Nichol Vineyard is among the first three pioneering wineries on the Naramata Bench. The first part of our home vineyard was planted in 1989 and completed in 1991. We currently farm/grow all of our wines within 900 meters of the winery. We continue to operate on a small scale and focus our attention and resources on the quality of our grapes and their subsequent élevage in the winery. We continue to choose this path as opposed to one of marketing and advertisements. Our name has been built on the quality of our wines not the size of our marketing budget. We thank our customers for letting us continue down that path.
Our Vineyards and About That Syrah: Our vineyards are situated at the northern most tip of Naramata, abutting the Kettle Valley Railway, and surround the winery on all sides. The Syrah vineyard was the first to be planted in Canada and consists of 17 rows planted on granite in the north eastern portion of the vineyard. All of our vineyards are west and south facing and range from 1400-1500 feet in elevation. The vineyard is also own rooted/un-grafted.
Farming: We spend a huge amount of our time and resources farming our vineyards. The majority of our vineyard work is done by hand with minimal tractor use. We pick by hand into 10L baskets to ensure the integrity of every bunch. Our yields are very low for Okanagan and international standards. We are very close to being dry farmed (without irrigation).
In The Cellar: With all of the effort we put in to growing grapes that best represent the cool climate site and specific terroir of Naramata we do as little as possible in the winery to obfuscate the inherent qualities of our raw material – or put another way – we try our best to grow great grapes and stay out of their way. From a wine making perspective we are far more interested in our grapes being the star of the show instead of our wine making influence. Our wine making is about limiting intervention, not exploiting it. To that end we neither fine nor filter our red wines, use almost entirely used French barriques (neutral) and eschew the use of colour fixers, acidification techniques or ‘flavour’ and alcohol enhancers. Our wines are technically vegan.
In Your Cellar: Though our wines are not ‘big’ or heavily extracted they have proven over the last 22+ years to age very well. In ‘regular’ vintages our Syrah has proven to age well up to and slightly beyond 10+ years – the Cabernet Franc from 6-10+ years – and the Pinot Noir from 4-8+ years. If you have any questions about specific wines in your cellar please call or e-mail us to inquire.
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