Code Named Important New Canadian Winery

by Shay Code

One of Canada's top wine critics, David Lawrason from Wine Align, names Code Wines to his list of Important New Canadian Wineries.

Code Wines, Okanagan Falls, B.C.
With the label depicting digital DNA-ish coding, one assumes at first that this winery is more of a branding exercise. But Code is actually the surname of Shay and Harlee Code, Saskatchewan farmers who followed a wine passion to the Okanagan. In 2016 they purchased a five-acre, fairly steep west-facing slope and planted an organic vineyard that sits below an impressive heat-radiating granite cliff above the town of Okanagan Falls. Under the guidance of Penelope and Dylan Roche — of Roche Wines in Naramata — they and their children planted chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah, focusing on clonal selections. With the first vintage bottled in 2019, they have already burrowed deep and created a four-bottle set of pinot clone bottlings of Dijon 115, Dijon 777, Pommard 91 and Ancestor 01 — a fascinating tasting exercise. All the wines are pure, linear, complex and refined, and expressive of vintage. The 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay is among the most Chablis-like wines I have ever experienced in Canada. A pair of rosés, one from pinot noir the other from syrah, are very precise. But my favourite is the refined, tender yet firm, and complete 2021 Syrah from a one-acre, biodynamic block. The syrah vines suffered some winter damage this vintage, but as this site matures watch for some great wines ahead.

David Lawrason-VP Wine Align