Marichel Vineyards making a mark

Richard Roskell of Marichel Vineyard + Winery
Richard Roskell of Marichel Vineyard + Winery

Richard Roskell calls us right back after leaving a message on our first morning of wine tasting in Naramata. We always get a kick when someone actually wants to talk to a couple of BC wine fanboys (er, boy & girl) who write a blog. We arrived just after the facility opened on a Sunday morning, as Marichel is mere minutes from our accommodation here in Naramata, and Richard was ready to proudly show off what Marichel Vineyard + Winery had to offer.

Richard and his wife Elizabeth began the Marichel Odyssey about a decade ago, when after protracted negotiations with the landowner in Germany (Elizabeth speaks fluent German, and it apparently came in extremely handy in the property purchase) they bought their piece of heaven on the east shore of Okanagan Lake in the sleepy community of Naramata.

They concentrate on only two varietals, Syrah and Viognier. The challenge was to make them both among the best the bench had to offer. Given that Nicol Vineyards was an established producer of Syrah, and La Frenz an accomplished Viognier winemaker, Marichel was going to play with some tough competition.

Richard poured his 2006 Syrah which we can vouch as a full-bodied, rich and smooth red, as well as his crisp and fruit forward Viognier. We count ourselves lucky to be able to get some of his newly bottled 2007 Syrah, which we'll covet for a couple of years at least.

Marichel produces a modest 750 cases per year, and like many small producers moves a lot of their wine directly to a growing customer list, straight out of the winery itself.

When you're in Naramata, we highly recommend a stop at Marichel. These guys are for keeps.

Stay tuned to in the days ahead for video clips of our visit to Marichel and other BC winemakers.