The 3 Blocks Pinot Noir is a unique blend cultivated from three distinct plots within the Fox Family Vineyard. Each of these blocks is home to a different variety of Dijon Clone - 667, 777, and 828 - that have found a home in the vineyard's rocky, silty soil. Located on the Naramata Bench, this vineyard is perched approximately 600 metres above sea level.
The vineyard, planted back in 2011, has matured significantly and is in its tenth leaf. The Fox Family Vineyard is noteworthy for its mostly organic treatment. It refrains from using harmful substances like pesticides, herbicides or toxic sprays. This approach is a testament to the vineyard's strong commitment to an ecologically balanced habitat that encourages the soil's natural herbicides.
These three blocks of 667, 777, and 828 clones span just over a hectare of land, occupying both the highest and lowest regions of the Fox Vineyard. These plots receive optimal sunlight due to their southwest-facing orientation, capturing both the early and late afternoon sun. Interestingly, each block ripens at a different pace. The 667, for instance, tends to yield larger clusters due to its vigorous growth and often requires thinning.
Harvest season usually arrives in early October, with the grapes picked at their peak ripeness. Picking and sorting are performed right on the vine and into baskets. The cool morning temperatures are particularly favorable for processing the fruit. With the 3 Blocks, the grapes are mostly destemmed whole berry, bypassing any crushing equipment to avoid over maceration. On occasion, whole cluster fermentation is employed depending on the vintage.
The fermentation process, involving indigenous yeasts and select cultured yeasts, typically lasts between 14-18 days and is conducted on its skins. Post-fermentation, the wine is racked off the free run and gently pressed off its skins using a basket press. This wine then ages in a mix of mostly new and neutral French Oak barrels, supplemented with some stainless steel, for roughly 10 months before it's bottled unfiltered.
The 3 Blocks Pinot Noir is recognized for its delightful aromas and flavors. This includes notes of cherry, liquorice, red currants, plums, graphite, and a subtle hint of spice.