With the 2021 harvest in full swing as we write this, and with lots of questions about how it’s going this year given the challenging summer experienced by so many across BC, we thought we’d give a little update on how things are looking here in the Similkameen Valley, and at Clos du Soleil. Clos […]
With the 2021 harvest in full swing as we write this, and with lots of questions about how it’s going this year given the challenging summer experienced by so many across BC, we thought we’d give a little update on how things are looking here in the Similkameen Valley, and at Clos du Soleil.
Clos du Soleil Harvest 2021: Mid-Harvest Update
Our team expects to harvest around 120 tons of grapes this year – our largest ever.
We are finding extremely high quality in the grapes from the Similkameen Valley this year. We were incredibly fortunate to have experienced very little impact from any wildfires this summer, and the intense, dry heat has led to intense, full-flavoured grapes that will make excellent wine.
We are in the final stages of harvesting grapes for our white wines. The only remaining harvests for white wine as of writing (September 22nd) are Chardonnay from La Côte vineyard, and Pinot Gris from Whispered Secret vineyard.
We are just at the very beginning of our red harvest; this will stretch through October, and into early November, so we have some busy months ahead of us.
Despite the warm summer, our grapes have maintained really bright acidity, which is what gives Clos du Soleil wines their lively energy, and makes them such wonderful food wines.
Because we are harvesting most days, if you happen to be visiting our Tasting Room we invite you to pop around behind the winery to our crushpad, where we are always happy to explain what is going on, and to see the action for yourself!
We will provide an update as soon as harvest is done for the year, so watch this space for final harvest numbers, teasers of what’s to come, and musings from our winemaker.
We are very excited to announce that Clos du Soleil is now officially “Biosphere Committed”! We, along with more than 70 other companies in the Thompson Okanagan region, have joined the Biosphere Commitment Program, in association with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. What is the Biosphere Commitment Program? The Biosphere Commitment Program is an internationally […]
We are very excited to announce that Clos du Soleil is now officially “Biosphere Committed”!
We, along with more than 70 other companies in the Thompson Okanagan region, have joined the Biosphere Commitment Program, in association with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.
What is the Biosphere Commitment Program?
The Biosphere Commitment Program is an internationally recognized certification body which recognizes and promotes sustainable tourism around the world. As a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Biosphere system is aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris COP21 Accord to Fight Climate Change. The program also works closely with GreenStep (an eco-efficiency program), and go2HR.
In short, by joining forces and encouraging companies like Clos du Soleil to do the same, we are all working towards a common goal: to help fight climate change and encourage sustainable development that is aligned with best environmental practices.
The Biosphere Commitment Program and Clos du Soleil
Given our ongoing, long-term commitment to organic and biodynamic farming practices, becoming a Biosphere Committed Company was a no-brainer for our team.
With all of our vineyards certified organic (or in the transition process), this is just one more way we can show our love for the environment and the world we live in. Our commitment to the Biosphere program will help us further develop our long-term commitment to environmentalism and we are delighted to see so many Thompson Okanagan region companies joining the fray!
Click here to learn more about the Biosphere Commitment Program.
So this is exciting! After so many queries from fans and friends in the US, and months and months of working together to pull this off, we are beyond excited to announce that Clos du Soleil wines are now available to our neighbours in the States via Kascadia Wine Merchants! Kascadia ships their selection of […]
So this is exciting! After so many queries from fans and friends in the US, and months and months of working together to pull this off, we are beyond excited to announce that Clos du Soleil wines are now available to our neighbours in the States via Kascadia Wine Merchants!
Flagship Red Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Nose ~ Aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black currant, hints of cassis bud and notable floral aromas such as violet.
Palate ~ Layered with flavours of black cherry, raspberry, cassis, mint and blackberry, with complex notes of graphite, and sagebrush and a delightful freshness. Soft but full tannins, and a stony mineral quality to the long finish.
