Clos du Soleil is delighted to announce that their La Côte vineyard is officially certified organic. This means that all four Clos du Soleil-owned vineyards are now 100% organic, farmed biodynamically, and Biosphere Committed.
Located just down the road from the Clos du Soleil Estate Vineyard on the Upper Bench of the Similkameen Valley, Clos du Soleil purchased La Côte Vineyard in 2018. At that time, the team immediately began converting the vineyard to organic and biodynamic practices, in line with the winery’s existing viticultural methods. The process was also key to “our philosophy of producing wines which speak strongly of terroir and place, and the care we put into both our winemaking and our stewardship of the land,” says Winemaker and Managing Director Michael Clark.
Today, that persistence and vision has paid off, and La Côte Vineyard is now certified organic, which means that all four of Clos du Soleil’s owned vineyards, totaling 30 acres of vines, are certified organic.
“Organic certification is really central to our whole approach at Clos du Soleil,” explains Clark on the pursuit of organic certification. “We put a great deal of effort into producing wines of place, wines that speak of the land on which they were grown. Organic practices are a crucial part of that process by encouraging healthy soils, and healthy vines, which make for more expressive wines. I’m so pleased that La Côte Vineyard has achieved full certification now, as this recognizes the effort we make to showcase both terroir and sustainable farming practices and, ultimately, winemaking which prioritizes minimal intervention and maximum flavour in the bottle.”
Vineyard and Operations Manager Steve Roche concurs: “We are delighted that La Côte, like our other vineyards, is now certified organic as farming this way plays an important role in showcasing our commitment to the land and making sure everything we take from it is not only replaced, but made better by our practices. Organic farming is also key to preserving the character of the soils and the terroir of this unique place in our wines. Keeping the soils alive and healthy through organic farming practices allows us to extract the most delicate characteristics from these living soils in which our vines are thriving.”
More About La Côte Vineyard
La Côte, named for the steep but even slope throughout the vineyard which gives the entire plot a southward-facing aspect, is ideally located for grape growing. This vineyard also exhibits exactly the same terroir characteristics as Clos du Soleil’s other two Upper Bench vineyards: well-draining stony soils, with water-holding capacity and some organic matter. This soil composition is important to note because it is in line with both Clark and Roche’s belief that “living soils are crucial to maintaining vine health and for producing grapes that most truly represent their place,” and the similar soils, similar location, similar slopes, and similar aspect means that the grapes grown here showcase the Similkameen superbly.
At time of purchase in 2018, La Côte already boasted mature vitis vinifera vines, over 10 years in age, giving the team the ability to produce extremely high-quality fruit from this site. Since then, and in line with Clos du Soleil’s long-time focus on Bordeaux varieties, select blocks of the vineyard have been progressively converted to more Bordeaux varieties.
Today, La Côte is home to Malbec, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, with the Malbec in particular being very exciting as it gives winemaker Clark a constant source of the grapes used to make their annual sell-out Malbec Rosé. In the spring of 2022, they also recently removed a cherry orchard and planted a whole new block of Syrah vines – good news for both the winemaking team and the many fans of Clos du Soleil’s single varietal Syrah.
Why Organic Farming is so Important to Clos du Soleil
“Every bottle of Clos du Soleil wine should reflect its place of origin: where from, not what from,” explains Clark. “Organic farming helps us achieve exactly that, all while keeping the land we live and work on at the forefront of our care and ethos of giving back to the earth. The end result of farming our vineyards, including La Côte, organically, is that we are able to thoughtfully and sustainably produce wines that are elegant and age-worthy, tasting unmistakeably of the Similkameen.”
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