Viticulture

Estate grown equals control over the quality and the quantity of the grapes that we produce.

– LA FRENZ 

Having 5 vineyards on 5 different sites (4 on the Naramata Bench and 1 on the Golden Mile in Oliver), allows us to plant grape varieties infinitely suited to the land. Meticulously hand tended by our vineyard crew throughout the year, results in premium quality grapes coming into the winery at harvest for the winemaking team to craft into wines that express a true sense of place.

Rattlesnake Vineyard

Location: Naramata Bench
Elevation: 1500′
Aspect: Westerly
Rainfall: Average 13″
Soil: Glacial boulder clay/loam
Varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Viognier, Merlot and Shiraz
Acreage: 9
Average growing degree: 1400 hours
Overall suitability: Class 1 (BC Grape Atlas)

Rattlesnake Vineyard is the winery site at Randolph Rd and is also known as our home block vineyard. This vineyard was aptly named by Elise, Jeff & Niva’s youngest daughter, after the intruder that visits every summer.

Planted in 1999, this is our very first vineyard and it is a relatively elevated site with great soils, aspect and air drainage. The surrounding hillsides provide ample wind protection compared to vineyards closer to Lake Okanagan, resulting in a more temperate and steady accumulation of heat units.

With careful canopy management we are able to manipulate the clearly defined aromatics in the  white grape varietals and to provide more exposure to promote the tannin ripeness and colour in the red grape varietals.

Desperation Hill Vineyard

Location: Naramata Bench
Elevation: 1450 – 1500′
Aspect: Westerly
Rainfall: Average 13″
Soil: Sandy loam at the top; boulder clay in the middle; heavy clay at the bottom.
Varietals: Pinot Noir
Acreage: 7
Average growing degree: 1400 hours
Overall suitability: Class 1 (BC Grape Atlas)

Planted in 2008, Desperation Hill is our Pinot Noir designated vineyard named by Niva after driving the very steep slope from the top to the bottom. Five clones of Pinot Noir – 115, 667, 777, 828 and Pommard – were specifically selected by Jeff and imported from Dijon, France.

No other grape varietal reflects soil like Pinot Noir does. For this reason each clone was planted in all three of the soil types found on this site. The sandy loam produces elevated red fruits and fine tannins while the heavy clay produces dense dark fruit with great, firm tannin structure from the same clones.

In addition to the optimal soils, aspect and slope, the vineyard has large diurnal temperature changes (warm days and cool nights) during the critical ripening period, making this the quintessential site for this variety.

Freedom 75 Vineyard

Location: Naramata Bench
Elevation: 1500′
Aspect: Westerly
Rainfall: Average 13″
Soil: Sandy loam, alluvial
Varietals: Chardonnay, Riesling, Muscat and Roussanne
Acreage: 16 (13 planted)
Average growing degree: 1400 hours
Overall suitability: Class 1 (BC Grape Atlas)

Freedom 75 was planted in the Spring of 2011 and is located directly across from our home block of Rattlesnake Vineyard.

The land was restructured to optimize air flow and soil moisture. Prior to planting the vines, rye grass was planted to anchor the soil, overhead sprinklers were set up to water the cover crop and cattle grazed for a year to establish healthy bacteria in the soil. As with all our vineyards, indigenous plants of all varieties have emerged to thrive with the rye grass, thereby increasing the organic matter on the site.

Wits End Vineyard

Location: Naramata Bench
Elevation: 1450′
Aspect: Westerly
Rainfall: Average 13″
Soil: Glacial boulder clay/loam
Varietals: Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc
Acreage: 5
Average growing degree: 1400 hours
Overall suitability: Class 1 (BC Grape Atlas)

Rockyfeller Vineyard

Location: Golden Mile Bench
Elevation: 1200′
Aspect: Elevated easterly
Rainfall: Average 10″
Soil: Loam over significant glacial gravel
Varietals: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot
Acreage: 10
Average growing degree: 1500+ hours
Overall suitability: Class 1 (BC Grape Atlas)

Located south of Oliver, this was an old fruit orchard and as such, the use of bio-dynamic techniques continue to develop the great terroir potential of our Rockyfeller Vineyard.

Planted in 2005, the fruit from this vineyard produces dense inky reds with ripe tannins and highlighted varietal fruit characters. This has resulted in multiple award-winning wines.

Later ripening red grape varietals were chosen for the heavier soils, potential minerality and the higher accumulated heat units found in this vineyard.

 

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