Clos du Soleil Winery is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new vineyard. Winemaker and Managing Director Michael Clark says that the new property will be called “Les Collines” (a French term meaning “the hills”), a nod to Clos du Soleil’s French influence and the unique topography of this parcel of land. The land is hilly terrain comprised of several steep ridges which is ideal terroir for growing Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes that will be used to produce Clos du Soleil’s white wines such as their flagship white Capella and the Estate Reserve White.
Les Collines is over 10 acres in size with 5 acres scheduled to be planted and is located only a short distance west from the winery’s Estate Vineyard near Keremeos. Critically, the property is already certified organic which is in line with their current practices at their Estate vineyard. Clark will continue to maintain organic certification for Les Collines and will be practicing biodynamics on this property. Clark believes that living soils are crucial to maintaining vine health and for producing grapes that most truly represent their place. “My single-minded mission at Clos du Soleil is to produce the very highest quality wines,” says Clark. “I focus on producing wines which are complex, elegant, age-worthy, and that transparently speak of the land in which they were grown.” The balance of the acreage will be retained and preserved for local plants and wildlife as natural wild habitat.
For grape growing, the soil composition is of paramount importance for establishing a vineyard. The soil at Les Collines is extremely rocky with high levels of angular rocks within the gravelly loam and is similar in composition to the upper bench Similkameen soil series seen on their Estate vineyard. In addition, the organic practices already in place on this property have contributed to maintaining soil health and quality. As a result, Les Collines is already primed for the highest-quality grape production and will be planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon vines. Sources for an ideal mix of clones (including Sauvignon Blanc clones 530, 242, and 906) have already been retained and planting is scheduled to begin in the spring in 2018.
Aside from the high quality viticultural characteristics, the land has extreme physical beauty: rugged and majestic with breath-taking views over the whole valley. “This small but exquisite new vineyard parcel will be a gem for Clos du Soleil, expressing all of the very best qualities of the Upper Bench Similkameen Valley,” says Clark.