The Vineyards of Clos du Soleil

Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2020 is shaping up beautifully

 

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's Estate Vineyard
Clos du Soleil’s Estate Vineyard

Clos du Soleil Estate Vineyard

Certified Organic

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
Les Collines Vineyard, purchased in 2017

Les Collines Vineyard

Certified Organic

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, purchased in 2018
La Côte Vineyard, purchased in 2018

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, purchased in 2020
Whispered Secret Vineyard, purchased in 2020

Whispered Secret Vineyard

Certified Organic

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!)