Food Pairing ~ A special occasion kind of wine… even if that special occasion is just the first BBQ of Spring. Pair with steak, lamb chops and other grill-worthy feasts.
Cellaring Note ~ Delicious right now, this wine will also age beautifully: cellar for 10 years for an amazing palatal experience.
Clos du Soleil Capella 2018
Flagship White Bordeaux Blend: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon
Nose ~ Intense aromas of grapefruit, lemon curd and meadow grasses.
Palate ~ Lemon zest, ripe grapefruit, Anjou pear, pineapple and wisps of wood smoke all tied together with bright, crisp citrus acidity. Full and rich with a softness resulting from sur-lie ageing. A lovely saline minerality strings it all together, through to the long finish.
Food Pairing ~ Capella is a seafood wine par-excellence! For a wonderful summer- evening escape, treat yourself to a platter of buttered prawns and a glass or two.
Cellaring Note ~ Few white wines age as well as Capella – 10 years in the cellar will show an added sense of richness sure to delight. Or drink right now for a wine filled with brightness and pure pleasure.
Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2018
Fan-favourite Red Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Nose ~ Aromas of cedar and raspberry compote with darker notes of blackberries, pencil lead and rich earth.
Palate ~ Soft and layered, dominated
by fresh ripe fruit flavours of raspberry, blackberry, and pomegranate, with more subtle notes of forest undergrowth and grilled meat.
Food Pairing ~ An exceptionally food- friendly wine, Célestiale paired with pizza is life-affirming.
Cellaring Note ~ This Bordeaux-style blend is soft and full of fruit with an elegant and classic structure that means it is perfect for drinking right now, or ageable for up to five years.
Clos du Soleil is thrilled to reveal that their recently purchased Whispered Secret Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley, BC, has been granted organic certification. When Clos du Soleil added Whispered Secret to their already stellar lineup of vineyards in 2020, they continued the process of converting the vineyard to fully organic status, with this certification […]
When Clos du Soleil added Whispered Secret to their already stellar lineup of vineyards in 2020, they continued the process of converting the vineyard to fully organic status, with this certification being the culmination of a 3 year transition process. As Winemaker and Manager Director Michael Clark explains, “Organic certification is really central to our whole approach at Clos du Soleil. 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 Whispered Secret Vineyard has achieved full certification now, as it is a very special property to us, and this certification recognizes the efforts we make to showcase this terroir.”
Special how? “Before being presented with the opportunity to purchase this secret gem, we had already been working with grapes grown here since 2014,” says Clark. Initially buying just the Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the original owners, and eventually leasing the vineyard and farming it themselves, over time Clark and his winemaking team became more and more enamoured with this secret pocket of land. Purchasing the vineyard – and converting it to fully organic status in keeping with their ideals and practices – was a no-brainer when the chance arose.
Why organic? Vineyard and Operations Manager Steve Roche puts it this way: “We believe that organic farming is a moral obligation when one becomes a steward of land. It’s endeavouring to leave the soil as a living entity, a microcosm displaying the results of years of hard work, soils that are alive with micro fauna and flora, soils that give rise to wines that show where they come from as opposed to what they come from. Whispered Secret Vineyard is one such place. With its distinctly different soil types to our other farms and its incredibly different macro climate, it gives rise to fruit that, without doubt, shows its place of origin, creating beautifully balanced, definitively Similkameen wines. The conversion to organic farming practices in this slice of heaven, and subsequent organic certification of the fruit, is an incredible feel-good scenario for myself, as custodian of this unique piece of the valley.”
With Whispered Secret being the source of some of the highest quality grapes going into Clos du Soleil’s flagship Capella white wine, as well as 100% of the grapes for their late-harvest Saturn wine, and more recently their Winemaker’s Series Pinot Gris too, this organic certification ensures the ongoing quality and high standards Clos du Soleil demands of themselves, their farming, and their winemaking.
