Our Vineyard

Our Vines

Vineyard Philosophy

At Whispering Horse, we hold strong convictions regarding our responsibility to respect the environment and ensure our land is treated in a sustainable manner. We also hold great admiration for those winemakers who follow the philosophy of ‘terroir’; an approach to wine that encompasses all the factors that play a role in differentiating one vineyard site from another, allowing the uniqueness of each piece of land to shine through the wine. These factors include the soil where the grapes are grown, the climate of the vineyard and its region, the choice of which grape variety to plant, among others.

In other words, terroir emphasizes that wine is made in the vineyard, not in a winery. It is this partnership of the environment and human skills that are required to bring a unique character and taste to wines, resulting in remarkably individual wine personalities. At Whispering Horse, we pull this ‘puzzle’ together, using the best possible combination of factors to create honest, unique, and elegant wines.

Terroir

Our vineyards lie nestled along the foot of the beautiful Vedder Mountain, located in the Fraser Valley, BC. Our relatively northern latitude, along with warm summer days and cool fall nights, lends a vibrant acidity and inherent freshness to our wines. Located above an old river bed, our soil type is sandy loam, with river rocks and pebbles braided throughout; remnants from a past river. This unique soil type and structure not only facilitates drainage from our often heavy spring rains, but also contributes a unique and subtle minerality to our wines.

Varietals

Being one of the ‘pioneer’ vineyards in the Chilliwack area, much research was done to select which grape varieties would potentially shine considering our terroir. Being in a cool-climate region, which is characterized by a relatively short growing season, we chose early to mid-ripening varieties consisting mostly of French-American Hybrids as well as some Vitis Vinifera. The vines we selected offer an above average disease resistance level, which considerably reduces the need for spraying. As we are committed to sustainability, this is of great benefit to us.

In 2012, we planted our first two and a half-acre vineyard, River Stone, where we carefully selected four varietals: L’Acadie Blanc; Epicure; Seyval Blanc; and Pinot Gris. In 2016, we began the planting of our main Whispering Horse vineyard, bringing our total acreage of vines planted to 5. In our main vineyard, we planted two more acres of L’Acadie Blanc, as well as one half an acre of a cool climate red: Dornfelder. Our long-term goal is to plant 16 acres in total, with a focus on hybrid varieties like L’Acadie Blanc, to produce up to 3,000 cases of premium wine within the next 10 years.

Vineyard Management

We believe that the path to pure, honest, terroir wines comes from thoughtful, purposeful, and sustainable practices in the vineyard. Rather than planting large, multiple acre plots of single varieties, we have attempted to maintain biodiversity across our vineyards by co-planting our varietals in smaller lots across the property.

Also, because our vineyards are smaller in size, we are able to apply a true ‘hands-on’ approach to their management, with Laurent often walking the rows himself on a daily basis to monitor the progress of our vines throughout the growing season. All practices, including pruning, canopy management, and harvesting, are done by us, by hand, with Enver doing much of the ‘heavy lifting’. As a result, our vines and grapes are treated gently, respecting the aromatic, delicate, and elegant nature of the wines they produce.

River Stone Vineyard Stats

  • Grape Varieties: Seyval Blanc, Pinot Gris, L’Acadie Blanc, Epicure
  • Current Size: 2.5 acres
  • Soil Type: Historic river bed, sandy loam
  • Year Planted: 2012
  • Vines Per Acre: 1,376
  • Row Orientation: East-West

Whispering Horse Vineyard Stats

  • Grape Varieties: L’Acadie Blanc, Dornfelder
  • Current Size: 2.5 acres
  • Soil Type: Sandy Loam
  • Year Planted: 2016
  • Vines Per Acre: 1,376
  • Row Orientation: North-South

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