We have a lot of respect for those who make their dreams come true, who create something tangible and in doing so leave their mark on their chosen field of endeavor. This is why we can really get behind the ambitions of Steven & Nicole French, the husband-and- wife team behind the new Naramata winery, Little Engine. Starting up a new winery is always a challenging undertaking, and the Okanagan area has seen its share of start-ups come and go. It takes a special kind of persistence and dedication to make it work. Steven and Nicole know all about that and now they are seeing the rewards of that dedication.
That’s why the winery is called Little Engine. It is, as you may have guessed, a nod to the classic story "The Little Engine That Could". In a recent article by wine guru John Schreiner, Steven talked about the name and the philosophy that s represented on the labels, which depict a ladder leading up to a stylized moon. “The ladder is what it takes to reach for the moon,” he says. “Our family motto is ‘Dreams don’t come true; dreams are made true.’ If it takes a ladder to get there, don’t give up. It is just like the little engine that could.”
Of course, they have had help making their dream come true, having assembled a fantastic team—including winkemaker Scott Robinson. Scott fell in love with the idea of winemaking while on a trip to Australia and upon his return to Canada he studied winemaking and spent 3 vintages at Township 7 Winery. Then it was back to Australia to get his Winemaking Masters Degree at the University of Adelaide before coming home in 2009 to make wine at La Frenz (another Naramata success story). After leaving there in 2012 he did a stint with a start-up winery before joining the team at Little Engine last year.
Management of the vineyards falls into the hands of Pénélope Roche. Wine literally runs through her family's veins as she was born in France and has five generations behind her at the family estate, Château les Carmes Haut-Brion. This tiny estate's elegant wines rival the Grand Crus of Bordeaux. Formal studies in Oenology in Bordeaux and a resume that includes winemaking in Spain, New Zealand and Australia combined with her vast experience in both viticulture and winemaking blends perfectly with Little Engines pursuit of excellence.
These are truly remarkable people making truly remarkable wines—and we invite you to find that out for yourself, as we are hosting them for a special tasting of their current vintage and a few surprises, on November 14th at 7-9pm. Along with the wines, there will be some delectable cheese, charcuterie and Autumn(ish) edible selections from some of our favourite suppliers.
We are really delighted to be doing this event and to be able to give our customers the chance to meet Steven & Nicole French and winemaker Scott Robinson, to try some wonderful wines, and to experience where this little engine is going!
Hope to see you here!
Broadway Wine Shop Family | Estd. 1986