Noble Ridge Vineyard Winery lays in the Okanagan Valley at the northern most tip of the only desert in Canada. The winery is named for the noble varieties of grapes grown and the ridge that divides the land on which they thrive. But this noble name is more than just a nod to the land. It’s a statement of values and a reminder of the hard work and dedication on which the winery was built.
Jim and Leslie D’Andrea began their winery in 2001. When they purchased the property it had only 3.5 acres of vines. Since then they have planted an additional 20 acres and have grown their dream into an award winning winery. Tending to vineyards and making the wines is all done by hand on site by a team of dedicated workers who strive every day to create exceptional wine that reflects its noble namesake. Guests are always welcome to enjoy the breathtaking views with a picnic overlooking Vaseaux Lake or to spend time exploring the vineyard with a tour.
Jim & Leslie's Story
In 1998 Jim and Leslie set off across Europe with their 3 children and plans for adventure. When they returned home 3 months later they brought back a full family album and a realization about what they wanted to do with their lives.
The Noble Ridge story starts with true passion and abundant optimism. How else can one look at a stretch of dirt and see the makings of your life’s dream?
And this passion that created a need and this optimism that created a hope is how Noble Ridge came to be. It’s what stirred Jim and Leslie to put all their faith in soil and sunshine. To put in the type of work that requires not just eager hands but committed hearts. To strive to be the best they can be; to strive to be Noble.
In 2001 the D’Andreas bought themselves a stretch of land in the Okanagan Valley. Their original plot came with only 3.5 acres of vines. So they started planting. In 2003 their years of labour gave them their first vintage; 40 cases of Pinot Noir and 500 cases of Meritage. Today Noble Ridge has 35-acres of planted vines. Now the vineyard repays the hard work of those who’ve tilled it’s rocky soil with award winning wine.
History of Okanagan Falls
Before selecting the land that would one day be their vineyard, Jim and Leslie considered France, the Niagara Region and the Okanagan Valley. They decided on the Okanagan Valley, a region rich with history and ripe with possibility.
The first vineyard was planted in the Okanagan Valley in the 1860’s by Father Charles Pandosy to produce sacramental wines for his parish. This vineyard is approximately 80 kilometers from where Noble Ridge now stands. Several small vineyards were started until the onset of prohibition caused the uprooting of many vines. In 1926 the first commercial vineyards were planted. These wines were based primarily on the native Labrusca grapes and imported hybrids such as Marechal Foch and de Chaunas. An Okanagan Riesling was developed to thrive in the valley. However these varieties could not duplicate the complex characteristics of noble vinifera and it is these noble grapes that grow today at Noble Ridge.
Vineyard & Winery
The winery is named for the noble varieties of grapes grown and the ridge that divides the land on which they thrive. But this noble name is more than just a nod to the land and the noble grapes. It’s a statement of values. A goal. A reminder of the hard work and dedication on which the winery was built. And every day the goal is to create exceptional wine that reflects its noble namesake.
The Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery lays in the northern most tip of the only desert in Canada. Each year this desert sees about 30mm of rainfall and 2050 hours of sun. In the winter it averages 0° C, in the summer 29. The soil at Noble Ridge is glacial till; rocky, sandy, mixed with gravel and bands of clay. With this type of soil the vines must work hard for their nutrients and water, which yields smaller berries with intense flavour.
The prominent ridge that bisects the property runs east west creating a north and south slope. The southern slope receives greater exposure to the sun and is home to the original vines that came with the property; Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. When Jim and Leslie acquired the property they started adding Pinot Noir to this south-facing slope. The north-facing slope grows white varieties that flourish on the cooler side of the ridge, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. In 2006 Noble Ridge expanded to include an adjacent 10-acre property north-east of the existing vineyard. Now Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown there.
Tending to vineyards and creating the award winning Noble Ridge wines is all done by hand and on site by a small group of Noble Ridge workers, many of whom started with Jim and Leslie years ago. The 3-story winery allows for the use of a gravity fed process to move the wine between tanks to the barrel room. Every bottle crafted is infused with the authenticity that is the Noble Ridge way. With grapes that reflect their natural flavours, structures and the terroir they grow in. With the hard work and care that can only come from workers whose passion for exceptional wine always guide their process. And excellence that is ensured year round as every vine is tended to and handled to help each reach it’s full potential.