McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks celebrate a milestone

We have the best staff … and that helps make the winery possible in the tasting room and winery.
— Patricia McRitchie

By Jennifer Primrose

On Saturday, May 26, McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks celebrated a special occasion. On that rainy day, the crew at the winery played host to a packed house to celebrate its 11-year anniversary.

And to celebrate the coming of its second decade of creating award-winning wines, the winery was opening up bottles of its rare Petillant Naturel wines – adding them to the tasting line-up for one day only.

Owners Sean and Patricia McRitchie addressed the crowd promptly at 3 p.m. to say thanks to all their fans and wine club members. “We are really appreciative to everybody that has come out today,” said Patricia. “We have the best staff … and that helps make the winery possible in the tasting room and winery,” she said.

Loyal fans of the winery made their way towards a table lined with two different versions of Petillant Naturel – Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot.

Sean was set to lead a toast, saying a few words about his mentor, but as it was an emotional letter on his phone, he handed it over to Patricia to read it aloud to everyone in the room. After she completed the letter, everyone in the room toasted to the winery’s success.

Sean then told the crowd if anyone is ever interested in seeing the winery, just peek in and they should find him hard at work. “I tend to hide out there a lot,” he said. “I like the mechanics of wine making. But I love when people are curious and want to stop by and look around at things. I’ll bore you to death about the details of the machinery in the winery.” That seems like a stop inside the winery is due the next time we visit.

Now, if you’re not sure about Petillant-Naturel – they are typically sparkling wines that are bottled before primary fermentation is complete. They avoid secondary yeast or sugars, which are often referred to as “Methode Ancestrale.” This method tends to lead to a more rustic, cloudy Champagne-style wine.

These two “pet-nat” wines by McRitchie are very limited. With the Petit Manseng you can expect light floral and tropical notes. While with the Petit Verdot, look for the taste of berries with a bubbly finish.