Episode 22

Summerhill Pyramid Winery-Kelowna, BC Canada Pt. 2

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure.

Our featured winery is; we continue our conversation with Stephen Cipes, proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery.  I'm not asking for the secret sauce here. What do you feel attributes to all of the awards that you get for your winemaking?

Yes, it's a combination of things that we do. First of all, and most importantly, the grapes are grown organically and biodynamic. And they are processed in a certified organic cellar as well. What does that mean by everything? What does that mean by biodynamic is a term we can use if you get a Demeter certification out of Germany, which is the highest way to get organic certification like it's the biggest test. And everything is done by Rudolf Steiner, who is the founder of Demeter and Biodynamics, really. And he specifies when you can plant by the moon and when you harvest, and you put in making a tea from the right and grapes from last year. Everything is composted, compost, tea, there's a lot of the things that you need to do and be done with your plant is really at the end of the day, it's about nature and communication with man. It's a wonderful man and nature quencher. I call it.

Going through those two processes sounds very complex in themselves, let alone having to do two of those. And yet you decided to add another element to try to raise wine to its highest form.

And we took it to another process as well. And we built a sacred geometry chamber to put the wines in for the marriage period from dosaging to going on to the shelf. So when you make sparkling wine, as most people do know, you make a base wine like any other wine, and then you put that base one in a bottle that has a stick and can handle the pressure, and you add yeast and sugar and represent it in that bottle again, and it lays on the dead yeast cells. You sell the leaves for 18 months to 15 years. And each year, depending on what kind of grapes you have it made out of, produces more of the subtle flavors and nuances that you get out of fine sparkling wine. And then you wake up the bottle by riddling it and getting the dead yeast cells out of it. And then you dosage it with a sweet little reserve because the yeast has eaten all of the sugar. So its own dry and most people can handle it that way. And then the dosage period is what we call the marriage period. And in Europe, in Germany and Spain and France, many places where they make sparkling wine, they put the bottles in a sacred geometry chamber, which in those areas is almost always a Roman arch cellar. n Spain has, I think, 30 miles of Roman cellars to house their bottles after they've been discharged. And we built a precision pyramid after the Great Pyramid in Egypt to several trips that I was privileged to make with Egyptologists, then John Anthony West. So we did a precision pyramid, and we put all our wines now into that pyramid, which makes them again with a tiny winery, we're only 30,000 cases a year, and yet we win a huge amount of awards every year with our people. Love the flavors at the organic wine, and the pyramid adds a dimension to it as well.

Well, listening to the details that you put into every single process of what you do, I can only imagine the painstaking details you went in to recreate the pyramid.

We made it out of poured concrete, which has fiberglass rebar because we didn't want to use any ferrous metals and reorient the building back to the magnetic north. It's oriented to True North just as the Great Pyramid is. So we followed the Great Pyramid in every respect, and we did everything with few stones because the whole pyramid there is a fuzed stone structure, very rare and magnificent in so many ways. It's unbelievable. I have a book out called All One Era on Amazon.com, and it goes into all these details. So and our website has good details on the pyramid as well.

Somebody answer that phone! Its time, boys, and girls for our listener voicemail.

Hi, my name is Junie from Atlanta. And my question is, what kind of wine do you recommend for Red? You'd like to stay consistent in your cooking skills, use the same wine that you're going to drink for dinner as the marinade.

If you're going to drink an expensive wine for dinner, keep that in mind that you're going to have to use it to marinate as well. Personally, I'd use two-buck Chuck, with Chuck Steak.

Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best 5 Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHSYM. If you like the show, tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

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About the Podcast

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The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast
The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is a weekly podcast by Forrest Kelly exploring wineries around the world. We take 5 minutes and give you wine conversation starters and travel destinations.

About your host

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Forrest Kelly

I've been a Ram fan since the Fearsome Foursome roamed the backfields of opposing teams.