For 4 years straight we’ve had the privilege of visiting and watching the evolution of Garnet Valley Ranch, just behind the Summerland community in the Okanagan Valley. This spectacular 300 acre property is owned and farmed by the winemaking team at Okanagan Crush Pad. When we first visited in the summer of 2013, the idea that vineyard would carve across the grassy slopes of the valley seemed like only a dream.
Today, this organic farm now has 25 acres planted to vine, with a plan for another 25 acres planted over the next 5 years. With land for growing wine grapes in British Columbia in limited supply, those 50 acres will add to a much-needed increase in volume for BC’s wine industry.
At first glance the Garnet Valley vineyard seemed like a bit of a dare. But upon closer inspection you can see the extraordinary opportunity the terroir presents —with its sun-drenched slopes, evidence of various soil types, and the shelter from the elements provided by the surrounding hillsides. Though at a higher altitude than most vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes planted here have remained hearty in spite of the recent record winter weather.
The photos in the Flickr gallery below are from a visit earlier this month. They show off the 2 Great Pyrenees pups that seem to actually run the place—their names are Yukon and Bizou—and the sheep whose grazing keeps the weeds down between the rows of vines while fertilizing the soil. There’s an organic vegetable farm onsite maintained by a contract farmer, as well as an idyllic looking lake stocked with goldfish that will someday be home of a future viewing area for invited guests.