Stoneboat Pinot House
Stoneboat Pinot House is family owned and operated. Our hands guide the entire winegrowing cycle:
we walk the vineyards daily, oversee the vines to harvest, and pick the fruit by hand in small bins.
Like people who strive for balanced lives, grapevines are no different, so we aim to maintain balance in our vineyards. Our approach to growing and winemaking is based on the view that the vineyard is a complex environment where a variety of systems are constantly at work.
At Stoneboat Pinot House, our Pinots thrive in the rocky, calcareous soils of our three vineyards; these characteristics are unique to a tiny area on the Black Sage Bench. Similar soils are found in Burgundy, France’s famed Pinot region. Though they tend to make farming more difficult, the stones are very important to our vineyards and our wines.
Our stones also retain the heat of the day and radiate it towards the plants during the night- much like hot water bottles. This is especially important during the fall in our desert climate, which involves particularly warm days and cool nights.
Though our vineyards at Stonboat Pinot House were at one point cleared of river stones (with a stoneboat), new rocks are always working their way up to the surface, making rock-picking a fairly common event. What rocks don’t fit under the plants get piled on the edges of the vineyards. We are fortunate to have tractors and buckets in helping us do this work, but it largely remains the same as 75 years ago; a good shovel and some shoulder muscles are a necessity.
At Stoneboat Pinot House, we have grown nearly every one of our plants from cuttings to mature vines, something that few other wineries have in common. This way, we can select our cuttings from proven hardy, healthy vines that have adapted to the Okanagan climate, and can ensure the quality of the plants from first budding onwards. For this reason we have a unique understanding and attachment to our vines, some of which were started decades ago. Watching each phase has provided us with intimate knowledge of how each plant grows and adapts in the Vineyard.
In growing grapes at Stoneboat Pinot House, we must consider the plant’s point of view – if it’s happy it will perform optimally. After many years of growing vines, we believe that every intervention in the vineyard’s living system increases the odds of a response that is not always desireable. For this reason, we avoid using drastic measures, be they intense spray programs, excessive cropping/crop dropping, or severe deficit irrigation. We like to think that we are helping the vine along its way, not telling it which way to grow. The best fruit is produced by well balanced plants.
Thoughtful farming is also shaped by the view that our land will take care of us as long as we take care of it. At Stoneboat Pinot House, our vineyards are where we make a living, and they are also where we live- along with many other plants and critters. We are always mindful of this, and follow a “work around it” policy where areas with nests or other dwellings are flagged and left alone. Responsible stewardship of our land is vital to our well-being and the well-being of the other living things that make their homes there.
A variety of conscientious farming practices- along with countless non-invasive “tricks” that we have picked up over the years- help us to maintain a healthy vineyard environment. Welcome to Stoneboat Pinot House
For more information on our Oliver and Osoyoos Wine Tours, click here