Bohemian Orange: The Return of Island Tides

Posted by Jay Jordan on

Vancouver Island is known as a haven for people who love the offbeat, the unconventional and the artistic. Island Tides, the small-batch wine label created by Cascadia in 2021, returns for a collaboration with Unsworth Vineyards dedicated to those people: Bohemian Orange. 

This orange wine, made using the skin contact method, has a vibrant auburn hue and ancient roots. This wine is perfect for those looking to try something new and exciting. 

What is Island Tides?

As proud islanders at Cascadia we always seek to provide the best local selections. Back in 2021 we took this a step further by creating Island Tides; a series of collaborations with local vineyards to make small-batch wine that captures the spirit of Vancouver Island. We worked with Averill Vineyard to create a vibrant Pinot Grigio that perfectly captures our coastal terroir. But why stop there? This year we have partnered with Unsworth Vineyards to bring back Island Tides with something different: Bohemian Orange!


picture of Unsworth Vineyard Island Tides Bohemian Orange

Unsworth Vineyard Island Tides Bohemian Orange

With aromas of apricot and mandarin zest, this beautifully bright orange wine leads to a textural mid-palate and a pleasingly, complex finish. Bohemian Orange is aged for 11 months in neutral French Oak barrels and features a white field blend of interesting varieties, sourced from the little-known 2-acre Bohemia Vineyard in the Cowichan Valley.

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What is Orange Wine?

Orange wine is a type of white wine that gets its name from its orangey-auburn color. It is made using a method called skin contact, which is similar to the way red wine is made. In this process, the skins, seeds, and stems of white grapes are left in contact with the juice during fermentation. This is different from traditional white wine production. Typically, when you make a white wine the grapes are pressed and only the juice is fermented. Orange wine has gained popularity in recent years, but it has a long history dating back to at least 3000 BCE.

Unsworth Vineyards photo

Who is Unsworth Vineyards?

Unsworth Vineyards is a family-built winery committed to handcrafting wines of distinction in Vancouver Island's Cowichan Valley. Understanding the wines made by Unsworth Vineyards starts with appreciating the uniquely mild, Mediterranean-like climate of the Cowichan Valley and how things grow there. Labelled “Canada’s Provence” by the late, distinguished foodie, James Barber, our special corner of the world is a fertile trifecta of warm growing conditions, rich soil, and abundant rolling hills.

Tim and Colleen Turyk have a long history in the Cowichan Valley area, so when they saw a beautiful small vineyard and winery for sale in the fall of 2009 they knew they’d found something special. The Turyks got to work expanding the operation, restoring the farmhouse and creating a restaurant, and building a brand around sustainably managed vineyard practices. They built Unsworth one vine, one bottle, one blend at a time. It was the heritage around Marjorie that inspired the name—Unsworth was her maiden name.

Bottle of Island Tides Bohemian Orange Wine placed on a rock with a lake view in the background

The Story of Bohemian Orange

The Bohemian Orange wine came from an aromatic field blend planted by Mara Jernigan and Alphonse Oberlacker in the early 2000s on their little-known two-acre Bohemia Vineyard in the Cowichan Valley. Their vineyard name was inspired by Mirek’s Czech background and the bohemian lifestyle that he and Mara lead. The field blend is dominated by Sieggerebe but also contains Ortega and Kerner.   

The grapes were hand-picked on September 3rd, 2021, fermented on the skins for seven days, and then aged for 11 months in neutral French Oak barrels. Our team from Cascadia journeyed to the vineyard to help bottle the orange wine in late August. Inspired by Bohemian islanders. A taste of Vancouver Island.


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