A butcher by trade, Pascal Miche was bit by the tomato bug at an early age. It was his great grandfather Omer Miche, that made tomato wine from an overabundance of tomatoes in his garden. When he was a very young boy Pascal helped his great grandfather make wine until one day he decided to study winemaking.
On the farm in Baie-Saint-Paul in Charlevoix, Quebec Pascal and his wife grow over 6,000 heirloom tomato plants. The older varieties have more flavour, they’re sweeter and acclimatized to our area so they grow better in Charlevoix.
The name Omerto is obviously in honour of Omer and his tomato wine of the early 1900s. While much of the production is a carefully guarded secret, what was revealed was that the ripe tomatoes are frozen to bump up the sugars in the fruit (yes, tomatoes are a fruit). Unlike the tougher skins of grapes, tomatoes cannot be left on the vine to freeze. The 19% water content is enough to burst the more delicate skins of the tomato leaving it to fall of the vine and decay on the ground.
Harvest starts around mid August and ends around the middle of September. Last year, Omerto produced 4,500 bottles of tomato wine that is distributed throughout Quebec in restaurants and specialty stores.
Today there are three products, all at 16% alcohol :
2013 Sec. this is a blend of three different varieties of organic heirloom tomatoes. Almost clear in colour, the aroma of peppered pineapple follow through on the palate of this dry wine. The first sip has a real grappa bite, then it subsides into a softer, mashed yellow tomato flavour. The finish is soft and long.
2013 Moelleux. The organic heirloom tomatoes are hand picked. Richer yellow hue than the Sec, the Moelleux has an aroma reminiscent of running through a field of daisies. Lots of melon, soft orange, and a bit of cooked corn. The finish starts off with a hot bite then turns sweet and playful.
2013 Acacia. Aged in acacia oak for 9 months it has a soft aroma of smoke that plays on the palate with more toasted sourdough, crème brûlée and burnt orange. More complex than the previous two wines and well balanced.