Devour! Osoyoos is coming soon! We’re so proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic festival.
The sights and flavours of Devour! Osoyoos perfectly exemplify all that makes food, wine, and film so appealing.
The winemakers and chefs that will be showcased during this highly-anticipated event are all unique and amazing. We’d like to let everyone get to know them a little better.
We’ve started a series that highlights each of the participating Similkameen Independent Winegrowers. In the true spirit of our down-to-earth, welcoming region, the winemakers and proprietors have answered a variety of questions –from quirky to sincere. Their answers may surprise you…
We hope you enjoy learning about these dedicated and talented folks as much as we have!
Clos du Soleil Winery
Clos du Soleil is a relative newcomer to the Valley, but their roots (like everything else that’s planted here), have quickly flourished, establishing this winery as a leader in BC and beyond. Utilizing organic and biodynamic growing practices, Clos du Soleil capitalizes on the unique combination of soil and climate in the Similkameen Valley.
Here, on their upper bench estate vineyard and their newly-planted hillside property, vineyard manager Steve Roche entices a lush crop of fruit from the limestone-rich, loamy terroir. Biodynamics –an ancient cultivation practice that uses no chemicals, and makes the most of the relationship between the elements, the seasons, the soil, and even the gravitational pull unique to any given plot of land, is essential to Clos du Soleil’s philosophy of minimal intervention. Winemaker and Managing Director, Michael Clark, leads his team toward a goal of coaxing the natural (and amazing!) flavours of the Similkameen out of each grape cluster.
With a portfolio of international award-winning wines, it is clear that Clark and Roche are onto something. They recognize that there is a tangible magic here in the Similkameen, and with talent, skill, and passion –from the vine to the bottle, the resulting bounty is truly something to behold. With Clark at the helm, Clos du Soleil is helping this small gem of an appellation get recognized on a global scale. Naturally.
What path led you to a career as a winemaker? I’ve been fascinated by wine since I was a child, and, in a sense, I have spent my life preparing to be a winemaker. However, I formally started my training as a winemaker while I was living in Europe, and I received winery experience in both Switzerland and France prior to moving back to Canada to pursue winemaking full-time.
If you were a wine, which wine would you be? Chateau La Lagune, 1982.
If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what wine would it be and why? Oh, I could never do that. There are many things I love about wine, but its never-ending diversity is high on the list. I love the variety of wine, and the fact that every vintage is different. So I could never drink just one wine for the rest of my life.
What is your greatest passion? I believe a life of quality should be filled with many passions. So it is hard to pick just one. Wine is certainly a passion, but that would be the obvious choice. So, instead, I’ll say: great literature. I am passionate about the artistry of language. I am passionate about Pound and Yeats and Proust and Joyce, and…the list goes on.
What might people be surprised to learn about you? My original educational background was in theoretical physics. My research was in particle field theory, and I wrote a research paper, entitled A Semi-Classical Analysis of the Wilson Loop In A 2+1 Dimensional Yang-Mills Theory With A Monopole Gas. I bet you didn’t expect that!
What’s your secret food craving? Anything served to me in a Michelin-starred restaurant in France.
What’s your favourite food to eat while watching movies? I think popcorn does the job nicely.
What is your favourite grape, and why? I am a believer in the concept that wine should be about place, as opposed to grape variety. But, if I had to choose one grape variety, I suppose it would be Cabernet Sauvignon. Grown well, it can have such a classical structure, and produce wines that are both deep and elegant.
What drives you? Challenge. I like wine because the quest never ends. The quest, in this case, being making a wine which is more than just a beverage, but something that profoundly speaks of the land.
What is your favourite South-Okanagan/Similkameen activity?Growing grapes and making wine.
Describe your dream meal: Any meal shared with my wife and kids that includes beautiful food made with quality ingredients, and a well-paired bottle of wine.
What is your favourite food or wine film, and why? I love food and wine movies! The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi was very memorable. I also really liked Julie & Julia, which was the film where Meryl Streep played Julia Child.