Introducing: Tyler Harlton Wines

Making wine out of a small storage space surrounded by vintage cars and next to a vinegar production facility is the first step to a big dream.

Tyler Harlton, owner of TH Wines, is well on the way to achieving his. He grew up with his family’s farming business in Saskatchewan before moving to Montreal as a young man. An interest in wine led him to sommelier training in the big city – Montreal – where his interest transformed into his passion. His newly learned wine skills partnered with his familiarity with farming brought him west, landing in the Okanagan Valley. While farming sustainable produce and supplying foods to local eateries and farmer’s markets, Harlton decided to pair up with his winemaker friend William Adams to create TH Wines.

Adams received his vinification training in New Zealand and at Osoyoos Larose in Oliver. He made TH Wines’ first vintage in 2011 from grapes sourced mainly from the Oliver area. Harlton and Adams agree that purchasing grapes gives them the flexibility to make different wines using the best fruit available for that vintage.

Harlton has contractual arrangements with his growers, allowing him to retain control of the quality and brix levels of the grapes as well as the pick dates. These hands-on details ensure that he is receiving the best possible grapes, in turn reflecting the terroir of the vineyards and the hard work of the farmers.

On his own farm Harlton strives to follow organic practices by building soil and establishing a good pH healthy for the beneficials within. This philosophy of sustainability is also the focus of TH Wines. Good people, good heart, talented farming and winemaking skill is the equation to a good wine.  “Wine is the perfect expression of agriculture,” says Harlton. “It’s taking something a farmer has produced, and turned it into a perfect manifestation of the land.”

Tyler and William currently have three labels, one of which is a clean and refreshing apple wine. The apple wine is made with Mutsu, Braeburn, Fuji and Red Delicious apples that Harlton mainly sources from Harker’s Organics in the Similkameen, resulting in a 90% organic product.

Harlton states that eventually he’d like to see his apple wine become 100% certified organic, to show that he is taking health seriously and can trace back the apples directly back to their source.

While the tradition elsewhere in the world is to make a stronger apple cider or carbonated apple wine, the pair resisted the temptation to adulterate the apples into something sweeter, wanting to showcase the natural acidity in creating an apple wine that actually tastes like pure fresh apples.

“What does an apple taste like?” asks Harlton while sipping.  “It tastes like this.”

He feels that there are apples everywhere, and everywhere there are farmers who can’t sell their apples.  This product supports the local economy and is a great alternative for people who aren’t in the mood for a beer or a wine.

The next wine in the trifecta is a bold Pinot Gris and Viognier blend. The grapes were fermented separately in neutral oak casks, and gained complexity by spending time on the settling yeast cells or lees, a process the French call “sur lie”.  The process allows the fermenting wine to absorb more phenolic characters while increasing the viscosity, resulting in a beautifully balanced product. Harlton and Adams produced roughly 280 cases.

The final wine in the current release is a pure Cabernet Franc rosé. It spent a very short time on the skins during a prolonged stainless steel fermentation, finishing the wine to complete dryness.  170 cases of the rosé were made.

TH Wines is a small producer with high ambition, and creates very high quality wines that sustainably minded consumers can support and enjoy.  The aim is to sell through the current release and make enough money to continue buying grapes and grow the business as the vintages go by. The wines are currently available in the following locations:

Local Liquor Market

Metro Liquor Store

THWines.com

#1 – 9576 CEDAR AVENUE, SUMMERLAND, BC. V0H 1Z2

250.494.8334

Email: tyler@thwines.com

www.facebook.com/tyler.harlton

mywinepal.com/tag/tyler-harlton/

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