And while the secret of this 10.3 acres of grape-growing mecca is definitely out, it doesn’t make it any less worthy of whispered wonder and awe. It is a truly stunning piece of Similkameen wineland, producing unique wines that speak of both the place they were grown, and the philosophies of the people making them.
For more information, high resolution images, and questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Clos du Soleil we have a passion not only for winemaking, but farming too. The vines and viticulture of it all. The land, the grapes, the people. The result? Wines which tell a clear story on the palate of our love for our particular rocky piece of Similkameen land, the grapes that grow there, […]
At Clos du Soleil we have a passion not only for winemaking, but farming too. The vines and viticulture of it all. The land, the grapes, the people. The result? Wines which tell a clear story on the palate of our love for our particular rocky piece of Similkameen land, the grapes that grow there, and our minimal-intervention approach to the winemaking itself.
Given our all-encompassing approach to, and passion for, the wine that ends up in your glass, it makes sense that we want as much control over our grapes and our vineyards as possible. Over the last few years, we have been incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to purchase additional vineyards to add to our original Estate Vineyard. We now own four vineyards, all farmed organically and biodynamically, to ensure that every sip of Clos du Soleil wine you take is one of pure Similkameen beauty.
Read on for a quick overview of the vineyards owned and farmed by Clos du Soleil.
The Vineyards owned by Clos du Soleil
Clos du Soleil Estate Vineyard
Our original vineyard, dating back to the founding of Clos du Soleil in 2006, the Estate Vineyard is Certified Organic, and has been managed Biodynamically for over a decade. In fact, it is in the process of achieving Biodynamic certification. Nestled right up against the sheer rocky backing of the mountainside, it is a very rocky vineyard, with a significant portion of the vineyard composed of what are known as “Stemwinder soils”. These very stony soils lend a distinct character and flavour, that positively screams “Similkameen”, to the wines grown here.
Our Tasting Room and licensed picnic area are located in the middle of this vineyard, so when you visit us at Clos du Soleil, you can see it up close.
These grapes, those wines We grow all five of the Bordeaux reds in our Estate Vineyard: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, with the grapes from this vineyard going into our Estate Reserve wine, as well as forming an important portion of Signature.
Les Collines Vineyard
Purchased in 2017, the name “Les Collines” (a French term meaning “the hills”) is a nod to Clos du Soleil’s French influence and the unique topography of this uniquely Similkameen parcel of land.
Over 10 acres in size and located a short distance west from the winery’s Estate Vineyard, Les Collines began life as an organic orchard. Winemaker Michael Clark and his Clos du Soleil team converted this to an organic vineyard and began farming the grapes grown there biodynamically as well, operating on the firm belief that living soils are crucial to maintaining vine health and for producing grapes that most truly represent their place. As Michael puts it, “My single-minded mission at Clos du Soleil is to produce the very highest quality wines that are complex, elegant, age-worthy, and that transparently speak of the land in which they were grown.”
Like our Estate Vineyard, Les Collines calls the Upper Bench home, nestled right up against the steep, rocky slopes at the base of the mountainside. Aside from the high quality viticultural characteristics this location ensures, it also gives the vineyard an extreme physical beauty quite unique to this region: rugged and majestic with breath-taking views over the whole valley.
These grapes, those wines The hilly terrain of Les Collines is comprised of several steep ridges, making it ideal terroir for growing the Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes used to produce Clos du Soleil’s flagship white wine Capella.
La Côte Vineyard
In transition to organic status
Purchased in 2018 and located just down the road from the Clos du Soleil Estate Vineyard on the Upper Bench of the Similkameen Valley, La Côte vineyard exhibits exactly the same terroir characteristics as our other two Upper Bench vineyards: well-draining stony soils, with water-holding capacity and some organic matter.
The similar soils, similar location, similar slopes and similar aspect means that the grapes grown here showcase the Similkameen superbly.
