Our vineyards are located throughout the Okanagan Valley at specially chosen locations. The unique characteristics of each of ours wines is the result of the specific location and terroir of the vineyard it has been grown. Read below to learn the full story of each vineyard.
Bob Hancock Vineyard
One of the Northern Most Vineyards on the Naramata Bench, this 3.5 acre property consists of own-rooted Riesling 21B. Cooler outflows from the mountain to the east retain bracing acidity and freshness to offset the warm gentle Southern exposure. Gravelly loam intermixed with a sand layer provide fairly consistent, well-drained alluvial soil structure. Lifelong Naramata farmer, Bob Hancock, meticulously tends these vines to coax out beautifully balanced ripeness. Immediately adjacent to the family farm house and apple orchard he grew up on, Bob has a unique understanding of the site and how to bring out it’s best fruit in every vintage.
Thorny Vines Vineyard
The Thorny Vines property is a 2 acre site located on the southern end of the Naramata Bench, immediately north of Penticton, surrounded by established orchards and vineyards. Benefitting from the moderating effects of Okanagan Lake, this cooler North facing vineyard slopes gently towards the northwest and enjoys good drainage as well as providing consistent ripening with good acid retention.
The vineyard consists entirely of German clone 21B vines all planted in 2010 that are hand farmed by the enthusiastic family owners using sustainable farming practices. Sections of the property were previously planted as an apple orchard, and soil conditions vary somewhat from the richer soils on the west side of the property to the more sandy soils of the east side of the property. This reflects in the variety of flavours in the wellbalanced wine of our first vintage (2012) from the site.
Despite the young age of the vines, the quality of fruit and consistency of crop levels, berry size and cluster structure are encouraging. The main focus in the vineyard is restraining growth vigour and challenging the vines sufficiently to produce the intensity of flavour that we would like to achieve, and that we think the site is capable of achieving.
Four Shadows Vineyard
This property is situated on the Southern end of the Naramata Bench, overlooking Penticton. Wilbert and Joka Borren took over the existing vineyard in 2011 and lovingly pushed it to the next level with help from their four boys. The Riesling plantings consist of two blocks.
Lower Block: On the northwest corner approximately 1.5 acres of vines sit on a gentle west-facing slope. Soil is clay loam and fairly consistent across the block. The majority of the vines were planted around 1999 with a small addition in 2012 and overall balance and consistency is good. The vines are cropped relatively low with deficit irrigation keeping berries at a medium size.
Upper Block: High up the slope on the East side of the property, 4 acres of 21B Riesling clings to the extremely steep rows. A thin layer of clay loam mixes with the subsoil of fractured bedrock. This block was planted in 2009 and left with no irrigation, trellis or support until 2011. The Borren family cleared weeds and brush growth to cut back the surviving vines and install irrigation and trellis. Gaps in the block were filled in with new plantings and the vines were nursed up to produce their first partial crop in 2014. The intense growing conditions and tendency for nutrient runoff leave the vines to struggle and produce incredible flavour intensity in small loose clusters. While crop levels will rise slightly as the vines become more established and soil evens out, the steep conditions and poor soil structure will always stress these vines leaving high quality, low yields.
Storm Haven Vineyard
Perched on the outflow of an upper mountain pass and nestled at the upper base of Peachcliff Mountain, this vineyard has very unique growing conditions. Broad Southern exposure provides excellent ripening during the day, cool air flows down overnight from the mountains to the North, cooling the grapes, retaining acidity and freshness.
The soil varies substantially in the 5 acre vineyard. Upper sections show a layer of clay and coarse sand over well drained gravel. The lower Southern end is straight gravel with rotten granite and limestone bands. Several areas of the land required significant soil remediation and recovery when the property was acquired in 2010. This accounts for the variation in planting times and vine age. Very poor nutrient throughout the property forces roots deep and the vines produce small concentrated berries with significant complexity and terroir character. Crop levels throughout are very low by any standards and typically range between 0.8-1.3kg per vine (a maximum of just over 1.5 tons per acre on conventional vine spacing).
Amelia Block (1): Was historically planted with Gewürztraminer in 2006 but redeveloped with Pinot Noir in 2014. / Block 2: Riesling Clone 21B vines on 3309 make up this block planted in 2010 (75%) and 2012 (25%). / Block 3: Riesling vines, clone 21B on 3309 rootstock were planted in 2006. / Block 4: Pinot Noir vines were planted in 2010 and 2012. / Gibson Block (5): Riesling vines planted in 2013
Cachola Family Vineyards
Just North of Oliver, BC lies this 2.5 acre planting of Cabernet Franc tucked into the base of the steep slope defining the western side of the valley. 4,700 Clone 214 Cabernet Franc vines replaced the Cachola family’s orchard in 2010, planted into gravelly clay soils carved off the valley walls as the glacier retreated. Early morning exposure ripens fruit elegantly until the mountain shadow creeps across the vines in the late afternoon, cooling grapes and retaining freshness and delicacy. In between raising their young family and building race cars, Don and Shana Cachola farm these vines to achieve a balanced and fresh ripeness. The hot South Okanagan sun ensures grapes have great ripeness but the loss of afternoon sun keeps them from cooking out the unique earthy qualities that great Cabernet Franc has.
Turtlerock Farms Vineyard
Turtlerock Farms Vineyard lies on the upper side of Naramata Road half way between Penticton and the Village of Naramata. The land is on the upper side of the ancient lakefront from prehistoric times. There are two separate plantings divided by the driveway into two approximately equal pieces. The lower half is the home to Cabernet Franc and the upper side to Merlot. The vineyard has a west facing aspect looking across the lake to Giant’s head in Summerland. Both plantings are cropped fairly low in order to ensure top quality each year with the given vintage conditions.
The Terroir: The Naramata Bench is quite unique. Lying on the east side of Okanagan Lake and on the downslope of the Eastern ridge of mountains the late afternoon is a time of cooling breezes. But lest you think it is too cool for the development of great reds, the region benefits from what we like to call “two suns”. In addition to the normal sun, there is the second sun, which consists of the reflection of the sun off the waters of the lake. This effect is most pronounced between about 3pm and sunset when it is very easy to feel the reflected sunlight off the water. This “two suns” effect allows the plants to continue to carry on photosynthesis at a much higher rate than would otherwise be available only from the incident sun and offsets the cooling breezes to produce an almost perfect growing condition during the three months of June, July and August. Before and after that time, the sun is too far in the south to have a significant effect.