Our Okanagan Vineyard
Our vineyards in the Okanagan stretch over 15 warm, sunny acres along the Black Sage Bench. We had our first growing year in 2011, and were told by industry professionals that it was the worst season in 50 years. When the first year was over we thought, if we can get through that, we can do anything!
We believe there’s nowhere else in Canada like the Okanagan. Our Olivery winery is built on 300 feet of sand, and sand is enormously good for grapes. Grapevines need less moisture than your lawn, and they don’t like having wet feet. Sand provides a natural drainage system perfect for a vineyard.
Because sand has no nutrients, we created a hydroponic program where we supply the vines with every nutrient they need, natural or microbial, when they need it throughout the season. This provides our plants with everything they need to produce the small, flavour-packed grapes we prefer for making our bold, full-bodied wines.
Why is this place so special?
The vineyards sit on the east side of the valley, which means we get the late afternoon sun. We’re always a couple of degrees warmer than the other side of the valley. Compared to Penticton, we’re 4-5 degrees warmer every day of the growing season. Four degrees is from the heat mitigation effect of Lake Okanagan, and another degree is from elevation.
Here on the Black Sage Bench, we’ve got the moisture management system from the sand. Hot summer days ripen the grapes and give way to cool evenings, allowing the vines to balance and advance structure to the fruit. Our property of destiny is the perfect place to ripen cabernet sauvignon and syrah, meaning we can grow the bold reds we love so much.
Every time I tried to buy land somewhere else, like Naramata, Harry McWatters would say to me, ‘Murray, I’m familiar with Black Sage Road, and I don’t recall where the Naramata Bench runs into that.’ He was always pushing us into where we needed to be.