Having learned in our previous vintages how hard it is to find quality grapes in small quantities (i.e. less than a ton) we figured we should start shopping around for our 2009 vintage much earlier. Thankfully we found another grower named Terry, un-related to Terry with the Foch (see MM#004), with some nice grapes on the Naramata bench. Terry happened to have two of the red varieties that (we think) consistently make some of the best reds in the Okanagan, Merlot and Cab Franc.
As Thanksgiving 2009 approached, Terry kept us up to date with the ripening progression in the vineyard. It had been a great growing season and the numbers were lining up perfectly with our planned Thanksgiving excursions to the Okanagan……………………..
………..Ok, we’re totally struggling trying to write a sexy post about this vintage, more »
There once was a man named Drago,
He came from Croatia a long time ago.
He grew many a vine,
And yelled loudly all the time.
The most interesting guy you could know.
Growing up in the Fraser Valley, Mike N. lived in a tight-knit rural community with several neighbourhood ‘personalities’. One of these personalities was named Drago (see limerick above.) 2009 happened to be one of the warmest years on record in the area and Drago had a bumper crop of grapes. Not knowing what to do with all these grapes, he tracked down the local neighbourhood wine nerd and said in his usual tone, “HEYYYY… MIKE… YOU VANT GRAPES?” (picture an unshaven middle-aged Croatian dude waving his arms in the air). more »
A sunny afternoon in April we popped by a local winery in Abbotsford with our first two wines to get an outside opinion. The color and the aromas of our cherry wine and the full mouth feel of our Marechal Foch pleasantly surprised our winemaker acquaintance. However, we all felt that the Cherry wine came across rather thin with no length and the Foch had those typical Fochy characteristics (wild, brambly and lacking much aroma).
With a twinkle in his eye he grabbed the bottle of Cherry and tossed a dash into his glass of Foch, leaning our way said, “Try this!” This was our first official experience with blending. more »
After countless hours of hard work, The Wine Coop is nearing completion. We still have a lot of little finishing touches to take care of, but as you will see by the following slideshow, we are well on our way.
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The 2008 harvest (of real wine grapes) was nearly over and we were having a heck of a time trying to find someone who would sell us less than 2000lbs. It turns out grapes are generally sold by the ton… not by the pound. Our search took us all the way to Grand Forks in the West Kootenays… yes, they actually grow grapes there.
A nice grower named Terry was kind enough to let us U-pick what he had left of his Marechal Foch grapes. It was the first weekend of November, the leaves had already dropped, and it had just rained. Not quite the romantic image we had for our first grape harvest. This didn’t dampen our spirits in the slightest, as we were just stoked to have tracked down some nice looking grapes that we got to pick ourselves. more »
This post contains a great slideshow and the story of The Wine Coop so far.
As many of you now know, behind the scenes in the garage we have been making hobby wine for a number of years. Our production has slowly been increasing on us year after year. Timing couldn’t have been much better with the sale of my home and us out growing the garage. This led to a search for bigger more dedicated facility for us to continue exploring the side of the wine world that we are both so passionate about.
Around late January to early February of this year (2012) I was spending an afternoon at my parents house, when it dawned on me. The old chicken barn is still just sitting here! Rotting away, the building has been unused for a good number of years now. more »
Note: this is a more detailed retelling of our winemaking adventures to date (for the wine nerds out there.) The feel-good abbreviated version set to music can be found in post (MM#001) The Adventure Thus Far.
2008 – Our Inaugural Vintage
It was the middle of July and we were hankering to try our hand at making wine. However, there was a slight catch… grapes weren’t in season. Thankfully, we were in the height of cherry season! Mike N. tracked down 50lbs of black cherries from local fruit stands while Mike R. scoured the web for cherry wine “recipes”. Jack Keller’s website on home winemaking proved quite useful despite us being a little wary of all the fruit wine recipes that called for added water and sugar. more »
In 2008, long before the launch of Mike Nierychlo ONLiNE, myself and my bro-in-law Mike Rathjen began our journey into winemaking. Being two guys who are uber passionate about all things wine, it only seamed fit to deepen our knowledge of the wine world by making the stuff. Through our experiences, successes and failures so far, we have gained a huge appreciation for what goes into a great bottle of wine. We have also learned that the more we learn, the less we feel like we know.
As our journey continues we are stoked to have you follow along with us and hopefully we can all learn something along the way. Welcome to our blog: “The Wine Adventures of Mike & Mike.”
Check out our slideshow for a brief overview of our adventure thus far.
Check back often for posts containing a more detailed history of our winemaking adventures and hints of what the future holds.