- Savannah Swaisland
Savvy @ Van Westen Vineyards
Thanks again Rob for having me back to the Shed and sharing your phenomenal wines and knowledge.
Visit www.vanwestenvineyards.com to order your wines today! And sign up for the WINE CLUB! (Gain access to pre and special release wines!
ABOUT VAN WESTEN VINEYARDS:
The Van Westen family have been farming in Naramata since the late 1950’s where they have always been known as the largest producers of cherries in the area. Robert Van Westen, owner and Winemaker at Van Westen Vineyards is a third generation fruit grower born and raised in Naramata, BC. His hands on approach to both vineyard management and winemaking are evident in the high quality wines being produced in the Shed. In 1999 the family decided to diversify from apples and cherries, and decided to plant Vitis Vinifera grapes on a south facing slope above the quaint little town of Naramata. It was here that Rob found his passion for the vineyard and quickly mastered the art or growing grapes. In 2002 he was selling his grapes to Cedar Creek, where the winemaker showed much appreciation for the quality of the fruit. That same year as Rob was finishing the Viticulture program at Okanagan College, he decided to enrol in the assistant winemaker program. He put studies into action the next year when he produced his very first vintage in 2003, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc he named “Voluptuous”. These 6 barrels exceed expectations after aging in the cellar for 2 years , and he took a leap of faith and opened up his winey in 2005. Robert now manages over 14 acres of vines, with new plantings in 2019 at the family Home Lot . Current varietals planted and produced are ; Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Riesling. Robs meticulous approach to viticulture ensure the production of the highest quality fruit which makes it easier for his minimal intervention wine making style. With a focus on big reds of the Bordeaux varietals, the white wines are not to be discounted. His exquisite wines truly embody the word “terroir” as they are some of the top varietal expressions of this unique landscape. Van Westen now produces 2500 cases annually and has been continuing to win awards in every competition entered. He may be “just a farmer who learnt to ferment”, but his humble nature and dedication to his land make his wines some of the finest on the Naramata Bench.
Here are some of my favorite moments over the years ...