Robert Bell's Wines of Canada

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Niche Wine Company

1901 Bartley Road

West Kelowna

I first met Joanna and James Schlosser at a wine tasting few years back. They were just starting their adventure. I thought they were a nice couple but were in for a rough ride. They had little experience and their property was on the wrong side of Highway 97 near Rose ValleyLake. All the other wines, like Mission Hill were on the East side near Okanagan Lake.

However if you have a dream and a passion and work hard you will achieve and that is exactly what James and Joanna have done. John Schreiner wrote James is a risk-averse winemaker despite his degree from Brock University, Canada’s top wine making school.

Kathleen and Jerry Schlosser

This boutique winery, which released its first wines in the spring of 2011, is called Niche because the owners Joanna and James Schlosser believe the vineyard occupies an ecological niche and the wine business represents a career niche for them. The winery has been established in a former barn on a rural property purchased in 1980 by Jame's parents, Kelowna lawyers Jerold and Kathleen Schlosser, who began planting in 1997.

All Niche Wine is produced entirely from grapes grown by Hugh & Mary Vineyard, a small vineyard owned and operated by our parents, Kathleen and Jerry Schlosser. Growing up on this property, James always knew there was something special about this place.

Half the vineyard is planted to two clones of Pinot Noir. There is also a hectare of Gewürztraminer and test blocks of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Maréchal Foch. James has his Masters in Oenology and Viticulture. Art and Science are at work in the making of Niche Wine

Their wines are made without fancy equipment and instead benefit from gravity, smarts and a few strong hands. All niche wine is produced entirely from grapes grow by Hugh and Mary Vineyard, a small vineyard owned and operated by James' parents, Kathleen and Jerry Schlosser.

Signature wines : Chardonnay, Riesling, Rose, Pinot Noir and Foch

Here are some wine tasting notes ,with thanks, from John Schreiner

Niche Pinot Noir 2018 ($25.15 for 110 cases). This wine is a blend of clones 115 and 667. This is a bright, fruit forward Pinot Noir with minimal oak aging. It begins with aromas of cherry and flavours of red currant and strawberry. The texture is silky. 90.


Niche Pinot Noir – No Filter 2018 ($31.15 for 50 cases). Select blocks of fruit was picked for this wine and was treated very gently, coming into the winery in 20-pound boxes and, after crushing, was fermented in small lots with several commercial yeasts. The wine has a significantly more fleshy texture and a darker colour than its filtered brother. The cherry aromas and flavours mingle with notes of spice. The finish lingers. 93.


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