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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, August 6 2020

Desert Scents

By: Anthony Gismondi
Tales from the Black Sage Gravel Terrace

Michael Bartier is a one-of-a-kind winegrower with a deep connection to his birthplace, the Okanagan Valley.

Like many locals, you have an equal chance of meeting him and his wife Jodi cycling up a mountain during the summer or skiing down it in winter, as you would meet them at their Oliver winery.

Bartier has long been curious about the connection between terroir and wine and whether winemaking can enhance or hinder that relationship. In a series of videos that we will roll out over the summer, Bartier explores several topics that have long interested him: soils, garrigue, rosé production, and the maceration of grape skins. 

Bartier's winemaking philosophy is simple: plant the correct grapes on the correct site; farm these well, thinking of the vineyard as a 200-year project; take the good fruit into the cellar, and make sure the vineyard characters, not the winemaker’s manipulations, make it into the glass. From there his mantra is "don’t try to copy Napa, or Bordeaux, or Burgundy; make Okanagan wine. These places make beautiful wines, but they’re different from what the Okanagan gives, and they don’t have the privilege of working with Okanagan grapes." Amen to that.

Visit Bartier Bros. Vineyards website

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.