Tag Archives: Christine Coletta

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery Launches for Custom Crush

A new Okanagan Valley custom crush facility will open its cellar in Summerland for crush 2011

Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie are pleased to announce the formation of a custom crush winery,Okanagan Crush Pad at their 10-acre Switchback Vineyard in Summerland, BC. Construction is underway on a new 7,750-square-foot facility, which will be ready for the 2011 harvest. WinemakerMichael Bartier will head cellar operations aided by internationally renowned consulting winemakerAlberto Antonini and wine advisor David ScholefieldOkanagan Crush Pad Winery will ultimately have the capacity to produce 25,000 cases annually. The licensed winery has been designed to facilitate production of multiple small lots of wine from many different sources. In addition to being the home of Haywire Winery, Okanagan Crush Pad is home to a new wine, which is a partnership between Bartier and Scholefield and set to be released in June 2011. Okanagan Crush Pad’s first client is Rhys Pender, a Similkameen grape grower, wine instructor, and Master of Wine, who will be using Okanagan Crush Pad to make the first wine from his Cawston vineyar

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, set in Summerland, BC at Switchback Vineyard, offers a wide range of services for people new to the wine industry or those seeking fresh ideas. The facility will be the new home of Haywire, which launched in 2009. For more information, visit www.okanagancrushpad.com or contact Christine Coletta at 604-802-9005 or Alison Scholefield at 604-800-3738.

Haywire Winery

Haywire Winery is the well tended wine project brought to us from marketing consultant Christine Coletta her husband, Steve Lornie, a well-known construction manager.  David Scholefield is the winery’s consultant and, as anyone in the BC wine industry knows, he comes with a bank full of applicable knowledge and industry connections.

On the winemaking side, the first vintage (2009) was made by Michael Bartier (previously at Road 13).  In August 2010 the winery added some international flair as Alberto Antonini joined the team as the oenologist.  Antonini studied in Bordeaux and at UC Davis and has names such as Antinori, Frescobaldi and Mondavi on his resume.  Antonini and Mark Wendenburg combined forces to make the 2010 vintage and for 2011 Bartier will be back in the wine cellar with Antonini.

In 2005 Haywire purchased an old orchard in Summerland with the mindset to plant vineyards and produce quality vino in the area, a region which had already proven to yield quality grapes and produce wines of distinction.

In 2010 a 2009 Pinot Gris was released and there will be more of this varietal in 2010, along with some Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in the Skaha region, close to Penticton.

Coletta and Lornie named the vineyard Switchback to celebrate the switch from losing money as apple growers to losing money as grape growers. This mixed up logic is why they have called the winery “Haywire”, referring to the mangled manner in which hay is bailed.

Let’s hope they at least have fun doing this, and while they may jest about financial loss, the pair are planners and I can’t imagine this couple randomly stepping out into anything other than a venture that looked profitable in some manner – perhaps even financial.

Coletta Consultants, Christine’s company, has successful and more importantly, creatively, marketed many other BC Wineries.  With some descent growing seasons and care in the vineyards, this up-and-coming winery will be one to watch, and the chance for Coletta to directly apply the knowledge she previously only shared with others.

Haywire Winery Pinot Gris 2009

A light-bodied and fresh number, the first from this Okanagan Winery.  Floral, green apple and peach aromas with flavours of lemon, lime, apple, peach.  A somewhat tart finish, this is a typical Gris from younger vines.  With another year to develop, these plants should produce wines of more depth, but there’s nothing preventing you from enjoying the inaugural vintage with some fresh oysters – accompany with a granny smith mignonette and you’re set for patio weather.

Technical Information:

Vintage: 2009
Status: VQA
Vineyard: Switchback
Variety: 100% Pinot Gris
Clone: 52
Fermentation: 100% Stainless Steel

Alcohol: 13.0
pH: 3.29
RS: 1.3
T.A.: 7.60

Haywire Winery Launched


In short:

After more than 20 years guiding the strategic and marketing activities of wineries from BC and beyond, industry consultant Christine Coletta, along with her husband Steve Lornie, is launching Haywire Winery. Their first wine will be a 2009 Pinot Gris from the duo’s Switchback Vineyard located in Summerland, British Columbia (CSPC#147009 $22.90).

In full:

For Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, the snap decision to purchase an unproductive 10-acre orchard in Summerland, BC, followed by the progression to planting grapes and ultimately making wine, has been a long journey with many twists and turns.

“It was never our intention to make wine, but as we got further into the project – financially and emotionally – something took hold and gave our common sense a good shake,” remarked Coletta, who is never above a good laugh at her own expense. “We have managed to hold on to our sense of humour about our move into the winery game, but we are very serious about the wine we will be making. This is the beginning of something: we hope our wine will sit proudly next to the other great wines made in the Okanagan Valley.”

On a whim, Coletta and Lornie bought an old orchard in 2005, but one season of growing Red Delicious apples and apricots that were unsuitable for canning or hand eating was enough for both. They planted the entire site to Pinot Gris in 2006 and settled back, keen on merely growing grapes and keeping their day jobs. They optimistically named the vineyard “Switchback”, to celebrate the switch from losing money as orchardists to losing money as grape growers. Coletta noted, “It will take seven years of profit to pay for the tractor alone.”

Along the way, they received interesting and conflicting advice from friends and industry associates. To Lornie, who has run a construction company for 30 years, it appears there is no wrong way to do anything, just hundreds of right ways. “Really, on a daily basis, seasoned professionals would arm-wrestle their points until we were all downright dizzy,” Lornie commented. “So when it came time to name the winery, ’Haywire‘ seemed an obvious choice.”

The expression ‘haywire’ is derived from the wire, once used for baling hay, which tended to tangle in a chaotic way. The term also aptly describes Coletta and Lornie’s transition from city slickers to farmers to winery owners, which they have chronicled in a journal available on the winery’s website www.haywirewinery.com.

This year, they will release a small lot of 2009 Pinot Gris from their Switchback Vineyard (CSPC#147009 $22.90), with wine style being directed by David Scholefield. With three decades of experience in the wine industry and an international reputation for his palate and knowledge, Scholefield has been instrumental in convincing Coletta and Lornie of the potential of their vineyard site and encouraged them to take the leap into winemaking. Scholefield will remain actively involved as a spokesperson and advisor. He is currently selecting a consulting winemaker.

Looking forward, more Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris will come from the 2010 harvest, along with a Pinot Noir sourced from friend Fritz Hollenbach’s Skaha vineyard in Penticton. Down the road, Haywire Winery hopes to add a rosé and a sparkling wine; but whatever the mix, it will be small lots.

Christine Coletta has been in the wine industry for more than 20 years, where her role evolved from implementing BC’s VQA program to strategic brand planning, marketing wine regions and promoting wineries big and small. With Haywire Winery, she will finally have the chance to personally test her own marketing skills. She will still consult to others through Coletta & Associates, a Vancouver-based wine marketing and communications partnership.

As its sales agency, Haywire Winery has appointed Landmark Selections of North Vancouver. This medium-sized British Columbia wine agency is operated by partners Chris Perry, Dean Davis and Jaime Kowan. Landmark Selections now sells over 65,000 cases a year in British Columbia and is highly respected in the trade.

To learn more about Haywire Winery, visit  www.haywirewinery.com or connect on Twitter @haywirewine.

Haywire is represented by Landmark Selections 604-986-4000

Media Contact: Leeann Froese, Coletta & Associates 604-800-0603 | leeann@ccltd.ca