La Côte already boasts mature vitis vinifera vines, over 10 years in age, giving us the ability to produce extremely high quality fruit from this site. The varieties already planted in this vineyard have allowed us to create brand-new small-lot wines (like our Chardonnay and Viognier), however, in line with our long-time focus on Bordeaux varieties, we will progressively convert select blocks of the vineyard to more of the same over time. This will supplement our core focus on elegant and age-worthy wines blended from Bordeaux varieties but tasting unmistakably of the Similkameen.
These grapes, those wines La Côte is currently home to Malbec, Chardonnay, and Viognier grapes. The Malbec in particular is very exciting as it gives us a constant source of the grapes we use to make our annual sell-out 100% Malbec Rosé. We have also recently removed a cherry orchard and will be planting a whole new block of grapes in the spring of 2022.
Whispered Secret Vineyard
Clos du Soleil has been working with grapes grown in the Whispered Secret Vineyard since 2014, developing a deeper relationship with this vineyard over the years. Where initially the winery purchased just the Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown here, as the years passed the team made the decision to lease the vineyard and farm it themselves. As more time passed, Clos du Soleil became more and more enamoured with this secret pocket of land. So, when we were afforded the opportunity to purchase the entire property in 2020, we jumped at the chance.
Situated on the other (South) side of the valley to our Estate, Les Collines and La Cotes vineyards, Whispered Secret Vineyard is on a much cooler site, near the river, making it ideal for the style of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris grapes that we grow here.
These grapes, those wines For many years now this vineyard has provided some of the highest quality Sauvignon Blanc grapes going into our flagship Capella white wine. In addition, it has provided 100% of the grapes for our late-harvest Saturn wine, as well as our more recent Winemaker’s Series Pinot Gris. Whispered Secret Vineyard is also home to a block of Merlot. (Watch this space for more on that!)
2020. Phew. We’re not going to lie, the declaration “Thank goodness for wine” may or may not have been uttered, more than once, by more than one of our team, in this strangest of strange years. We do feel very lucky at Clos du Soleil though: for all of your support throughout this year, and […]
2020. Phew. We’re not going to lie, the declaration “Thank goodness for wine” may or may not have been uttered, more than once, by more than one of our team, in this strangest of strange years. We do feel very lucky at Clos du Soleil though: for all of your support throughout this year, and for the fact that winemaking has kept us busy, happy, fulfilled, and mostly far from the madding crowd. We only hope that our efforts have kept you happy too!
So, in the spirit of finding silver linings and sparks of joy (also known as glasses half full of delicious wine!) in a year that has been undeniably tinged with turmoil and sadness, we give to you this fact-filled and humorous review of our 2020, with answers provided by Clos du Soleil winemaker and MD Michael Clark.
Clos du Soleil in 2020
What did Clos du Soleil harvest this year?
6 white varieties ~ Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier
6 red varieties ~ Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah
How many tons of grapes did we crush?
110 tons – one of our largest harvests yet!
Number of vineyards we farmed in 2020?
Clos du Soleil has four vineyards. Three of them are on the Similkameen Upper Bench (our original Estate Vineyard, our La Côte Vineyard, and our Les Collines Vineayard). The fourth vineyard (Whispered Secret Vineyard) is on the south side of the valley, near the Similkameen River.
When did harvest start and when did it end?
Harvest started on September 4th, when we picked Sauvignon Blanc on our Les Collines Vineyard. It ended on October 28th, with the harvest of our Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Pretty much a full two months of harvesting!
Funniest moment of the 2020 harvest?
We laugh a lot at Clos du Soleil. Sometimes we laugh about funny things, and sometimes about not much at all, which probably gives outsiders the impression that we may have lost our minds. But we think it is important to enjoy our work, and we make better wine when we are laughing. More specifically, a lot of the laughing occurs when we are using our forklift to gravity-feed crushed red grapes into tanks using a process we have labelled “Tip-tip-wang”.
Most stressful moment of the 2020 harvest?
