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.