B.C. Wine Culture

Tantalus tasting room. Supplied photo

Riesling and Pinot Noir are well known mainstays at Tantalus. But not to be overlooked is the winery’s increasing focus on Chardonnay.

“As a Riesling house, Chardonnay has often stood in the background of our portfolio behind our larger Riesling and Pinot Noir programs,” says marketing manager Stephanie Mosley. However, as new, adjacent plantings of Chardonnay are now maturing, and production increases, this variety is also vying for attention.

Adds Mosley: “Just released is the first 100% Chardonnay Traditional Method—2016 Blanc de Blancs while the 2018 is also looking good. It should complement well the flagship Chardonnay and our “Bear” Chardonnay (formerly Juveniles, from the young vine program).

The new impetus from Chardonnay is also a natural fit with Tantalus’ expanding sparkling program.

“We are seeing a great shift in consumers’ attitudes toward enjoying sparkling more often—and so the style seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the province,” she notes.

Supplied photo

The Tantalus estate enjoys a well earned reputation for producing fine sparkling, that harks back to its Pinot Reach days with the Dulik family. Some of the original clonal selections were chosen for their potential to produce great sparkling wine.

The winery now plans to produce three traditional method sparkling wines each vintage: Blanc de Noir, Blanc de Blancs and Riesling Brut … with the possibly of adding a Classic Cuvée down the road.

(2018 will also see a first-ever Reserve tier of Chardonnay, of 100 cases or so, much like the Reserve tier Pinot Noir, from top-showing barrels.)

Tantalus Vineyard is LEED certified. Supplied photo

Meanwhile, LEED certified Tantalus remains at the vanguard of all things sustainable. The winery received Salmon Safe certification and is currently in the process of obtaining its Biosphere Adhesion Certification. Also, once the BC Sustainable Winegrowing Certification is available in 2020, expect Tantalus to be among the first.

“All are small but important steps to consistently try and keep sustainability top of mind in our practices,” says Mosley.

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