Foxtrot’s home vineyard is situated on the upper Naramata Bench with the old lake level cutting through the middle of the vineyard. This means there are two distinct soil types in our upper and lower vineyard sections. The lower blocks are alluvial in make up and yield fruit with softness, perfume and rich berry qualities. The upper vineyard consists of glacial till, contributing spiciness, rich structure and concentration.
Foxtrot Vineyard’s philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard. We work carefully on a vine-by-vine basis aggressively pruning in the early season to ensure a balanced canopy. Immediately after fruit set we green harvest any excess clusters to ensure optimum yield per vine. Leaf thinning is carried out in two passes, with the north side completed first in order to ensure even ripeness of the clusters at harvest time. Once veraison is nearly complete, any clusters lagging behind are dropped to the ground.
Picking may be carried out in several passes with different blocks of the vineyard picked separately when they are at their optimum maturity level. Any clusters not meeting Foxtrot Vineyard’s quality standards are left in the vineyard.
At Foxtrot Vineyards the choices we make in the vineyard have a profound influence, not only on the quality of the vines, but on the health of the environment as well. Our goal is to ensure a vineyard environment that is in harmony with the natural environment. By embracing Mother Nature we hope to create a vibrant vineyard that will produce high quality grapes for years to come.
We encourage native cover crops which are drought resistant to grow in our vineyard. These help prevent erosion and improve soil structure and water infiltration. All grape stems and skins remaining after fermentations are composted and later reintroduced into the vineyard returning valuable nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
Drip irrigation is used throughout the vineyard delivering water to the vines roots versus overhead irrigation which water the whole vineyard. This form of irrigation also allows us to water each block individually. By walking the vineyard regularly we are able to monitor vine stress allowing us to water more judiciously and only those vine rows that need it.
Farming in a sustainable manner requires diligence and providing individual attention to each vine. This results in a labour intensive system of canopy management and during the growing season we will make several passes through the vineyard removing new shoots, training vines onto our trellising system, removing lateral shoots, and leaf pulling. By doing this, we are able to ensure a balanced canopy with good light and air exposure. This practice naturally minimizes undesirable molds and rot.