2020 was an excellent harvest, with extremely high quality wines being produced from it, so there wasn’t much stress. However, picking and processing fruit in sub-zero temperatures in late October was one of the more unpleasant parts. But at least the grapes were excellent, even if the work was cold!
Number of hours per day the Clos du Soleil team works during harvest?
Favourite harvest playlist?
Historically, Clos du Soleil has probably played more Smashing Pumpkins than any one winery ought to be allowed to play. But in 2020 we more biased to classic rock, particularly cheesy classic rock. We have also been known to rock out to that Lego-movie song, “Everything is AWESOME when you’re part of a team.”
Minutes of the day when we aren’t playing music in the winery?
Favourite post-work beverage during 2020 harvest?
Best keep-up-the-energy snack during winery work hours?
We have consumed a significant number of cheese burgers and french fries from the local café. A significant number.
Number of cups of coffee consumed per day, per team member?
Which wine destined to come out of the 2020 vintage are you most excited about?
That is a hard question, because all of the 2020 wines are showing amazing potential already. But I have to admit that having some more Rosé in stock is going to be really nice – no matter how much we make, it always sells out too quickly!
Number of bottles of wine from one of our barrels?
300 bottles in one of our standard barrels that we use for ageing red wine. But we also use larger puncheons for many of our white wines, and they hold 667 bottles each!
Number of barrels in Clos du Soleil winery?
About a hundred.
Thoughts on the 2020 vintage?
The 2020 vintage was an exceptional one, in the end. Most of the growing season was good, with generally moderate temperatures (which is our preference) but a little delayed versus prior years. However September, and much of October, was extraordinarily warm and dry, leading to first-rate ripening conditions. As a result we are very excited about the quality of wines we have produced in 2020, both white and red.
Current number of employees at Clos du Soleil?
During the harvest season we have a variable, but extremely important, vineyard crew that works seasonally for us. But during the rest of the year Clos du Soleil has a tight-knit group of 5 employees.
Your favourite thing about working at CdS?
Amanda, Tasting Room Manager: “The team! I love working with our team! It is a lot of hard work but it wouldn’t be worth doing if I wasn’t doing it all with our crazy little team of weirdos!”
Steve, Vineyard Manager: “My favourite thing at CdS is the people I work alongside. They are fun, but at the same time we share an attitude of doing the work to the same exacting standards, no matter how early or late it gets. [Singing:] ‘Everything is AWESOME when you’re part of a team!'”
Mike, Winemaker: “Well it sure as hell isn’t my team. Joking! Yes, of course, the best part is working with my awesome team!”
What can Clos du Soleil look forward to in 2021?
We are blessed by a very loyal customer base, who have supported us throughout 2020, and as a result many of our wines have sold out. Therefore one of the things we are really looking forward to in 2021 is bottling MORE WINE for our customers!
Clos du Soleil is delighted to announce the acquisition of a Whispered Secret Vineyard in Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, BC. Clos du Soleil has been working with grapes grown in the Whispered Secret Vineyard since 2014, developing a deeper relationship with this vineyard over the years. Where initially the winery purchased just the Sauvignon Blanc grapes […]
Clos du Soleil is delighted to announce the acquisition of a Whispered Secret Vineyard in Keremeos, Similkameen Valley, BC.
Clos du Soleil has been working with grapes grown in the Whispered Secret Vineyard since 2014, developing a deeper relationship with this vineyard over the years. Where initially the winery purchased just the Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown here, as the years passed the team made the decision to lease the vineyard and farm it themselves. As more time passed, Clos du Soleil became more and more enamoured with this secret pocket of land. So, when the company was afforded the opportunity to purchase the entire property in recent months, they jumped at the chance to add it to their already stellar lineup of vineyards.
