Devour! Osoyoos is coming soon! We’re so proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic festival.
The sights and flavours of Devour! Osoyoos perfectly exemplify all that makes food, wine, and film so appealing.
The winemakers and chefs that will be showcased during this highly-anticipated event are all unique and amazing. We’d like to let everyone get to know them a little better.
We’ve started a series that highlights each of the participating Similkameen Independent Winegrowers. In the true spirit of our down-to-earth, welcoming region, the winemakers and proprietors have answered a variety of questions –from quirky to sincere. Their answers may surprise you…
We hope you enjoy learning about these dedicated and talented folks as much as we have!
Corcelettes Estate Winery
The Baessler family found the perfect place to set down (more!) roots when they landed in the Similkameen more than 25 years ago. Remarkable in its similarity to their ancestral family farm in Switzerland, they knew that was the place to produce delicious, sustainably-grown wines. Generations of bio-dynamic farming and a genuine love of the land have made their endeavour a success.
Charlie Baessler’s passion for sustainable farming and best-practice winemaking brought him home to the Similkameen to pursue his career. With a talent for coaxing each and every flavour from the Similkameen soil, Charlie ensures that Corcelette’s wines showcase the best of the region.
Owner/Winemaker: Charlie Baessler
What path led you to a career as a winemaker? It’s a combination of many things – agriculture is in my blood and wine is a part of my culture. Having graduated with a B.Sc with a focus in Environmental Chemistry, it all fell together rather well without much planning. I’ve always considered myself ambitious, and with the passion of the wine industry in me, I wanted to explore my own expressions of winemaking while providing a complete winery experience to our oenophile guests –we call this Corcelettes.
If you were a wine, which wine would you be? I used to for sure consider myself a Cabernet Franc or Syrah type of guy –bold, intense, full of forward character. Lately, I’m viewing myself a little more like a classical complex Pinot or a fruit-driven Malbec –but that’s today! Varietals are like my children, I can’t pick a favourite.
If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what wine would it be and why? It is not my mandate to ever choose! I refuse to. The world of wine is vast and exciting. With so many regions providing alternate expressions of the same varietals, it’s not even imaginable to drink one wine for the long term. I make wine, it’s my job to explore them regularly.
What is your greatest passion? Spending time with my twin daughters and walking in my vineyard.
What might people be surprised to learn about you? I’m actually a really serious person. I goof around a little but I mean business…and I have an amazing singing voice, and once competed in “So You Think You Can Dance”.
What’s your secret food craving? Um, easiest question yet! Cheese and chocolate. Both with red wine but not at the same time.
What’s your favourite food to eat while watching movies? Easy, cheese and chocolate! (And my kids’ goldfish crackers…)
What is your favourite grape, and why? Cab Franc grows with such self control. Its shoots always fall into place, the clusters vibrant and full, canopies tall and behaved…I receive a lot of satisfaction from completing particular tasks with Cab Franc. That said, the final product of a freshly fermented Pinot Noir lot that can create elevated levels of anxiety during the process can also be extremely rewarding and get me pretty excited.
What drives you? My wife. My children. The pleasure we can provide our customers and guests through our portfolio of wines.
If you couldn’t do this, what would you do? You don’t get into this line of work taking no for an answer. I’d fake you out and double right back to this.
What is your favourite South-Okanagan/Similkameen activity? Floating the river. Nothing brings me greater pleasure during the summer than setting out for an afternoon of sunburns on the Similkameen River. Friends, colours, and floatation devices.
Describe your dream meal: Raclette: a highly social, long eating experience. A raclette dinner is the main event; you go home when it’s over, and nowhere else, and never early. Slice up a wheel of cheese, gather around the cheese oven, and cheers to the next 3 hours of solid cheese-melting pleasure!
What is your favourite food or wine film, and why? Chasselas Forever, a Swiss documentary on the white varietal Chasselas. We make Chasselas at Corcelettes, one of 3 wineries to do so in British Columbia, it is a unique and very special grape.