Old and New World Meet in BC
There’s always been a unique union between Old and New World winemaking at the South Okanagan’s Osoyoos Larose; with the arrival of new winemaker Mathieu Mercier, that bond grows even stronger.
Mercier has winemaking in his blood. Born in Cognac, France, he grew up in the vineyard at his family’s estate. “When I was a kid I spent all my free time with my father in the vineyard, or in the winery,” says Mercier. “I learned at a young age the significance of every detail when striving for the best quality.”
It was natural that he would study winemaking as a career. He holds both a Masters in Viticulture and Enology and a National Diploma of Enology from the respected Agronomic School of Bordeaux. In 2012, Mathieu spent time expanding his skills in viticulture and winemaking at Concha Y Toro’s Don Melchor in Chile; at Swanson Vineyards and at Cain Vineyard and Winey in the Napa Valley; and in Bordeaux, working at several estates owned by Groupe Taillan. It was at the latter that he began to take an interest in Osoyoos Larose, and in winemaking in the Okanagan Valley.
“My enthusiasm for the quality of the ‘Grand Vin’ and the pursuit of new challenges made me want to play a role in the continued success of the wine.” In March of 2013, he moved to Canada for the opportunity to manage all the steps from vineyard to the cellar at Osoyoos Larose. “The incredible potential of the Okanagan Valley became obvious to me when I arrived here. The climate here is very good, with a lot of sun exposure and spectacular day to night temperature variations.”
Today, he is working closely with the team at Osoyoos Larose to implement exacting viticulture and vinification techniques that will help the finished wine express the unique terroir of the South Okanagan. “My goal is to always produce better quality grapes to make better quality wine year after year, without any compromises.”