This fall/winter was again “new” for us here at Howling Bluff

For starters, beginning in January 2018, Pascal Madevon began overseeing the winemaking for our Bordeaux varieties–Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot and Petit Verdot–shepherding us through pruning to winemaking. Pascal’s 15-plus years of experience in French winemaking speak to the measure of his savoir fair.

Pascal has had a detailed journey from France to Howling Bluff: winemaker at St-Estephe’s Château Laffitte Carcasset and Technical Director of Château la Tour Blanche, a cru bourgeois domain, to general manager of Château la Tour Carnet, a classified growth in Médoc. In 2001, he joined consultant Alain Sutre (Alain is the consultant for my good friend John Skinner’s Painted Rock Winery) for the first harvest of Okanagan winery Osoyoos Larose.

Pascal says, “I had never experienced such an interesting and diverse terroir, driven by microclimates and colourful soil types. Impassioned by this new area, I permanently moved from the Old World to the New, and joined the team as winemaker and vineyard manager, forging the legacy of the ultra-premium estate.”

With twelve vintages already I was not prepared for the exacting standards Pascal brought to our winemaking. Part of that was the ordering of a special tank from France for our Merlot to ferment in. I can honestly say no other vintage of our Sin Cera has had so much attention to detail and new-to-us winemaking techniques. When released, the 2018 Merlot-Petit Verdot will be something to seek out.

As I write this to you I am reminded of the saying, “Things you never thought you needed to know.” I have spent the last week working to ensure that we have bottles for our bottling run in April. The reason this is news is because the current world trade environment means that there is a chance getting wine bottles may be difficult.

Looking forward to the 2019 season, we are all excited about our first full year with our new patio and the partnership we have with the family run La Cucina European Market Ltd, owned and operated by my friend Carlos Mendonca. Now you can sit on our new patio at Howling Bluff winery, gaze upon the lake, watch the grapes grow and take in the sunshine while sipping our wines and enjoying charcuterie platter from La Cucina, a Penticton institution.