- Savannah Swaisland
Savvy @ Tightrope Winery (Part 1)
I recently joined Owner and Viticulturist of Tightrope Winery, Graham O'Rourke for some pruning time in their Barbera block at the family estate vineyard in Naramata. This is the only planting of the Italian varietal on the Naramata Bench and only the second planting in the Okanagan. Follow along as we talk about the specific pruning techniques and viticulture practices for this unique grape. Look forward to Part 2 as I taste though the wines crafted from the Barbera vines with Owner and Winemaker Lindsay O'Rourke coming soon!
About Tightrope Winery
Tightrope Winery is built on the foundation of “balance”. From the vineyard to the cellar, the combination of education and experience, coupled with the balance between science and intuition walk the fine line in in creating award winning wines. Tightrope Winery was founded by Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke. After the birth of their first child in 2002, they set off from a successful corporate path to focus on their passion of wine, in search of a more family dedicated lifestyle. In 2003 the family moved to Summerland where Graham and Lyndsay began courses in both viticulture and winemaking at Okanagan College. In 2005 they left the country and moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, to further their education and industry experience. Both holding degrees in Viticulture and Oenology, in 2007 they moved back to Canada and purchased a stunning 10-acre property on the Naramata Bench. They planted their notable varietals that same year including: Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. While waiting for their vineyard to mature, both Graham and Lyndsay continued to hone their knowledge, working for wineries throughout the Okanagan. Graham spent 6 seasons working as Viticulturist for Mission Hill Winery where he grew many different grape varietals and gained confidence within the vines. It is here that he learnt to appreciate the importance of meticulous vineyard management and its synonymous relationship with the production of great wines. Meanwhile, Lyndsay continued her oenology path working for a number of wineries on the Naramata Bench, most recently holding the winemaker position at Ruby Blues from 2009-2013. It is here where Graham and Lyndsay produced their first two vintages (2012 and 2013) under the Tightrope label. They began construction of their state-of-the-art facility in 2014 and opened the wine shop doors the following year (2015). Tightrope Winery Now produces 4500 cases annually and have won notable awards for their wines. Their focus on balance, high standard viticulture and winemaking practices make them a force to be reckoned with in the production of terroir expressive wines on the Naramata Bench.