Ross Hackworth of Nichol Vineyard talks Cabernet Franc

Ross Hackworth of Naramata's Nichol Vineyard describes his coveted crop of Cab Franc

It was a warm, bright visit early last August on the Naramata Bench. Stacey and I were able to visit one of our very favourite wineries – Nichol Vineyard – and the chance to talk with winemaker & proprietor Ross Hackworth. It was one of those days that a small winery has to face sometimes – an employee called in sick for work, and family were stepping in to help run things while Ross focused on one of his many jobs making wine.

He kindly stepped out on the balcony of his bright and simply appointed tasting room to describe what's happening with Nichol Vineyard. Over his shoulder I noted a row of grapes growing labeled Cabernet Franc. "Cab Franc" is one of those French varietals that grows very well in cool climate regions like BC. Several wineries over the years have produced very good Cabernet Franc, notably Hawthorne Mountain Winery (now known as See Ya Later Ranch, who now use their Cab Franc only for blends).

I turned on the camera and just let Ross go. In his two-minute talk he explained the way he crops the vines, and how it's unlike a more traditional "Scott Henry" growing style (I'm learning this stuff as I go, folks).

As you can see from this interview, Ross kind of goes into the zone when he's talking about his grapes. He's a "pure varietal" kind of guy (which we are very thankful for) and he argues that next to the Loire Valley, the Naramata Bench is among the very best places on the planet to grow Cab Franc.

Hallejulah to that! We are visiting Nichol Vineyard this week, and hope to be getting an update from Ross to share with you soon.

– post by Mike