So, here’s the thing…we have just over 11 acres of property at this site and we refer to it as a farm because the primary purpose of this property is to grow things – grapes. When we bought the property, approximately 10.5 acres were planted and we promptly pulled out a half acre in order to build our buildings. This was an easy decision for us because we needed our buildings to fulfill our plan and we chose to take plants out on the lowest point of our property – a “frost pocket” where it is difficult for plants to grow because of the cold air that pools there. After we started building, we were left with about 3.5 acres each of Cabernet Franc and Syrah and 1 acre each of Gamay Noir, Roussanne and Viognier. Since then, we have made further changes – taking out a bit of Cab Franc and Roussanne to plant more Viognier and taking out a bit of Syrah and Gamay to plant Merlot. These are more difficult decisions because it is heart wrenching to pull out perfectly healthy plants and because when you do pull them out, you don’t get another crop for three years so making changes like this have a financial impact as well. We are happy with the mix now and have vowed not to make any more changes but what’s that old saying? “Never say never.”
Jamie treats his ten acres of plants not so much as a working farm but as a garden where every square inch is fussed over multiple times throughout the year. Each plant is addressed as if it is the only one out there from pruning all the way to harvest and the time spent working to improve our plants and the environment that they grow in is incredible. Jamie’s favourite saying is, “There’s always something to do.” Downside – very labour intensive for Jamie and his small crew of one (Noah). Also, very little time left over for golf. Upside – this careful gardening ensures that our vineyard improves every year and because wines are made in the vineyard, our wines continue to improve – at least, that is our goal.
And why do we say “Home Sweet Farm”? Well, because we also live on this piece of property. It is a very convenient, short commute to work and a continental shift from our days on the lower mainland slugging our way west on Hwy. 1 to our jobs five mornings a week. It is very satisfying to sit on our east-facing deck at the end of the day and look over the vineyard and buildings. Even after having the property for five years, we can hardly believe that it is all ours!