Making consistently beautiful wine
It’s all about the vineyard and the wine in the bottle.
Clos du Soleil is a small artisan winery and estate vineyard on the Upper Bench of the South Similkameen Valley, in British Columbia, Canada.
We produce ultra-premium quality wines, borrowing an aesthetic derived from the great wines of Bordeaux, but stamped with the flavours and aromas of our particular piece of rocky Similkameen land. Through traditional winemaking techniques, informed by research, but adhering to the philosophies of minimal-interventionist winemaking and biodynamic viticulture, we produce wines that are complex and classic, ageable and elegant.
The name Clos du Soleil, a French term meaning an enclosed Vineyard of the Sun, refers to the rocks, soil, and sun, which together define this very special piece of land where we grow our grapes. The enclosure is the mountain that forms a tall natural stone wall at the back of our vineyard, almost surrounding the cobbled terroir which lends its unique flavours to our wines. Most importantly, our name highlights the long days of sun which pour in on the Similkameen Bench, one of BC’s most unique and promising microclimates.
We are a small, experienced, tightly-knit team with a common philosophy: our land and the life it contains is a gift, and as stewards of the land it is our privilege to produce wines which are a reflection of this land. We work collaboratively to care for our vines, produce our wines, and bring them to our clients across Canada and around the world.
Steve Roche, our Vineyard & Operations Manager, has always had a passion for farming ever since growing up in Cape Town, South Africa. He brings a wealth of experience in organic grape-growing. Following his viticultural studies in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Steve worked for a variety of premier wineries in South Africa, Ontario, and now British Columbia. Steve strongly believes that we are the custodians of our land on behalf of future generations and that it is our duty to leave the soil in a better condition than we found it. Combining this with his strong technical background and utilizing organic and biodynamic frameworks, Steve works to produce the highest-quality grapes that reflect the unique nature of our land. When not farming, Steve keeps himself very busy as a volunteer firefighter, cowboy, private pilot … and trying to break 100 km/h on his snowboard!
Spencer Massie devoted enormous time and passion to Clos du Soleil, working with the initial shareholders to found the winery, develop its strategic direction, and build it during its initial years. He has also contributed to the overall BC wine industry through his roles on the Board of the BC Wine Institute, and Terroir BC, among other organizations. He was formerly a business executive in Vancouver and Toronto, and a senior Canadian Naval officer, with extensive international experience, before he returned to the blessings of the land – and a life of adventure in wine.
Luke Whittall comes to the Clos du Soleil team with over a decade of experience in the wine trade. He has worked in vineyards, cellars, wine shops and wine retail stores, while studying wine with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust where he is currently completing his Level 4 diploma.
In his role as our Wine Club Coordinator, Luke brings to bear his charm and deep knowledge of the world of wine to enhance our customers’ and wine club members’ experience of Clos du Soleil, whether online, on the phone, or in person at the winery.
When not working with Clos du Soleil’s customers, Luke also works as a wine writer and musician in the southern interior of BC where he lives with his family. In whatever spare time he has left he rides motorcycles, builds model rockets, and feels like he mows the lawn often but apparently not often enough.
Amanda Elyzen, our Tasting Room Manager, unfailingly provides our winery visitors with a delightful experience of our wines, and our land. Never one to sit still, when she isn’t serving customers she also helps in both the winery and the vineyard too. Amanda loves her job; just come visit her in our Tasting Room and you will be able to tell by her sunny demeanour, her ever-present smile, and her enthusiasm and knowledge of all things Clos du Soleil and Similkameen.
A graduate of Bishop’s University, with a B.A. in Drama, farming in small-town British Columbia was the last thing Amanda could have imagined doing, but now being a part of the Clos du Soleil team makes her wonder why she wasn’t here all along. And every once in awhile “small town BC” puts on a pretty great theatre production as well, allowing her to exhibit her acting and directorial skills as well… wine and a show anyone?!
Stephanie has found her true “sense of place” as Clos du Soleil’s Sales and Marketing Manager and is proud to work alongside some of the most talented, warm and dedicated people in the industry.
Stephanie looks after account management and strategic sales throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, in addition to coordinating the broader sales & marketing strategy for the winery. As if that is not enough, you will find her at the winery on the bottling line or cleaning tanks when all the stars align!
She holds a Bachelors of Education Degree (UBC), has completed the Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and is a Certified Sake Professional through the Sake Education Council (SEC).
Loving the sun and snow equally, Stephanie can be found camping in the back-country, swimming in the ocean with turtles or making some deep turns in the fields of joy or steeps of the Pacific Northwest’s best snowboarding mountains… with wine. Always with wine.
Michael Clark runs the business, as well as the production side of Clos du Soleil, and is our Winemaker. Following 14 years as a successful investment manager in Canada, the United States, and Europe, Michael turned his life-long obsession with wine and winemaking into his day-job (and, more often than not, his night-job too!). It is Michael’s attention to detail which ensures that every bottle of Clos du Soleil wine captures the essential flavours of our land, our seasons and our vines.
Michael has been trained in winemaking at the University of California, Davis, and has prior winery experience from Geneva, Switzerland, and Bordeaux, France. At Clos du Soleil it is Michael’s goal to marry biodynamic viticulture and the unique terroir of the Similkameen Valley with authentic, time-honoured winemaking in order to produce ageworthy wines of elegance and character.