The short story, according to Mayhem Wines co-founder Terry Meyer Stone, is family, drinking wine, big idea, new winery and chaos.
The longer story is Stone and her brother, Jak Meyer, co-owner of Meyer Family Vineyards, have collaborated to create Mayhem.
Meyer Stone’s husband, Andrew Stone, and Jak’s wife, Janice Stevens, are also involved.
“Me and Jak have been involved in each other’s lives for all our life,” said Stone.
“Why not spill over into business? If that that’s not a recipe for mayhem, we don’t know that is.”
The brother and sister both own and operate their own wineries with their spouses.
Jak and Janice have Meyer Family in Okanagan Falls and Terry and Andrew helm Anarchist Mountain Vineyards in Osoyoos.
Both wineries focus on Burgundy varietals – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
So, Terry and Jak felt a new winery to produce wine from other varieties was apropos.
Jak claims it was his bright idea.
Terry says it was her brainchild.
Either way, it creates more mayhem and an inspired name for a winery.
So, Mayhem’s reds will all be Bordeaux-style wines made from the traditional grapes native to that region of France – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
Mayhem’s whites and rose include Pinot Blanc,
Pinot Gris, riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and a pink made of Merlot.
The labels feature the motto: Every life well-lived should have a little mayhem.
The 2018 Mayhem Rose ($19) is a bolder, Okanagan style with aromas and flavours of strawberry, rhubarb and grapefruit with a bit of herbaceousness.
Apple, peach and a touch of lime makes the 2018 Pinot Gris ($16) highly drinkable.
Pinot Blanc is often overlooked as bland, but Mayhem’s 2018 version ($16) is fresh and light with a peach-pear-and-lemon profile.
The 2018 Riesling ($18) is dry and bright and packed with pineapple and lemon flavour,
The 2018 Gewurztraminer ($16) is classic of the varietal with an off-dry and exotic interpretation of lychee, rose petal, ginger and coconut.
Meantime, brother Jak continues to do what he does best with Chardonnay at Meyer Family Vineyards.
My wife, Kerry, and I tasted three of the Chards back-to-back-to-back with friends to see if we could discern the difference.
And, yes, each is delightfully distinct.
The Meyer 2018 Chardonnay ($17.50) is the most affordable and the winery’s largest production Chard.
But that doesn’t mean corners have been cut.
Aging in 80% stainless-steel tanks and 20% used oak barrels means the oak is light, letting the lemon, pear and creamy caramel take the forefront.
Only used oak barrels were used to age the
Meyer 2018 Stevens Block Chardonnay ($25), named after Jak’s wife, Janice Stevens.
As it says on the label, the wine is like its namesake – clean, crisp and elegant.
Again, the oak is barely there, allowing the pineapple and lime aromas and flavours to shine.
The Meyer 2017 McLean Creek Rd. Vineyard Chardonnay ($29) has more oak, 18% new and 82% used, to impart more butterscotch aromas and flavours lifted by peach and lime.
Speaking of Chardonnay, it’s all they sell right now at Coolshanagh on the Naramata Bench.
Only 1,200 cases of the 2016 Chardonnay ($37) were crafted by winemaker Matt Dumayne at Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland in a combination of used oak barrels and concrete tanks.
The barrels impart virtually no oak taste, but a lush texture to back up the aromas and flavours of apple, lychee and straw.
Coolshanagh loosely translated is a meeting place of family and friends.
And that’s who owners Skip and Judy Stothert want you to share their rare Chard with.
Knowing we had a special bottle on our hands, my wife, Kerry, sauteed jumbo prawns in a simple butter cream sauce to perfectly pair with the Coolshanagh on a Friday night.
The only retailers to stock Coolshanagh are Naramata Liquor Store and Fairview Liquor in Penticton.
Or you can purchase it online at Coolshanagh.ca.
The 300 cases of Coolshanagh Pinot Noir is sold out.
There will be nary a football at this tailgate extravaganza.
But there will be plenty of excellent wines from Naramata and people milling around in roaring 1920s costume.
The Naramata Bench Wineries Association Tailgate Party is Sept. 14, 6:30-9 p.m., at the Naramata Heritage Inn with wineries pouring samples from the back of their trucks.
It’s a take on football fans gathering in the parking lot before a game and pulling down the tailgates on their their trucks to barbecue and set up a makeshift bar.
Food will be provided by The Vanilla Pod restaurant from Poplar Grove Winery, The Kitchen from Da Silva Winery, The Bistro from Hillside Winery, Smuggler’s Smoke House from Red Rooster Winery, The Oven from Upper Bench Winery,
Bird’s Eye at Bench 1775 Winery and 1908 Restaurant from the Naramata Heritage Inn.
Attendees are encouraged to dress up in roaring ‘20s attire to celebrate the era of early Naramata.
Tickets are $130 at NaramataBench.com.
The website also has shuttle information.
Steve MacNaull is a reporter at The Okanagan Weekend. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also listen to his Okanagan Wine & Dine podcast
exclusively on OkanaganValleyRadio.com on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m.