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Farming Practices & Winemaking


Mulberry Tree Vineyard, the winery home site, is situated in the sunny, windy and rugged climate of Cawston, BC. A lone mulberry tree sits in the middle of the Riesling block, giving the vineyard its name. The five-acre property was purchased in 2008, the existing orchard cleared and the initial 4-acre planting of Chardonnay (2 acres) and Riesling (2 acres) taking place in 2009. Due to a harsh winter in 2009 further vines were planted in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Three different clones of Chardonnay were planted and six different clones of Riesling for added complexity.

The key feature of the site is its soil which is very heavy in calcium carbonate giving distinct minerality to the wine. This soil combined with the relentless Similkameen wind and long hours of sunlight combine to give small, intensely flavoured clusters of grapes, with a low yield and a great range of flavour. Reflecting this unique combination of elements is what our wine is all about, this is what shines through, this is what we carefully make into wine and put into bottles.

Mulberry Tree Vineyard

Mulberry Tree Vineyard

Our vineyard is carefully and respectfully farmed, with a great deal of time, care and attention.  Part of creating biodiversity and caring for our little farm, only organic techniques are used. Mulberry Tree Vineyard became certified organic in April 2015. Weeds are controlled by mowing in between the rows and with a grape hoe under the vines. Native plant species are encouraged to flower in the spring bringing with them a diverse range of creatures and natural control of many potential vineyard pests.

 

Blind Creek Vineyard

Blind Creek VineyardThe Cabernet Franc grapes for the Rosé and Pied de Cuve Cabernet Franc are sourced from Blind Creek. Blind Creek Vineyard sits on the bench in Cawston just over a kilometre from Mulberry Tree Vineyard. The Cabernet Franc grapes are picked early to make the Little Farm Rosé and our light and juicy Pied de Cuve Cabernet Franc. The Blind Creek Vineyard seems to share many similar soil characteristics to Mulberry Tree Vineyard as the wines always have a distinct minerality.

 

 Wine Growing

We like to use the term Wine Growing rather than winemaking at Little Farm Winery. It is all about creating wines that reflect where and how the grapes are grown. When you plant a vineyard from scratch and nurture it to produce its first crop of grapes, there is a strong bond developed, an attachment to the site which leads you to want to see what the grapes taste like as wine. We believe that the only way to do this is to mess with the winemaking process as little as possible.

Little Farm wines are unique (and we think special) because of their reflection of where and how they are grown. The grapes are grown using organic and sustainable techniques, taking care of the natural eco-systems in the vineyard and then carefully respecting the natural processes involved in transforming the grapes into wine. We strive to let the grapes shine through in the wine by carefully guiding the winemaking process with minimal intervention.

Oysters and wineIn the cellar, it is about minimal intervention, age-old techniques and traditions, careful respect for the natural process of winemaking and the importance of good grapes. Using the least intrusive methods, we strive to let our grapes shine through in the wine by carefully guiding the winemaking process and maintaining as much of the integrity of the grapes as possible.

We are interested in older, traditional methods such as using neutral barrels, long cool ferments, full solids, lees ageing and stirring and as little else as possible.

Winemaking is a great responsibility, taking all the hard work of the farming year and preserving, protecting it, and transforming it into wine. We take it very seriously that good wine cannot be made without good grapes, and we realize the responsibility we have to understand and carefully guide the complex natural process of fermentation.

The end goal is that the wine tastes of where and how it was grown. A wine of place, of our soil, our climate, our farming philosophy and our winemaking beliefs.