“For many years now this vineyard has provided some of the highest quality grapes going into our flagship Capella white wine,” reveals Michael Clark, Managing Director and Winemaker at Clos du Soleil. “In addition, it has provided 100% of the grapes for our late-harvest Saturn wine, as well as our more recent Winemaker’s Series Pinot Gris.” In short, the permanent addition of this vineyard to Clos du Soleil’s portfolio of properties brings with it the promise of an ongoing and consistent supply of the top-class fruit required to create the classic terroir-driven wines Clos du Soleil specializes in. “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this property for the future of Clos du Soleil,” says Clark. “This vineyard consistently produces extremely high quality fruit, that goes into our highest-tier wines at Clos du Soleil.”
Situated on the south side of the Similkameen Valley, on a north-facing slope close to the Similkameen River, the Whispered Secret property is geographically close to Clos du Soleil. Being on the other side of the valley, however, it has much cooler growing conditions. This makes it ideal for the varieties planted there – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, as well as a small block of Merlot, all planted 15 years ago – as well as the style of Clos du Soleil wines. “The nature of this site produces wines with the signature Similkameen minerality and laser-like acidity that is the hallmark of our wines,” says Clark.
What’s more, with the the property registered for organic status several years ago, and anticipated to be awarded full certified organic status following the 2020 harvest, “I believe that the transition to organic status will only increase the quality of fruit from this vineyard.”
Vineyard & Operations Manager Steve Roche agrees that the purchase of Whispered Secret is a wonderful addition to the Clos du Soleil family. In fact, he waxes quite poetic about the vineyard: “Whispered Secret has to be the most enchanting piece of vineyard land I have ever farmed,” he reveals. “Nestled between sheer rock faces to the south and the babbling waters of the Similkameen River to the north, here we have beautiful alluvial, loamy soils, with fantastic drainage, perfect for cultivating our superlative Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.”
With the 2020 harvest already underway and looking to be quite the vintage, this 10.3 acres of stunning Similkameen wineland is no longer a whispered secret. It will, however, continue to be one of the secrets to Clos du Soleil’s winemaking magic.
For more information, high resolution images, and questions, please email email@example.com.
“There’s a transcendent beauty to [the Similkameen Valley], one echoed in the character of those who call it home.” If you’ve never heard of the Similkameen Valley, and the many wonderful wineries, orchards and farms that call this sunny, rocky corner of British Columbia home, this is quite the introduction. (One which will no doubt […]
“There’s a transcendent beauty to [the Similkameen Valley], one echoed in the character of those who call it home.”
If you’ve never heard of the Similkameen Valley, and the many wonderful wineries, orchards and farms that call this sunny, rocky corner of British Columbia home, this is quite the introduction. (One which will no doubt have you itching for a road trip…) And if you are already acquainted with the magic of the Similkameen, you’ll no doubt agree with Jeannette LeBlanc’s assessment of the land we call home for her latest feature for Culinaire Magazine (pg 28-31).
We are thrilled to feature in the May/June 2020 issue of Culinaire Magazine in ‘The Resilient, Remarkable, Similkameen Valley’, alongside so many of our wonderful, resilient, remarkable neighbours. Read the full feature here (pages 28 to 31), or click on the image below.
Many thanks to both Jeannette LeBlanc and Culinaire Magazine for their ongoing support of the Similkameen Valley and BC wine in general.
Clos du Soleil Virtual Wine Tasting Featuring Winemaker Michael Clark & Acclaimed Sommelier Leagh Barkley So, THIS is happening! Clos du Soleil is hosting our first ever live virtual wine tasting, featuring acclaimed Canadian sommelier Leagh Barkley. We’d love for you to join us! WHEN: Friday May 1st, 7pm, PST WHERE: Instagram Live – […]
WHO: Leagh Barkley, currently wine director for Toptable Group’s Il Caminetto Italian fine dining restaurant in Whistler, will join Clos du Soleil winemaker Michael Clark in a tasting of some of our top-selling wines ~ Signature, Capella, Célestiale & Fumé Blanc ~ as well as a general, and generally entertaining, chat about wine.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE: You can buy the wines we will be tasting in one of two ways: 1. Shop our online store ~ free shipping on all orders & 10% discount on orders of 6+ bottles. (Please note that while we will do our best to get the wines to you in time for the tasting, some lead time is required if you purchase your wines for the tasting this way.) 2. Buy available Clos du Soleil wines at participating Toptable Group Restaurants, including: ~ Elisa, Vancouver; Bluewater Cafe + Raw Bar, Vancouver; Il Caminetto, Whistler; Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar, Whistler; as well as Toptable’s specially-designed take out and contactless delivery concepts, Toptable2U Vancouver & ABC Eats Whistler.
