Mick and Pam were initially enticed by Road 13’s scenic setting. Through research and an association with viticulture consultant, Richard Cleave, it quickly became clear that the area known as the “Golden Mile” is a unique terroir. The two vineyards that surround the winery, Home Vineyard and Castle Vineyard, are situated on east-facing sloped benches up against mountains. The two locations have slightly different soil conditions and are healthy farms that feature hard ground with high mineral content, high moisture and nutrient-holding capacity, and an open southeast exposure that provides all-day, extended sunlight. The slopes provide excellent cold air drainage, protecting the vines from winter frost damage.
Location: Elevated bench up against the mountain on the west side of the valley in the area’s “Golden Mile.” There is all-day and late-day sun exposure.
Vines: First planted in 1968 to Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, then in 1980 with Riesling and Chardonnay. Today this vineyard still holds Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling, but Merlot and Syrah have also been added.
Soil: A small smattering of humus on top, hiding hard ground and rock – lots more rock. The nutrient-holding capacity is high.
Located across the valley from the winery on the Black Sage Bench (an area that gets the Okanagan Valley’s longest sun exposure), this /4.65 ha site was purchased and planted in 2007. Named Road 9 Vineyard, the goal for this vineyard is to produce two magical blends: one red, one white.
The Road 9 Vineyard is composed of rock, topped with of humus. The rock/gravel, while an excellent source of minerals, does not have the holding capacity of Road 13 Vineyards’ eastside soils, and will take more monitoring, nurturing and careful replenishment.
Location: On the east side of the valley on Black Sage Road with the valley’s longest sun exposure.
Vines: Originally an orchard, plantings are dedicated to Mediterranean varieties such as Syrah (with three clones), Viognier, Grenache, Mourvèdre and a smaller lot of Roussanne. Mick also planted 400 vines of the Spanish grape variety, Tempranillo, to see how they would fare. The Tempranillo and Grenache both proved to be too delicate for the BC winters on this site, and were replaced with Cabernet Franc.
Soil: It’s rock, under a layer of rough humus.
Located just across the road from the Castle Vineyard, this block of grapes has always added appeal to the view from the picnic area, and now adds aromatic varieties to the Honest John's blends. Peter's Vineyard was purchased from Peter and Helga Serwo late in 2009. Like the Castle and Home Vineyards this vineyard features an open southeast exposure that provides all-day extended sunlight.
Road 7 Vineyard is located between roads 7 and 8 and should, admittedly, be called Road 7.5 Vineyard as it can be accessed from either side. The varied elevation site is on the west side of the valley within the area's "Golden Mile." South-west exposure provides full-day sun allowing the grapes plenty of time to develop full flavour.
The addition of Road 7 Vineyard to the Road 13 holdings is a testament to Mick and Pam's confidence in the Golden Mile area and the fruit that is produced there.
Today Road 13 Vineyards owns and farms a total of about and also relies on long-term contracts with some of the South Okanagan's top grape growers. The winery takes great pride in its positive reputation amongst grape growers as an excellent winery partner. The respect of the growers is reflected in the quality of the fruit that they deliver to Road 13 Vineyards.
Road 13 Vineyards benefits greatly from its Southern Okanagan Valley microclimate, which is arid, offering a significant reduction in grapevine diseases. Consistent warm summer weather is moderated by nearby lakes; and the bench lands, which rise 50 to 100 metres above the valley floor, permit cold air to drain off the bench vineyards, extending the safe growing season. Generally speaking, the soils are well-drained with appropriate mineralization.