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 Vineyards & Winery lay in a semi arid region which 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 fluvial 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, Cabernet Franc, Malbec 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-storey 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 by hand to help each reach its full potential.
HISTORY OF OKANAGAN WINES
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.