Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris is produced by B.C. wine force Okanagan Crush Pad.
This is a convincing expression of Okanagan Crush Pad’s “place, not grape” philosophy. Switchback is a beautiful certified organic vineyard on the west side of Okanagan Lake, opposite the idyllic vineyard-and-orchard landscape of Naramata. The aim is simple: to grow grapes in a pristine natural environment and to make the wine with minimal intervention. The grapes are fermented using the wild yeast on the skins in small concrete eggs to preserve as much native flavour as possible. B.C. wines age remarkably well, and Haywire’s Switchback shows why. Its backbone of crisp, natural acidity allows the development of an intricate range of aromas and flavours—nutty, toasty, yeasty, botanical—that would be absent when tasting the wine young. Just as compelling is the textural complexity and palate weight that’s emerged in this four-year-old Pinot Gris. It’s a knockout match for herb-marinated grilled sockeye salmon, or some oozy local Brie cheese.