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Interview with Winemaker's CUT Owner - Michal Mosny

Image provided by Winemaker's CUT

Michal Mosny and his wife Martina immigrated to Canada from Slovakia in 2011.

Before moving across the world to the Okanagan Valley, they owned and operated a small winery (producing around 500 cases) close to the village where Beethoven supposedly wrote his masterpiece, Für Elise.

One evening, Michal and Martina were watching a travel show on TV which happened to be featuring Okanagan wineries, specifically Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos. Both were amazed by the natural beauty and mutually felt like it was time to leave Slovakia for a new adventure while they were still young.

After arriving in Naramata, Michal started a vineyard management company. During this time, he spent five years as the General Manager and Winemaker at Lunessence Winery and Vineyard in Summerland, while at the same time developing Winemaker's CUT.

Just like how a directors cut represents the directors’ unique point of view, Winemaker’s CUT is influenced by Michal and his unique winemaking style.

A vineyard named the Deadman Lake Vineyard (located between Oliver and Osoyoos) caught Michals attention and he met the owner of the property in 2013. The site had been growing fruit trees since the 1920s. Between 2000 and 2005, the fruit trees were replaced with 8 acres of vines including Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Recently they added Grüner Veltliner and Muscat Canelli.

Michal analyzed the soil and discovered that the vineyard was rich in organic matter. He had a strong feeling this was going to be a special site and made the decision to primarily focus on this vineyard.

The secret ingredient for Winemaker's CUT is classical music.

At Deadman Lake Vineyard, the vines are raised with classical music to help grow healthy, and balanced vines. Over time, Michal noticed that the vines closest to the speakers grew the fastest. Now there are 13 speakers throughout Deadman Lake Vineyard, each positioned to ensure all the vines benefit from the classical music.

Michal found a permanent home for Winemaker's CUT in the District Wine Village located just north of Oliver. The first true wine village in Canada officially opened during the summer of 2021.

This is a winery I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with as I’m very impressed with the overall quality and price point of the entire portfolio.

Don’t be surprised to hear Mozart or Bach when visiting the quaint tasting room.

I recently met with Michal at the District Wine Village to ask him some questions about winemaking in Slovakia, immigrating to Canada, and the effects of playing classical music in the vineyards and cellar.

Image provided by Winemaker's CUT

Q: Where did you meet your wife and how did you end up moving to the Okanagan?

A: I met Martina during kindergarten in Slovakia, we went to high school together and eventually got married. Before we moved, we had a garagiste winery with small production. I also worked as a quality controller and production planner for the largest winery in Slovakia. This winery moved into sparkling wines, cognac, and tables wines and it was just too much. So, my wife and I were looking for a third option, and some change while we were still young. One evening, we were watching a travel TV show which happened to be featuring wineries in the Okanagan. Both of us couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Once the show finished, we googled the Okanagan, applied to move there, and got accepted pretty fast. I just had a good feeling about it, and we arrived in Naramata with four suitcases around 11pm. Since it was dark outside, I couldn’t see anything. When I woke up in the morning and opened the blinds, I was amazed by the mountains, Lake Okanagan, and continuous rows of vines. What a beautiful place.

Q: What’s your favourite varietal to work with as a winemaker?

A: It would be Sauvignon Blanc. This grape can produce so many versatile wines in many different styles. Like other varieties, you must start in the vineyard.

I don’t think there is another grape varietal like Sauvignon Blanc where whatever you do in the vineyard it shows in the flavours of the wine.

If you remove the first leaves it changes the flavour profile; you remove the second leaves it changes again etc.

We produce one of the only sparkling Sauvignon Blanc wines in North America, which is 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscat Canelli. Nobody recommended me to do a Sauvignon Blanc sparkling. But I love Sauvignon Blanc, so I wanted to give it a try. The Muscat Canelli is used to bring the acid down a bit, and the wine aged on the lees for a month.

In our portfolio we have our single varietal Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sauvignon Blanc Frizzante with some Gewurztraminer and Muscat. Finally, another Sauvignon Blanc with some Semillon added. As you can tell, I love this grape.

Q: What varietals do you offer in your portfolio?

A: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat Canelli, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Tempranillo.

I can’t believe how many wines we offer. The Okanagan has an amazing climate which allows me to grow all these varietals well.

Q: Can you tell me about the different tiers of wine you produce?

A: We have four different wine tiers. The first is sparkling wine which includes charmat and frizzante methods.

Next, we have our CUT wines which are all the wines that we grow on our estate.

Then we have our BOHO wines. BOHO means informal. So, we wanted to create two very simple wild fermented and co-fermented blends from the same vineyard. Those are BOHO Beat and BOHO Zen.

Finally, Bohemian wines. I wanted to create unconventional style premium wines produced only in the best vintages.

Last year, we released quite a few wines because 2020 was an incredible vintage.

Q: Where are your wines sold?

A: Currently our wines are available in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. We are working on getting our wines in Ontario but who knows. We have an agency based in San Francisco and our wines are sold all over the United States. Mostly in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area. The agency recently told me that a lot of Michelin star restaurants are ordering the Grüner Veltliner. I was very happy to hear that.

Q: What are your winemaking principals?

A: We use organic and sustainable winemaking principals. We are growing the grapes exactly how I used to back home in Slovakia. For us, sustainability means respecting the vineyard as a living ecosystem. We use an organic approach, with no herbicides, no synthetic pesticides, and no synthetic fertilizers. We also embrace certain biodynamic philosophies. Our goal is to work together with Mother Nature to create living wines that elevate any meal and bring a sense of joy.

Q: When did the classical music come into play?

A: The music came into play while we were working in the vineyards in Slovakia. In small villages, they still use speakers for announcements throughout the day. Music will start playing, then the announcement, then it will end with music. Once they were plating Beethoven, because the village is located next to a beautiful castle where Beethoven used to go. Allegedly, he would go over there and that’s where he met Elise and wrote the very famous masterpiece, Fur Elise. While working at the winery, we always had classical music playing. We thought, why not expose the grapes to the music too? I would always turn on some music while in the cellar, crushing grapes or sampling barrels. I definitely saw a difference in the winemaking as the wines turned out much smoother, and the grapes closest to the speakers grow much faster than the others. I’m like woah, this is our style so we’re going to stick with it.


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