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.
Alicia McCaffrey handles financial administration at Clos du Soleil Winery – in other words, she keeps the whole business ticking along! A true local, Alicia was born and raised in the Okanagan, and feels blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
When not handling Clos du Soleil’s financials, Alicia keeps herself busy as a committed team player in both volleyball and softball. She loves competitive sports, but in the winter her very favourite activity is snowmobiling in the snow-laden forests of the Okanagan. Alicia also loves travelling, and will forever remember the beauty of Santorini, regardless of however many other places she visits in the world.
A mother of twins, with an active sporty lifestyle… yet still Alicia’s geeky side means she graduated from her Accounting program with a final grade of 99% (what happened to that last 1% Alicia?!) and loves few things more than a 20 page bank reconciliation. Or so she claims.
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.
Belinda Rose-Innes, our Wine Club and social media coordinator, comes to Clos du Soleil with over 20 years’ experience in the communications field, including copywriting, editing, social media management, content marketing and consumer relationship marketing. Many of those years were spent writing about (and tasting!) whisky, and she is very excited to be using that wealth of experience, and flavour, to cross over into the world of wonderful, oh so wonderful, wine.
Belinda has completed her Level 2 Diploma with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is very excited to enrol for Level 3 when she next finds time between her work and other wine-related adventures.
When she’s not writing about wine or helping Wine Club members, and the world, discover (or re-discover) Clos du Soleil’s wonderful wines, Belinda can be found hiking or running on the many Okanagan trails with her dog, spending time on the beach with her family, or desperately trying to get her two kids to go to sleep so that she can have that well-deserved end-of-day glass of wine.
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?!
Michael Clark is the Winemaker, General Manager and co-owner of Clos du Soleil. Originally trained in Theoretical Physics, Michael spent 14 years as a successful investment manager in Canada, the United States, and Europe. It was during his years living in Europe that Michael decided to turn his life-long obsession with wine 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 minimal-intervention winemaking in order to produce wines of authenticity and elegance.
When not working, Michael likes to canoe, ski, spend time with his wonderful family, and read books (a lot of books). Michael is also Chairman of the Similkameen Independent Winegrowers.