You know there’s got to be a good story behind a winery that calls itself Misconduct. The winery itself is rustic and beautiful; the panoramic views are amazing. It’s not until you meet winemaker, Richard da Silva, that you might get a clue or two. Standing well over six feet, his booming laugh and larger than life personality punctuates a personal philosophy of living for today, an irreverent attitude that ‘life is too short to drink bad wine’. How could his winery be anything else?
When Richard and his wife, Twylla, started making wine in September 2006, they knew they would not only break the rules, they would make them. Not ones to abide by convention, the owners drew inspiration from Richard’s bad boy past, and with a wink and a nod to the clandestine, rambunctious Roaring Twenties, boldly named their new winery, Misconduct. While the name and labels are quirky, Richard is dead serious about making sensational wine.
Fortunate to have been introduced to a vast cellar of some of the world’s finest wine at a young age, Richard knew the kind of wine he wanted to make. It’s no surprise then that Misconduct’s single vineyard-sourced wines are influenced and inspired by the artisan wine producers of the old world wine growing regions of Europe, particularly those in the Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire and Rhone Valley areas.
It goes without saying that the quality of a wine starts and ends in the vineyard. “Know where your wine grows”, urges Richard. As a self-proclaimed ‘terroirist’, he should know. Alongside his father and grandfather, he and his family have farmed the land in and around Oliver since the early 1950’s. He grew up with an intimate knowledge of the land in the South Okanagan. Understanding the area’s terroir – the link between land, lakes and climate – provided a distinct advantage as a winemaker in sourcing the best grapes for making exceptional wine. As a result, Misconduct’s terroir-driven wines are unabashedly sourced from the sub-regions in the Okanagan Valley where each individual grape flourishes best.
The cheekily named Bootleg Series wines are the cornerstone of the winery – three uniquely blended wines that are powerful and complex, perfect for food and casual drinking. Big Take is a classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Misfit is an Alsatian inspired blend of Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewurztraminer. And Massacre Rose, a structured, complex Rose with a lovely long finish that challenges preconceived notions of a ‘patio sipper’ Rose.
While making sensational wine is serious business, it’s just that. Life, like wine, is meant to be enjoyed. Richard and Twylla’s Misconduct is less about a brand than it is an attitude – an irreverent take no prisoners, live with no regrets philosophy. As Hunter S. Thompson once said,