There are two different series of wines produced at Little Farm. Neither is a higher tier than the other but they reflect slightly different winemaking philosophies.
Mulberry Tree Vineyard Series
The vineyard series of wine, Mulberry Tree Vineyard for the Riesling and Chardonnay and Blind Creek for the Rosé, are wines that are a pure reflection of the place and the vintage. The wines are made with minimal intervention and the only winemaking practices are a small amount of sulfur and a light filtration prior to bottling. In some vintages the Rosé has yeast added to kick start the ferment.
The wines come from low yields giving intense, pure, racy, dry wines. The light filtration before bottling is for those who prefer not to have a potential slight cloudiness as can occur in the Pied de Cuve series.
Pied de Cuve Series
The Pied de Cuve wines, those with the colourful stripe on the label, are the result of our passion for and fascination with natural wines. For those not familiar with the somewhat controversial title of natural wine, these are wines that receive almost no intervention from start to finish and are therefore a pure reflection of the place, the grape and the vintage. We have named this range of wines Pied de Cuve. Pied de Cuve is a technique to start a fermentation using only the yeasts that are naturally occurring on the skin of the grapes.
About a week before harvest we pick a bucket of grapes, crush it by foot and leave it to ferment in the vineyard. It is kept in the vineyard and away from the winery so the grapes’ own yeast can start the fermentation, rather than in the winery where ambient yeast living in the winery from previous vintages could take over the fermentation.
The hope is to see flavour differences that might occur from these natural yeasts and by using the natural vineyard yeasts we hoped to produce a wine that had even more of a sense of place. After a couple of days, the bucket was frothy and fermenting nicely. When the rest of the crop is harvested, we add the Pied de Cuve to the pressed juice to kick start the fermentation.
We make these wines in the most natural way possible using really low-tech, old-school methods. The wines are fermented in old neutral barrels (and some stainless steel for the Riesling) and left to age on the lees for over 10 months. Nothing is added or taken away from these wines. They are left to clarify naturally with time and are not fined or filtered. We choose not to use any sulfur during the winemaking and only add a very small amount prior to bottling (10ppm for the Riesling and 20ppm for the Chardonnay).
We feel these wines have a sense of place and taste of our Mulberry Tree Vineyard where they are grown. They show the true characteristics of the Similkameen Valley – ripe fruit, racy acidity, purity and minerality. With the influence of the natural ferment and lees contact, there is a wonderful texture and savoury complexity.