CODE NAMED IMPORTANT NEW CANADIAN WINERY
by Shay Code·
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