Winemaker David Paterson on the Rise of BC Grapes
New Zealander David Paterson, winemaker and general manger of Tantalus Vineyards, is a co-founder of what is a rare, winery-run event in British Columbia, the B.C. Pinot Noir Celebration held on 19 August.
On the topic of the rise of B.C. Pinot Noir, Paterson said that what he is most happy about is the slow, organic (no pun intended), growth of the grape, which has gone from forgettable to a level that happily competes with much of the New World and is taking aim at Burgundy.
“Although at this point, I think most B.C. producers are still in the exploration mode, it is clear what can be done here is plenty more than most of the rest of the wine world thinks,” Paterson said.
“There are probably 20 producers using more of a Burgundian approach both in the vineyard and in the winery, another 10 or 15 that are going for a little riper, more Oregon-style, and then there are quite a few Kiwis in the valley making wine, and we all have a little bit of that influence in us as well.
“When I first got here nine years ago there didn’t seem to be a lot of identity, but what I’m really enjoying now is more and more winemakers – and more importantly grape growers – that are really embracing what they have, and are not worrying about what they don’t have.
“We don’t need to emulate Oregon or Burgundy – we can be B.C. That’s the main message: we can stand up on our own two feet and be counted as our own region.”
Paterson was born in Vancouver. He received his winemaking degree from Lincoln University.
Prior to joining Tantalus, Paterson worked with celebrated South Australian producer Henschke Cellars.
Original article by Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun, June 22, 2017.
Photo by Abra Bennett.