to seeing our fans in the valley!

Friday, April 11

Mt. Lehman Liquor Store

3122 Mt. Lehman Road

Abbotsford, BC

604-853-6253

4 – 6 pm

Another new store now carrying Black Cloud.

Saturday, April 12

Big Ridge Liquor Store

103 – 15250

Highway #10, Surrey BC

604-575-2371

3-6 pm

Returning to the old home town for some Pinot Noir liquid love.

Sunday, April 13

Shark Club Liquor Store

20169 – 88th Avenue Langley, BC

2:30to 5:30 pm

The Holiday package is heading out soon!

We’re getting the holiday packages ready for the Cloudy Club members. Looks like we’ll start rolling them out during the last week of November so look for them arriving at your address no matter where you are in Canada in the first week of December. What’s inside? Depending on your package option, you’ll be getting a mix of RED SKY rosé and 2008 Anniversary Edition Altostratus. The RED SKY is perfect for holiday feasting, especially when there’s a dozen or more things on the table and just as many palates to please. We’re also very pleased to include some 2008 Altostratus we have been holding back especially for our club members.  If you’d like additional bottles of this wine, we will be making it available at a special price for Cloudy club members.  Stay tuned for details. Image

The Black Hills Experience – one of the best

We’re acutely aware that some of our fans wish we had a physical location for our winery where they could visit and live the terroir first hand. We don’t have a tasting room or a winery building to visit – for now. But we can recommend other places we think embody the Okanagan and BC wine experience.

A lot of the wineries in BC certainly don’t need our help.  But sometimes even our jaded perspective gets a wake-up call and we feel compelled to pass on what we think is essential for visitors and residents to know about.

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Lately we had the opportunity to visit Black Hills in the South Okanagan and thoroughly enjoyed the premium tasting that was offered.  We hadn’t been to Black Hills since they opened their new visitor center and we didn’t intend on doing anything more than standing at the tasting bar and having a couple sips.  But once we stepped into the modern, cool reception area and took in the view, staying a little longer and having a richer adventure seemed like the right thing to do.

The wines, scenery and architecture were great.  But without a good guide the journey can be confusing or lacking. Not so at Black Hills. They’ve got some top talent twisting tops and pulling corks.  I thoroughly endorse Jeff Stewart for the way he shepherded our group through our flight of wines, offering information and insights into vintage variations and winemaking stylistic nuances.  You can book Jeff directly at jeff@blackhillswinery.com when you book your tasting.

And I advise booking soon.  We were told that these custom tasting sessions are quickly finding a favoured place among wine touring visitors and this is something you don’t want to miss.

Black Cloud POP-up tasting shows off range of Pinot Noirs

Bottles of Pinot Noir wait to be sampled by participants at the Black Cloud POP-up wine tasting

Bottles of Pinot Noir wait to be sampled by participants at the Black Cloud POP-up wine tasting

The Vancouver International Wine Festival provided the backdrop for our 2nd annual POP-up Pinot Noir tasting last Saturday and the buzz inside the suite at the Hotel LeSoleil matched the general wine vibe in the city all week.

We set out an array of Pinot Noirs from the past, present and future releases to a small but appreciative crowd.  Featured during the tasting:

2012 Rose (unreleased, tank sample)

2006 Fleuvage

2008 Altostratus

2009 Altostratus

2010 Altostratus (unreleased)

2010 Fleuvage

2011 Altostratus (barrel sample)

2012 Altostratus (barrel sample)

Only about 20 cases of the 2012 Rose were made and these will be available to the Cloudy Day club members first as an add on to the regular subscription chosen.  It’s crisp and clean with a nose of raspberry and rose petals with a light cherry palate.  A great spring and summer accompaniment to any patio experience.

Be sure to read this blog for the next event featuring our Pinot Noirs.

Why Do We Make Pinot Noir?

It’s a good question but I’m not sure I can answer that at the moment. Instead I’m going to pass the buck to a couple of worthies who have a few words to say about it.

One is Jamie Goode,  who has been writing a blog about wine for better than a decade and always has something of value in his scribblings. The other is Sam Neill, the actor and vineyard owner.  In this piece, Goode relays part of a speech Neill recently gave in his home country of New Zealand. In his ten points to prospective Pinot Noir growers, I particularily liked this one:

You must try to avoid using the word ‘passion’, as in ‘passion for Pinot’. Passion is an overused word that should be reserved for the sort of heightened emotion that can happen between two people that may possibly result sometimes in the discarding of trousers. If you are a grower of Pinot you may lose your shirt but you are unlikely to lose your trousers.

While this doesn’t completely explain why we do an exclusive Pinot Noir label, it does capture the essence of the Pinot producers.

I do like the part about being a bastard, too.

Broadway Wine – one of our favourite wine stores

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Martin Farrell is one of the talented staffers at Broadway Wine Shop. They really know their stuff.

Every once in a while we like to feature one of our retail partners.  We don’t blanket every area by trying to be in every store.  Instead we like to choose shops that specialize in wine and take the time to work with their customers to guarantee they get the wine experience they’re looking for.

Broadway Wine (originally Broadway International) is that kind of store. They’ve been selling Black Cloud since we started almost 5 years ago.  They’re the embodiment of a good neighbourhood wine store.  The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable.

The store has a somewhat unique license that allows them to have wine only, but includes import and domestic selections.  The result is an eclectic mix of difficult-to-find wines that are far from the ordinary.

2752 West Broadway, Vancouver

604.734.8543   Open daily 11 – 9pm

 

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Located at Broadway and McDonald in Vancouver, the Broadway International Wine Shop has been serving the wine-buying public since 1986.

 

Vacation Stones and Pinot Noir

Vacation Stones and Pinot Noir

This photo of a bottle of our 2010 Fleuvage Pinot Noir was taken on a bed of stones and rock chips that we collected while on vacation. During the long winter months we’ll sometimes pick up a stone while enjoying a glass of wine and reminisce about where the stone was found and what we were doing that day. The sharp-eyed may be able to see a couple fossilized impressions among the rock chips as well. It certainly brings warmth to our chilly days when we can recall fun with friends and family and look forward to the journeys of the future.

The Cloudy Day Club is here

After a summer of planning and meetings, we’re happy to announce the Cloudy Day club.  This is the Black Cloud wine club and it will give members the opportunity to receive our wines directly at their home or place of work.

There are several levels of participation, each allowing early and front-of-the-line access to our Pinot Noirs before being released to the general public.

In addition, there are many advantages to being part of the Cloudy Day club.  We’ve listed a few below:

  • when we plan a public event, we’ll give Cloudy Day members first crack at the tickets.
  • we’ll have other events that are exclusively for members, some here in the Okanagan and some on the road.
  • there’s an automatic 10% discount built in to every package.
  • once in awhile, library or legacy Black Cloud wines become available. Our Cloudy Day members have the chance to purchase these items exclusively.

Why did we decide to create this club? It’s the most effective way to get our wines into the hands of our friends.  We thought it was the best way to deliver the Black Cloud experience.

We hope you have a moment to check out the Cloudy Day club and let us know what you think.

Hello Pinot Noir people…

This is the new Black Cloud site.  This is where we’ll be having our conversation about great food, stimulating travel and great Pinot Noir.  We’ll be posting about the places we go, how we make our wine, our influences, the foods we enjoy and what our customers and fans have to say about wine and our Pinot Noirs. We hope you’ll visit frequently and contribute your comments as we give you our take on life in wine country.