Photo: Anarchist Mountain's Terry Meyer-Stone and Andrew Stone
Vineyard, a new producer from Osoyoos, had
its “coming out” that the recent Taste BC
event in Vancouver
What a coming out it was! The winery’s Wildfire Pinot Noir
2012 received a gold medal and the Elevation Chardonnay 2012 earned a silver.
Until now, this producer has flown below the radar screen.
It is not yet a licensed winery (because its production is too small) but uses
the license of Meyer Family Vineyards. Terry Meyer Stone, who operates Anarchist Mountain
with her partner, Andrew Stone,
is a sister of JAK Meyer.
The couple own one of the highest elevation vineyards (1,700
feet) in the Okanagan, with 4 ½ acres of vines on the side of Anarchist Mountain
overlooking Osoyoos and the valley. A site with a jaw-dropping view, it very
likely is the last vineyard to be touched by the sun at the end of the day.
Heat units are not an issue here; nor, with superb air flow down the mountain,
is frost much of a risk.
This remarkable site was planted in 1985 by Anthony Dekleva.
To hear Terry and Andrew talk of him, he was a colourful individual. He
maintained a gold claim on the property for some time, thinking that there
might be gold since there is a history of gold production in the south
He was also adept at water witching, or dowsing. Now, there
is a great deal of scepticism about water witching but it seems that he found the
wells on the property that now irrigate the vines.
“He is definitely a pioneer,” Andrew Stone says. “He wanted
to build a winery and a tasting room here. He had some health problems and
could not complete his dream. He was a good winemaker and made some wine from
Anthony sold the vineyard in 1993 to Michael Mauz, a
German-trained viticulturist now working with Mission Hill Family Estates.
Terry and Andrew bought the vineyard early in 2010, a move
that involved significant career changes for these two native Albertans.
“I used to host a television show in Edmonton for seven years, a daytime one-hour
talk show,” Terry says. “After that, two friends and I started a company called
Three Blondes and a Brownie, and we sold low fat muffins to McDonalds
nationally, for seven years.”
“I bounced around, trying to figure out what my place was,
really,” says Andrew, who was born in 1972. “I started off in the oil fields.
That’s where I grew up. It was difficult to have a real life there, so I quit
that and went to school and got some education to be a systems analyst. I got a
job just before Y2K, worked in a downtown office and lived downtown. I was a
real city kid and lived the dream, so to speak. But what I missed the most was
They got the opportunity after Terry’s brother, JAK, bought
a vineyard late in 2008 near Okanagan
and asked them to
help get the Meyer Family winery up and running.
“It was never on either of our radars to do this,” Terry
said later. “For JAK, too, it was a chance conversation he had one night with
James Cluer. They were just going to do a little bit of private label wines. He
got into it and dragged us into it. It
is such a cool industry to be part of right now.”
Terry uses her marketing background now in running the
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards wine club, one of the largest in the Okanagan. Andrew,
who has taken viticulture courses, now is vineyard manager at Liquidity
Their vineyard perched on the side of the mountain has three
acres of Chardonnay, one acre of Merlot and half an acre of Pinot Noir. There
is also a small nursery on site and Andrew has been testing other varietals,
although there is little room for additional vineyards here.
The production from 2012 is just 70 cases of each varietal
because Andrew and Terry also have been selling their grapes to selected
winemakers. That also serves as something of a tutorial in the potential of
“When we made the first wine [a 2011 Chardonnay], we did not
know what we had,” Andrew told me in 2013. “Now that it is in bottle, we like
drinking it. The question has changed from ‘Do we have the right fruit to do
this?’ to ‘Yes, we have the right fruit. Now what is the best way to develop a
“We have enough Chardonnay that we can do 500 cases,” Andrew
added. “We could outsource the Pinot Noir and we could outsource the Merlot. We
could buy fruit and ferment it here. We could do anything we want. The question
is, will the public buy it? It does not seem smart to me to go from zero to 500
cases, because we don’t have a lot of contacts through sales channels.”
That was 2013. Now Anarchist
has an agent in Vancouver
that make the market sit up and take notice. You might find the wines in one of
the Liberty Merchant Company stores (Liberty
organizes Taste BC
or you could order from Anarchist
’s web site. The
Pinot Noir is sold out at the winery, however.
Here are notes on the wines.
Anarchist Mountain Elevation Chardonnay 2012
($26 for 70
cases). This wine really reflects the terroir, with the minerality and texture
one would expect from 30- year-old on a rocky site. The wine has aromas and
flavours of citrus (lemon and lime) with very subtle oak notes and with
refreshing acidity. The finish is crisp. This is an elegant and complex
Anarchist Mountain Wildfire Pinot Noir 2012
($35 for 70
cases). As a winemaker, Andrew has had the advantage of being coached by Chris
Carson from Meyer Family and Matt Holmes from Liquidity. It shows in this
pretty and well-made wine. Aromas of cherry and strawberry are echoed on the
palate, with delicate and lingering fruit flavours. Silky tannins give the wine
good weight and a svelte texture. 91.