oliver, British columbia
Oliver is a town at the south end of the Okanagan Valley in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Labeled as the Wine Capital of Canada by Tourism British Columbia, Oliver produces over a third of BC’s wines and is divided by two distinct regions: the west bench is recognized as a distinctive viticultural area that is rich with glacial deposits formed from the ice age while the “Black Sage” east bench has equally unique growing climates with deep sandy deposits. With such diversity in an area, Bella Wines is determined to show case the differences between the two benches.
Brad and Dave Wise are proud owners of thirty-seven planted acres, Secrest Mountain Vineyards, located on the west bench of Oliver. The brothers are dedicated to producing quality fruit for a number of wineries in the region. Their eastern facing site is comprised of eight inches of sandy topsoil above pure silt with a gravel seam at forty-eight inches where the roots find small amounts of water. This higher-elevation vineyard is bordered on the west by a steep rock face creating a heat pocket which holds the warmth of the sun. Secrest was the first site Bella Wines sourced from and we used fruit from this site for the 2011 through to the 2014 vintage.
Cerqueira Vineyards on the Black Sage Bench in Oliver is a unique property in the South Okanagan. This vineyard has a gentle west facing slope where the soils are a heavy, slightly sandy loam with calcium carbonate covered granite cobbles throughout a two metre depth which allows for great drainage. With the rough surface of the calcium carbonate, vine roots seek out these rocks for the small amount of water to be found on this surface. It is controversial to say that these vines are “feeding” off these minerals, but that’s exactly what Michael Bartier believes is happening and it shows in the wines produced from this site. Through our relationship with Bartier Bros., Bella Wines is honored to source grapes from this stellar site.