MT. BOUCHERIE VINEYARDSA BROAD SPECTRUM OF GRAPE VARIETIES
Great wines come from the places around the globe where winemakers take the time and consideration to make the kind of wine that only a particular place can…
Great wines come from the places around the globe where winemakers take the time and consideration to make the kind of wine that only a particular place can; where wine is craft first and ‘product’ second.
The Okanagan/Similkameen is this kind of place. Here winemakers strive to express what’s distinctive about their region, creating wines that are uniquely British Columbian.
Our appellations are at the northernmost limit of wine growing, claiming the territory of last frontier. Here, grape quality is ultimately enhanced by the vines’ struggle to yield ripe fruit in a shorter growing season. To some, it might seem miraculous that grapes can thrive here, but thanks to the incredible lake, hills, and soils, they do, and they do very special things.
Our region features several diverse climate and soil conditions that, in turn, allow local vintners to make a broad spectrum of grape varieties and wine types.
The climate is considered to be continental, which describes places where the difference between the average mean temperatures of its hottest month and that of its coldest month are extreme. In other words, the regions have four precise and distinct seasons.
This helps craft a style of wine that straddles cool and warm climate characteristics. New world fruit with old world structure describes some of the industry’s finest efforts. From north to south and east to west, there is more diversity in this small region than most other wine producing areas in the world.
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Varietals: Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Zweigelt
Our West Kelowna vineyard, located on the eastern shadow of the former volcano Mount Boucherie, is home to our wine shop and winery production facility. The grapes thrive in the sandy loam, clay and limestone soils rich with mineral deposits and volcanic rock. The summers are hot and provide long daylight hours.
1,270 degree days
Lost Horn Vineyard - Okanagan Falls
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Varietals: Semillon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Noir
Okanagan Falls is a magical wine farming area and is slated to become the second sub-appellation in British Columbia. This narrow part of the valley gets a lot of heat from bright southern Okanagan sunshine, while the cool nights here retain the acidity in the grapes helping to accentuate fruit flavours and freshness. The soil is comprised of mounds of glacially deposited rock and includes stony gravel, clay, and sandy loam.
1,410 degree days
Lazy River Vineyard - Cawston
Appellation: Similkameen Valley
Varietals: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay (planting spring 2019)
1,390 degree days
Varietals: Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel.
1,460 degree days
Our Similkameen Valley vineyards lie just north of the US border and west of the southern Okanagan Valley. Due to the high mountains on both sides of the valley, and the reflective action of the rock, the heat is held long after the sun sets. The vines thrive in the stony, gravelly and silty loams from glacial rock formation. This is rugged wine country that produces wines that are completely distinct from the neighboring Okanagan Valley.
South Rock Vineyard - Golden Mile Bench
Sub-Appellation: Golden Mile Bench
Varietals: Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon
Located on the western slope south of Oliver, the Golden Mile Bench offers a unique climate and soil type, and is the first officially recognized sub-appelation in British Columbia. Its southerly latitude provides a warm climate, but its location on the west side brings morning rather than afternoon sunshine, making it cooler than its eastern neighbour. The soil is well drained with gravel, clay, sand and is littered with large rocks from the eroding mountains to the west.
1,484 degree days.
Varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Syrah.
This area enjoys sun soaked slopes that sink towards Osoyoos Lake in Canada's warmest growing area. The soils here are a mix of sand and clay providing excellent drainage for the vines. This arid location has hot summer days, but is cooled by the wind that comes up reliably each afternoon.
1,500 degree days
Since the purchase of Mt. Boucherie in 2016, the first two years has been focused on the rejuvenation of our vineyards and a replanting effort to try and better match land to varietal.
We are now replacing approximately 40 acres of vines in Okanagan Falls, Golden Mile Bench, and in the two Similkameen sites.
While this is a very patient effort – 3 years before the vines bear any fruit at all, it is necessary to get the best of this special land we are blessed to farm.
Mt. Boucherie began an initiative in 2017 to build a greenhouse to help rejuvenate our vineyards with new plants. This gives us the ability to identify some of the strongest/best vines in our vineyards and propagate them ourselves rather than rely on sources outside the country.
We have begun by raising 4 clones of Pinot Noir to be planted in the spring of 2018 (115, 667, 777, and 828). The majority of our vineyards are un-grafted making them somewhat unique in the world of wine.
This greenhouse project will eventually provide over 60,000 vines to our various sites!