I often get asked what do I like most about the wine business. The answer is always the same, it’s the people.
It’s the people that drive business and make life interesting, Mike and Robin Nierychlo are no exception.
I first met Mike perhaps five or six years ago, he was hosting a video series called The Wine Garage in his garage Langley. The only time that was mutually convenient for us to meet was after my 7am Saturday morning hockey game. I drove out to Langley pulled up to his condo and lo and behold he had everything all set up, plus a bunch of wine fermenting in carboys in his garage.
Mike was making wine as a hobby, he had an infectious boyish enthusiasm for everything that he did. Who would have known that five or six years later he and his wife we go into the nether regions of British Columbia and of the Cowichan Valley and start to make wine, and that is precisely what they did.
Last Friday, March 11th, Mike and Robin were pouring their latest releases. I can tell you for his first vintage the wines are spectacular, I specifically enjoyed the Pinot Noir and Marachal Foch. Both wines are around 12.9% alcohol, they showed exuberance flavor depth of character I would except from French wines and a more seasoned winemaker. All wines are organically farmed.
His wines is white wines and Rose were refreshing crisp clean and well made have low alcohol, the only caveat I have is with his Sauvignon Blanc which did not completely ferment to dryness therefore has a touch of residual sugar. Nonetheless it is a fun, refreshing wine to drink.
Mike and Robin are the people we need in this industry – they understand what great wine tastes like and are keen to learn. Too many BC winemakers live in a bubble of their own provincial borders and are fearful of competition. Time will soon take its toll and we will realize that the world is at our doorsteps. With people like Mike and Robin making wine, we are in a comfortable place. Bravo and well done! I’m pleased to sell the wines at Marquis Wine Cellars.
By John Clerides
Owner, Marquis Wine Cellars