Vineyards of Synchromesh
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.
Storm Haven Vineyard
Okanagan Falls, BC
Our 107 acre estate property is centered around the base of Peach Cliff mountain, a 50 million year old volcanic structure and along the Okanagan Fault Line. With a peak of over 2000 feet and the lowest area at 1300 feet, this site has incredible range in geology and elevation. Soil structure ranges from clay loam on the Eastern borders to sandy loam on the Southwest. Decomposing granite and large quartz deposits make up the majority of the planted area with high levels of slate and metallic deposits surrounding the fault line ridge.
The influence of soil structure, large rock formations, elevation and exposure have allowed small planting blocks of different varieties that are suited to the unique conditions in each area. We have a total of 21 acres planted to vines, each block individually fenced and developed to help keep the majority of the property accessible and protected for wildlife habitat and conservation efforts. We are undergoing habitat assessments and working with local wildlife organizations to maintain and protect the undeveloped land as a sanctuary and host to the biodiversity needed to farm in the holistic manner that we do.
Total plantings by variety:
Riesling | Clone 21B, Both own-rooted and 3309 rootstock | 8 Blocks, planted 2006, 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2019 | 15.37 acres
Cabernet Franc | Clones 214 and 332, own rooted | 2 Blocks, planted 2017 and 2019 | 4.08 acres
Pinot Noir | Clones 828, 115, 114, 667, 777, 3309 rootstock | 2 Blocks, planted 2010 and 2014 | 1.33 acres
Cinsault | own-rooted | 1 block, planted 2019 | 0.33 acres
Gold Digger | Sandy loam with gravel, shattered slate and granite with metallic deposits | 7 acres of Riesling 21B on 3309 rootstock, planted 2017
Upper Barn | Sandy loam with broken slate and granite and quartz along the fault line ridge | 1.72 acres of Riesling 21B, own-rooted, planted 2019
Lower Barn | Sandy/clay loam with slate, quartz and metallic deposits | 1.16 acres of Riesling 21B, own-rooted, planted 2019
Amphitheatre | Sandy loam with mostly granite and some slate on eastern edge, surrounded by an amphitheatre of rock | 1.18 acres of Riesling 21B, own-rooted, planted 2019
Boulders | Clay loam with granite potato rocks and large boulders just below the surface | 1.05 acres of Riesling 21B on 3309 rootstock, planted 2017
Quadfurcated | Sandy loam with slate and significant quartz deposits | 2.9 acres of Cabernet Franc 214 and 332, own-rooted, planted mostly 2017 with a small addition in 2019
Rock Oven | Sand with multi-coloured granite debris and large quantities of quartz, under significant South facing cliff overhang | 1.2 acres of Cabernet Franc 214, own-rooted, planted 2019 | 0.3 acres of Cinsault, own-rooted, planted 2019
Amelia | Clay loam with larger granite chunks | .067 acres of Pinot Noir clones 828, 114 and 777 planted 2014
Block 2 | Sandy loam over gravel with mixed slate and decomposed granite | 0.67 acres of Riesling 21B on 3309 rootstock, planted 2010
Block 3 | Mixed sandy and clay with large decomposed granite debris | 1 acres of Riesling 21B on 3309 rootstock, planted 2006
Block 4 | Mixed sandy and clay loam with large decomposed granite debris | 0.67 acres Pinot Noir clones 115 and 667, planted 2010
Gibson | Sandy loam with gravel and large decomposed granite debris | 1.3 acres of Riesling 21B on 3309 rootstock, planted 2012
Thorny Vines Vineyard
Naramata Bench, Penticton, BC
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 well-balanced 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
Naramata Bench, Penticton, BC
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. 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 cling 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.
Cachola Family Vineyard
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
Naramata Bench, Penticton, BC
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.
Bob Hancock Vineyard
Naramata Bench, Penticton, BC
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 and calcium carbonate provides fairly consistent, well-drained alluvial soil structure. Lifelong, third generation Naramata farmer Bob Hancock meticulously planted, established and farmed this vineyard to coax out beautifully balanced ripeness. The vineyard is immediately adjacent to the family farm house and apple orchard he grew up on. Now under the ownership of Charles and Linda Long and stewardship of our family team at Synchromesh, we will work hard to maintain Bob’s legacy and harvest a pure Riesling expression from this site.