Tightrope wines are produced from the finest wine grape growing soils in Canada. With the mild winters and hot-hot-hot summers the Naramata Bench makes for the perfect local to grow spectacular wine grapes. Located along the east side of Okanagan Lake, just north of Penticton, the Tightrope Vineyard captures maximum sun for grape ripening and sugar content, while encouraging gentle airflow amongst the rows of leafy vines. The tranquil summer days are like the contented sigh of Mother Nature as the grapes progress through veraison towards the long golden days of harvest.
Tightrope Winery has two estate vineyards on the Naramata Bench, both certified sustainable. Our home vineyard, the Fleet Road Vineyard was purchased in 2007, from the Du Vent family. Originally it was an apple orchard that we spent a lot of time and effort converting to a vineyard. We did extensive land contouring to improve air flow and accessibility. It was planted over a two-year period from 2007 to 2008. While the property itself is 10 acres, there is a total of 7 acres under vine. It is farmed exclusively according to a sustainability plan.
The main varieties of grapes planted are Riesling, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Merlot with small plantings of both Cabernet Franc and Barbera. Up until 2012 our grapes were sold to various BC wineries and you may have tasted our grapes in wines from Joie, Road 13, Ruby Blues Winery, Domaine de Chaberton and Mission Hill.
The Vineyard is dominated by silt clay soils that are evident in the clay cliffs of the Naramata Bench. The terrain of the vineyard is slightly rolling that creates many different micro-climates that allows us to pick the best spot for each grape variety. The Pinot Gris is planted on an east facing slope that is the first to lose the sun at the end of the day. This prevents the accumulation of too much sugar, before the grapes have reach phenolic ripeness. The Pinot Noir is planted on a north facing slope so that the delicate flavours of the variety are not baked out of it by the intense heat of the Okanagan summer. The Viognier is planted on a south facing slope next to a clay cliff which radiates heat at night to ensure that the late ripening grape reaches its full potential. Finally, the Riesling is planted on a southwest facing slope, which allows this late ripening grape maximum sun exposure late into the fall, ensuring optimal ripeness. All of our grape varieties are a mix of different clones and rootstocks to bring complexity to each wine.
Our second Estate Vineyard is the Thomas Vineyard on Corbishly Road.