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John Schreiner

John Schreiner

John Schreiner


We are honoured that Mr Schreiner, a fine gentleman and true supporter of Canada's wines, allows use to use his articles.

By John Schreiner
reprinted with permission

Chris Carson -Winemaker
Chris Carson -Winemaker

Meyer Family Vineyards is a Chardonnay master

Based in Okanagan Falls, Meyer Family Vineyards has a proud slogan: “crafting single vineyard wines of excellence.” The winery backs that up in the current release of four single vineyard Chardonnays made by winemaker Chris Carson. These rank among the finest from the Okanagan – and there now are many first-rate Chardonnays made in British Columbia.

Meyer Family Vineyards, owned by JAK Meyer and his wife, Janice Stephens, began making Chardonnay in 2006 from a small Naramata Bench vineyard. Today, Meyer farms 23 acres of estate vineyards, including the McLean Creek Vineyard at Okanagan Falls, the Old Main Road property near Naramata, and the recently acquired Lakehill Road Vineyard in Keremeos. The Anarchist Mountain Vineyard is owned by JAK’s sister, Terry, and her partner, Andrew Stone.

These four wines are all from the 2021 vintage, a challenging year that included forest fires followed by the heat dome. The temperature peaked at 48◦C for several days and stayed high for about 10 days. The extreme heat reduced vineyard yields. Fortunately, the weather was exceptional from late August to early October. Meyer was able to start picking Chardonnay on September 12. The reduced yields, however, produced grapes packed with flavour, which is evident in these four wines.

Meyer Anarchist Mountain Vineyard Dekleva Clone Chardonnay 2021 ($32.26 for 175 cases). This vineyard is at an elevation of 518 meters on a west-facing slope above Osoyoos. The Chardonnay vines were planted in 1985 by Anthony Dekleva. Because the clone is unknown – “suitcase clones” according to the back label – it has come to be called the Dekleva clone wherever it grows. The fruit is pressed gently. Fermentation with natural yeast begins in stainless steel and concludes in French oak barrels (25% new). The wine remains in barrel on the lees for eleven months without battonage. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in the spring, accounting for the appealing touch of butter in the flavour. The wine has aromas and flavours of stone fruit and apples. The finish lingers. 93.

Meyer Stevens Block Chardonnay 2021 ($27.04 for 230 cases). The Stevens Block is a steep, one-acre parcel of the four-acre Old Main Road vineyard. This parcel was planted in 2006 with Chardonnay clones four and five. Only the purest juice from a gentle pressing was used for this wine, which was fermented with natural yeast for six weeks in stainless steel before being transferred to older French barrels for 10 months. A natural malolactic occurred. The wine begins with aromas of vanilla mingled with apple and citrus. On the palate, the texture is lush and delivers flavours of stone fruit and citrus, with a hint of sea salt on the finish. 95.

Meyer Old Main Road Chardonnay 2021 ($32.26 for 533 cases). The fruit is from a Naramata Bench vineyard planted originally in 1996. The grapes were pressed gently, with the hard press portion kept separate. A long cool ferment began in stainless steel and finished in French oak barrels (22% new). The wine was left on the lees for 11 months without battonage, with a natural malolactic fermentation occurring in the spring. The wine has aromas and flavours of apple and citrus, with a touch of butter and vanilla. The texture is mouth-filling while bright acidity lifts the fruit. 92.

Meyer McLean Creek Road Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 ($32.26 for 500 cases). This vineyard near Okanagan Falls was originally planted in 1994. There are two Chardonnay blocks with differing exposures that impact flavour development and result in more complex wine. The winemaking technique was similar to the Old Main Road Chardonnay. The wine begins with aromas of apple, nectarine and vanilla. With a bit of breathing (or decanting), the expressive flavours are echoed the aromas. There is a lingering finish. 93.

Meyer Family Winery

John Scheiner

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