view of vines at chain reaction winery

Vineyards

Chain Reaction Estate Vineyard

Our estate vineyard (where our winery and tasting room are located) is situated on the eastern side of Naramata Road, at the southern end of the Naramata Bench Sub-GI.  With its largely western sloping aspect, this location captures the afternoon summer sun which helps to ensure optimal grape ripeness.  With approximately 1,400 growing degree days, this vineyard enjoys a similar climate to Burgundy, France which produces some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  

When we purchased the property in 2017, it was a mature orchard largely comprised of apples, with some cherries & peaches.  In early 2018, Joel attended viticulture school at Okanagan College.  Armed with his newfound knowledge, he bought a chainsaw and started removing apple trees.  Even after upgrading the chainsaw to something more heavy duty, and getting bonked on the head more than once, we decided it was time to get help! 

A local viticulture company was enlisted to help remove the remainder of the orchard, rip and contour the land, and install the the posts and underground irrigation.  We ran all the trellis wire in the vineyard (approximately 40km of wire!!), as well as completed the above ground irrigation.   Once all the prep work was done, in spring 2019 we planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc. 

In spring 2020, we planted Riesling in a steep area we didn’t think possible to manage. This is an unexpected bonus that we didn’t envision when we purchased the property.  Since we couldn’t get a tractor into this area, we decided to plant high density (meaning the rows and plants are closer together than normal) and do all vineyard maintenance by hand using a backpack sprayer and hand tools.    

We selected these grape varieties based on several hundred years success in Burgundy and proven success on the Naramata Bench. The soil here is different than Burgundy so these wines will be uniquely Naramata Bench wines.  Our first harvest from this vineyard was in 2021, and we are really happy with the quality of wine produced from our property!   At some point in the future, we will remove the last remaining cherry and peach trees and plant more vines.

Grape varietyClones/RootstockAcresPlantedLocation/Soil/Aspect
Pinot Noir115 and 943 on 33091.52019Strong western sloping zone at the northeast corner of the vineyard. Soils are silty loam with some spots of loamy sand. Rows are oriented north – south to take advantage of the bench’s evening winds.
Cabernet Franc327, 3309 and 214, 101-140.52019Strong sloping southwestern zone at the northwest corner, consistently the warmest micro-climate. Soils are nearly pure sand at the eastern end and silty loam at the western end.
Chardonnay76, 95, 96, 548 (all on 3309)0.752019A nearly equal distribution of these clones was planted in this zone which varies from western sloping to eastern sloping. Soils are silty loam with pockets of loamy sand. Rows are oriented north – south to take advantage of the bench’s evening winds.
Riesling90% 21B on 3309 and 10% 49 on Riparia Gloire0.25
(high density)
2020Very steep western sloping zone, consisting of a mixture of fractured granite bedrock and granite outcrops. Riesling is known to showcase the terroir so we expect a complex wine with strong fruit characteristics due to the extensive sun exposure as well as expressing minerality from the granite.

McMillan Vineyard

We were very lucky to take over the lease on this vineyard as of April 2020. It is on the southern end of the Naramata Bench, not far from the Chain Reaction vineyard. It is a mature 4 acre vineyard planted with 3.6 acres of Pinot Noir and 0.4 acres of Pinot Gris.

As it is located on the west side of Naramata Road, the soils are generally siltier and richer than the estate vineyard. Pinot Noir 777 is the main clone with some 667. As this vineyard is flat, it does receive more morning sun than our estate vineyard but the afternoon sun is less intense. We believe this will result in slightly longer hang time for the grapes or wines with a little more acidity.

leased vineyard row