Varieties. Rootstock. Clones. Blocs. Pick Dates. Yeast. Barrels. Tanks… are just some of the many variables that form the matrix of options when tending a vineyard and coaxing its fruit into the magical beverage we call wine.
While we like to wax on about minimal intervention and that “the vineyard does the work”, it is simply naive to ignore the human factor – the multiple decisions and choices that form a style, secure flavours and complete nature’s cycle.
The world changes, preferences change and even the most traditional techniques and practices evolve. At Stratus, we’ve always ‘played’ with ideas at harvest, experimented with fermentation techniques, varietal blends and ageing vessels. Within that ‘playtime’, a few litres of wine that we internally referred to as R&D and kept under the radar would be tasted, evaluated, and ultimately left in our library – unlabelled and unfinished. The best results and techniques would slowly find their way into new wines or styles within our portfolio.
But, more recently, we thought… why not open the vault? Why not allow our fans to share in our curiosity? And so comes the first release of the Stratus Trials. ‘One-off’ wines that contribute to the ‘whole’ of our vineyard story.
And speaking of Trials – our good friends and designers at The Works Design Communications in Toronto submitted label ideas to break away from their traditional expertise and ‘trial’ out wine label design. At least ten distinctive submissions were received and ultimately this label was chosen as it best captured the spontaneous, informal and spirited effort behind the wine.