More about Leagh Barkley, Wine Director at Toptable Group’s Il Caminetto Restaurant, Whistler
Last year, Leagh Barkley of Whistler’s Il Caminetto was named one of British Columbia’s top three sommeliers, making it onto the podium out of a dozen contestants at the B.C. Sommelier of the Year competition, hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). For Barkley, however, this honour is but one amongst a long, distinguished list of accomplishments.
A leading Canadian sommelier, Barkley is also a professor, wine merchant, bartender/mixologist and a classical musician, having studied classical trumpet at the Vancouver Academy of Music. He has apprenticed at restaurants in Italy and France, where he lived in Bordeaux from 2012 to 2018, rising to sommelier at some of France’s most notable bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants. He has won the Bordeaux Sommelier Competition in 2017, and he holds the distinction of being the first Canadian to earn the International ASI Sommelier Diploma in Paris in 2018. He also was honoured with one of the Top Three Best Restaurant Wine Lists for the cellar he built at Le Chapon Fin (according to Terre de Vins magazine in 2018).
Perhaps most important of all though? Leagh Barkley knows good wine. And he loves sharing his knowledge with customers and virtual guests alike. We are thrilled that he has agreed to host our first ever virtual wine tasting with Clos du Soleil winemaker Michael Clark on our Instagram Live: @closdusoleilwinery.
More about Toptable Group, toptable2u Vancouver & ABC Eats Whistler
The chefs from Toptable Group’s Elisa, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and Thierry in Vancouver, and Araxi, Bar Oso and Il Caminetto in Whistler have collaborated to bring a new concept to you during these unique times. Toptable2U Vancouver and ABC Eats Whistler, provide take-away menus of housemade provisions, prepped meal kits for at home cooking, and farm-to-table produce selections curated for the home kitchen.
Toptable believe that the souls of their restaurants can be found in their kitchens, and this philosophy lives on as Toptable Group brings their kitchens to yours in the hope that their offerings bring a little joy around the table until we meet again.
More about the Featured Clos du Soleil Wines
SIGNATURE: Signature is our flagship blend of red Bordeaux varieties, produced by hand, and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels. Look for layered flavours of sun-ripened cherries, raspberry, cassis, mint and blackberry, with complex notes of graphite, sagebrush and pepper and a delightful freshness. Buy Signature here
CAPELLA: Our flagship white wine is a classic Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. It is a wine of grace, elegance and age-worthy structure. The palate shows an array of flavours: lemon zest, ripe grapefruit, Anjou pear, pineapple and wisps of wood smoke all tied together with bright, crisp citrus acidity. Buy Capella here
CÉLESTIALE: Célestiale is Clos du Soleil’s Bordeaux-style blend that is soft and full of fruit with an elegant and classic structure. Expect soft and layered flavours, dominated by fresh ripe fruit flavours of raspberry, blackberry, and pomegranate, with more subtle notes of forest undergrowth, and refreshing acidity. Buy Célestiale here
FUMÉ BLANC: Clos du Soleil’s Fumé Blanc is a full-flavoured, aromatic take on Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Look for flavours of ripe apples and pears, complex layers of citrus including characteristic varietal flavours of grapefruit, as well as a subtle hint of oak. Buy Fumé Blanc here
** UPDATE: This promotion has now ended. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on lives, and livelihoods, around the globe, in so many different ways. It’s easy to feel helpless, powerless, anxious, unsure of what to do, or how to help. At Clos du Soleil we are doing our best to support our community, and our customers, […]
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on lives, and livelihoods, around the globe, in so many different ways. It’s easy to feel helpless, powerless, anxious, unsure of what to do, or how to help.
