kamloops, british columbia
Kamloops is located in south central British Columbia at the confluence of the two branches of the Thomson River.
Thousands of years ago, when the South Thompson River ran a different course, the land that now holds the Thadd Springs Vineyard, estate vineyard of Harper’s Trail Winery, was the nomadic riverside home to thirty bands of Secwepemc (or Shuswap) whose people camped along the river. Fast forward to what, in contrast, are more recent times, and you can hear the echoing hoofs and lowing of cattle in the rolling hills that now proudly host vinifera vines. Renowned BC pioneer and rancher Thaddeus Harper used the grounds as a camp and staging area, as cattle were driven from the U.S. to the Chilcotin to Harper’s Gang Ranch.
Today, the 24-acre vineyard shows the promise for wine growing in the Thompson Valley. With careful attention to the land, Ed and Vicki Collett are committed to presenting Kamloops to the world as a place in BC where one can craft fresh, fruit-driven, quality wines.
With the South Thompson River at the vineyard’s doorstep, the vineyard site has a very unique clay base with traces of limestone mixed with a small amount of gravel. A gradual slope down to the river encourages frost run off and the southern exposure maximizes heat units. In the vineyard is a fully productive natural spring that offers further biodiversity to this special place. The region itself pushes the extreme limit of growing grapes with much higher risk of extreme frost and weather at the beginning and end of the growing season. Although high risk, the reward is unique complexities found in the flavors of the grapes.
The Colletts are proud to be the pioneers who are forging this emerging wine region, and they are inspired to share the history, beauty, and flavours of their unique site. Bella Wines is honored to have access to this region to produce a sparkling wine that showcases the typicity of the Thompson-Okanagan.