The joy of ter­roir

Mc­Graw Vine­yard, Okana­gan Val­ley

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Mc­Graw Vine­yard, Okana­gan Val­ley

Mc­Graw Vine­yard cov­ers 2ha of Lake Okana­gan’s south­east­ern shore in Nara­mata, a sub-re­gion of the Okana­gan Val­ley in the Cana­dian prov­ince of Bri­tish Columbia. The vines pic­tured are Gewürz­traminer, planted in 2000 by Dr Bob and Aliky Mc­Graw, after whom the vine­yard is named. They own Ket­tle Val­ley Win­ery, which uses this site to make its aro­matic whites. The soils are al­lu­vial gravel and glacial silt, which is no­tably coarser un­der the patches of pale fo­liage. Beyond the old wil­low tree and across the lake looms Gi­ant’s Head hill, part of an an­cient ridge of vol­ca­noes. Formed by the Okana­gan Fault, which runs be­neath the still wa­ters, Lake Okana­gan mod­er­ates the vine­yard’s tem­per­a­tures, some­times im­pact­ing it by up to 6°C. A fam­ily of black bears lives in the area; one year they ate al­most all the fruit on the nearby Mer­lot plot, but ev­i­dently have no lik­ing for Gewürz­traminer.

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