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Press Release


Okanagan Wines with French Roots
Roche Wines Brings Old World Experience to the Okanagan
Vancouver, BC, May 25, 2015

Pénélope & Dylan Roche are proud to announce the launch of their label, Roche Wines. The recent release includes a 2013 Pinot Gris and a 2014 Rosé, produced in limited quantities. A 2014 Pinot Noir is ageing in barrel.  2012 saw a pilot project of 125 cases of Chardonnay, now sold out. 

Pénélope and Dylan fell in love with wine well before they fell in love with each other.  

Born with wine in her blood, Pénélope counts five generations of viticulture and winemaking at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan, a family estate producing elegant wines among the best of Bordeaux. From oenology and viticulture studies in Bordeaux to winemaking in Spain, New Zealand and Australia, Pénélope brings to the Okanagan a profound and holistic understanding of the grapevine’s relationship with its environment, from a winemaker’s perspective. She dedicates herself to the vineyard from pruning to harvest. Pénélope also consults for several independent vineyards, and teaches viticulture at Okanagan College.

Complementing Pénélope’s experience and sharing equally in her passion for wine is her husband Dylan Roche. 

Dylan studied Urban Geography at UBC and left North Vancouver in 2000 to work for food-and-wine focussed tour operator Butterfield & Robinson in Burgundy. Exposure to the great wines of France, Italy, and Spain awoke a continued fascination for the link between place, soils, vines and wine. A diploma in viticulture and winemaking in Beaune led to apprenticeships in Burgundy, Chablis, and New Zealand. Five years in Bordeaux included teaching oenology and sensory evaluation classes at Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, and managing an estate in Margaux. Dylan’s primary occupation is crafting uniquely honest wines at Intersection Estate Winery in Oliver.

Pénélope & Dylan are dedicated to natural, artisanal farming and winemaking. They share the rare combination of experience in both vineyard management and winemaking, and a precise appreciation of the link between the two. They have always worked with small lots, in direct contact with the vineyard, and are acutely aware of the details that make the difference between good and truly exceptional wine.

John Schreiner reviewed the 2012 Roche Chardonnay, giving it 90 points and commented that it is “A wine with pure focussed fruit on the nose and palate, with aromas of citrus and a note of brioche. It tastes of lemon and fresh apples, with a good backbone of minerals and with bright acidity.” Schreiner gave the Roche Pinot Gris 2013 an impressive 92 points and wrote that it was “One of the most complex Pinot Gris wines I have seen in a long time. Think of Alsace. The racy acidity gives the wine a bright, refreshing attack. It has aromas of  pear and spice and flavours of apple, melon and citrus. The flavours seem to come in richly- textured layers and the finish is very long. The winemakers give this an aging potential of four to six years, a recommendation that speaks to the wine’s complexity.”

Pénélope and Dylan left Bordeaux for Penticton in 2011, convinced of the potential of this dynamic wine region. As of 2014 they farm their own vineyard on the Naramata Bench.

They are dedicated to crafting small lots of authentic wines from vine to bottle, striving to reveal the intimate relation of wine and terroir.

Wines available: 

2012 Unoaked Chardonnay (Oliver)
40 cases exclusive to Merchant’s Oyster Bar

2012 Chardonnay (Oliver)
85 cases, épuisé

2013 Pinot Gris (Naramata)
Certified Organic, 175 cases 

2014 Rosé, Zweigelt / Schonberger (Domaine Roche, Naramata), 185 cases 

Soon to be released:

2014 Pinot Gris (Naramata)
Certified Organic, 250 cases 

2014 Pinot Noir (Naramata)
Certified organic, 300 cases