At Clos du Soleil we are doing our best to support our community, and our customers, in any way we can. We want to do more though. That is why we have partnered with the British Columbia Psychological Association to offer financial support for their recently launched BCPA COVID-19 Psychological Support Service.
For every one of our newly-created specialty wine packs sold – The Flagships & The Essentials – we will donate 10% of the proceeds to the BCPA Psychological First Aid program, providing direct support to the provision of psychological support services for all essential services workers in BC.
More about the BCPA COVID-19 Psychological Support Service
UBCO has teamed up with provincial resources to support frontline healthcare workers, as well as all other essential services workers, in a program where registered psychologists volunteer their time to provide live mental health first aid.
All of BC’s essential services workers can now access an online support service to help them cope with the psychological effects of the COVID-19 crisis. There are people out there are saving lives, keeping our families fed, providing services to keep our lives as normal as possible in these topsy turvy times, but they need support.
Earlier this month, UBC Okanagan announced – in a partnership with the BC Psychological Association (BCPA) and the Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) – a program to offer psychological first aid to frontline healthcare workers, as well as all the other essential services workers trying to keep our lives on as much of an even keel as possible.
“There is emerging evidence that the psychological effects of COVID-19 are just as great as the physical effects, particularly for frontline healthcare workers,” says Dr. Lesley Lutes, a UBCO professor of psychology, registered psychologist and lead on the new initiative.
Recent studies indicate that frontline workers are significantly more likely to suffer from the negative mental health effects of being at the epicentre of the pandemic (data shows 52% report symptoms of depression and anxiety while 70% report clinical levels of distress), and thus there is an unprecedented need for immediate action to provide support to these critical workers. The new BCPA Psychological First Aid initiative will deliver free live access to psychological services to any frontline healthcare worker. Furthermore, recognizing the distress, strain and worry for ALL essential services workers – the grocery store clerks, the pharmacy technicians, the gas station attendants, the truck drivers, etc. – this service is also available to all those providing essential services, and will expand even further to the wider public in the coming weeks with additional resources.
The BCPA is providing administrative support for this program, along with UBCO’s expertise and resources. Even more important though is the fact that this initiative is only operating through the kindness of more than 200 registered psychologists volunteering their time, who are signed up, trained, and ready to support residents of BC.
When you buy a Clos du Soleil specialty pack, this is where 10% of the proceeds will be going. Buy yours here.
On the frontline? To find out how you can access this support, and request a support call, click here.
More about the Clos du Soleil Specialty Wine Packs
10% of the proceeds (pre-tax price) from every pack sold will be donated to the BCPA Psychological First Aid program.
If you’d like to donate more to the BCPA Psychological First Aid program you can do so directly from our online store – we have options for donations of $10, $20, $50 and $100. All additional donations will be donated to the BCPA in their entirety.
Please note: our specialty packs – The Flagships and The Essentials – do not qualify for the 10% members discount.
The Essentials four-pack showcases the fun, full-flavoured side of Clos du Soleil wines. All of the wines in this pack are highly quaffable and food-friendly, without ever losing sight of the philosophies which guide our winemaking: minimal handling and minimal intervention, to deliver wine which speaks of the beauty and uniqueness of our particular piece of rocky Similkameen land.
The Flagships four-pack showcases the very best of the Clos du Soleil portfolio of wines: all of the wines in this pack are carefully crafted with a light hand – minimal handling and minimal intervention – to deliver wine which speaks of the beauty of our land and showcases the unique Similkameen terroir.