FAQ – Perseus Winery Questions & Answers

Perseus Winery in Penticton BC is a consistent award winning winery in the heart of Okanagan Wine Country. If you are looking for information on ordering our BC Wine online, please look below. If you do not find the answers you are looking for, please contact Lindsey Richardson: tastingroom@perseuswinery.com.

We make it easy for you to shop online! Place your order online here and enjoy the convenience of home delivery.
We get this question a lot! We include suggested pairings in our notes for each wine, which you can find in the online Wine Shop. We will also be featuring custom recipe pairings for each of our wines right here on our site, launching in early 2015.
VQA stands for Vintners Quality Alliance. It’s a regulatory standard that ensures you are purchasing wine made from 100% Canadian grapes. All of Perseus’s wines are BC VQA, meaning they are produced from 100% British Columbia grapes. BC VQA products must also meet certain quality specifications and are tasted by a review panel prior to receiving the designation. More information on the BC VQA program can be found on the BC Wine Authority website.
While we do filter all of our wines, we do on occasion have some issues with tartrates or “wine diamonds” that can precipitate out of a wine after it is bottled. This type of sediment is harmless and does not affect flavour or aroma in any way. Below is an excellent explanation of what tartrates are, by Rhys Pender of Wine Plus+, which you can download here: DOWNLOAD

Tartrates a.k.a. “Wine Diamonds” – by Rhys Pender


What is this in my wine?
When opening and pouring some of your favourite wines, you may be surprised by the site of small crystals on the bottom of the cork or in the bottom of your glass or bottle. It is easy to be concerned as the crystals can look like ground up glass or sugar crystals. But there is no need to fear, these completely harmless particles are known as wine diamonds or tartrates.

What are “wine diamonds” and how do they form?
Tartrates, or wine diamonds, are particles that separate from the wine, particularly during ageing in tank and often in bottle if the wine is subjected to cold temperatures. The particles are mostly made up of potassium bitartrate. These natural occurring tartrates are not fully soluble in wine and will therefore precipitate out at some unknown point in time. Higher levels of tartrates can be expected in cooler climates that have naturally higher levels of acidity in the grapes. You may actually be more familiar with these tartrates than you think. If you have ever used cream of tartar for baking, you have actually used the very tartrates that are scraped out of tanks and barrels and that you can sometimes find in your wine.

What do they look like?
Wine diamonds look like the name suggests, small crystals that form on the bottom of corks or in the bottom of a bottle. In white wines they are usually clear while in red wines they are often stained a reddish brown colour.

Are they dangerous or do they affect the quality of the wine?
Wine diamonds are completely harmless, tasteless crystals that are a natural part of the winemaking process. You can consume them although they are slightly gritty and flavourless so it is often best to just leave them in the bottle. They also have no negative affect on the quality of the wine. In fact, their very presence is often an indication that the wines have been made more naturally with less winemaker intervention.

Can’t the winery remove them?
There are winemaking techniques to remove tartrates, however there are some thoughts that these cold stabilization treatments can also affect the taste and aroma of the wine. To make sure the tartrates don’t precipitate in bottle, wines need to be chilled to temperatures as low as -5 to -10°C for a couple of weeks. Essentially, this technique gets rid of any tartrates in the cellar so they can’t form in the bottle.

How should I serve wine that has wine diamonds?
Once you know what wine diamonds are and that they are harmless, the best serving technique is to simply decant the final part of the bottle or use a filter to remove any of the tartrates.
We take our name from the Perseus constellation which hovers over Okanagan Lake in the time after harvest. We feel the symbolism of this constellation overlooking the entire valley to be quite fitting; Much in the way we cover The Okanagan looking for the finest grapes.
We use the Stelvin screwcap system to preserve and maintain wines with a fresh youthfulness. Wines that benefit from extra bottle aging are bottled under cork, as cork enclosures are better suited for longer storage.
It is best to store all wines in a cool, dry area, free of direct sunlight. Ideally, you should store your wines between 10-16°C. White wines should be served between 9-13°C, and red wines between 13-18°C.
Start your wine tour at Perseus! We are the first winery from downtown Penticton on the route up Vancouver Hill towards the Naramata Bench – the heart of BC’s wine country. Stop in for a tasting, a picnic lunch, and plan your tour! Learn about varietals (grape types) and tasting techniques with our staff and using our curated educational materials, then start your day with some award-winning BC wines.
There are legal restrictions on where wines and other liquor products may be shipped. Check out our shipping and return policies here.
Please view our Privacy Policies page.
Perseus is committed to supporting the Penticton and Okanagan community and is proud to sponsor local organizations. We review all sponsorship and donation requests on a case-by-case basis. Send us an e-mail with your event or charity questions.