2021 Riesling Lab

Celebrating the spirit of experimentation each year, our Riesling Lab has emerged as a fun opportunity for our cellar crew to geek out over our beloved variety. 

Pouring a golden yellow hue with a noticeable viscosity in the glass, aromas are pronounced here with big notes of honey, peach and hay. Evolving in the glass to show more secondary characters of green tea, mustard and spice. The palate has wonderful density and textural interest with flavours of honeycomb, lime oil, sumac and lychee. Great length and concentration. 

The 11th release of this experimental wine saw the “hard pressings” (when we press a little firmer into the grape skins to extract a more textural juice) of all of our Riesling blocks kept separate and fermented wild in old oak puncheons and barriques, which previously housed Chardonnay.

For the first time ever, a small amount of Gewurztraminer came into our cellar this year, and we plotted to experiment with this tiny allocation of fruit and incorporate it into this year’s iteration of our Lab project. We treated the Gewurtz with the same hard pressing method and incorporated it into the final “blend” (less than 5% of the finished wine). Its presence added a florality we hadn’t encountered before.


Varietal: 100% Riesling
Alcohol: 13.5%
Residual Sweetness: 16 g/L
pH: 3.55
Total Acidity: 6.75 g/L


Neal McLennan, Vancouver Magazine, July 2022
"Well this one just doesn't make sense. When you are an uber-acclaimed winery whose rieslings can stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world and you release a limited-edition "experiment," you're supposed to charge double or even triple as the wine geeks trip over each other trying to source this bottled-insight-into-the-mind-of-a-riesling-whisper/head, winemaker Dave Paterson. But in full keeping it real mode, this bottle is simply stupid $21.74. I just don't get it. The only proviso for this list is that it's not really an entry bottle despite its price. There is some serious textural mouthfeel going on here and riesling freaks will love it. Many newbies will as well, but it also might be an idea to buy this now—it'll sell out very very soon—and revisit once you're joined the believers."

90 points - Treve Ring, Gismondi On Wine, August 2022
"Riesling Lab is a playground for the winery, widely lauded as one of Canada's top riesling producers. This is the 11th annual geek out experiment for the cellar crew, seeing them take the hard pressings of all their riesling blocks and native ferment together in old oak puncheons and barriques. This year a tip of Gew was added in, making up less than 5% of the finished wine. Fragrant lime blossoms, pear blossom, freesia floats along the off-dry palate (16 g/L), lined with honeysuckle and ash, and seasoned with alluring white pepper and jasmine tea. The sweetness makes it super friendly, while the layered flavours keep it from being simple simple. Certainly a worthwhile experiment, standing alone from their Classic and Old Vine Rieslings."


    After a few recents winters with remarkably cold events, we managed to emerge from the 2020/21 winter without much cold damage to our vineyards. Bud break fell on the early end of the long-term average, fueled by warm spring temperatures and marginal rainfall, conditions that would persist until summer. The 2021 heat dome (we measured a temperature high of 48.5C on site) coincided with flowering in the vineyard. The extreme heat at such a sensitive time in the grapes’ development resulted in smaller than average berries and clusters and lower yields.

    Warm temperatures and low rainfall persisted through early summer. Smoky August skies slowed berry ripening and pushed harvest back from what would have been a record early start on our site. Harvest kicked off in early September with our first grapes for our sparkling wines. The weather stayed warm with little precipitation for the rest of the month, allowing us to pick our fruit at peak ripeness and flavour and wrap up harvest on October 5th, two weeks earlier than we commonly do and making for a short but busy end to the growing season! Although a lower crop yield from the season was disappointing, fruit quality was excellent and the smaller bunches led to beautifully concentrated wines.