The sandy soil of the Black Sage Bench was laid by ancient glacial lakes forcing our tenacious vines to stretch their roots deep in the storied earth in search of water and nutrients. The vines' vitality is channelled into the creation of fruit, not foliage, giving rise to grapes that are the very definition of the Bench's intense and rugged palate.
BLACK SAGE BENCH
N 49° 06' 50.275" | W 119° 33' 6.645"
Right Vines, Right Location
The Black Sage Bench: Where nature carves distinctive flavours
Bold from the start
Located at the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, Black Sage Vineyard™ began its journey amidst skepticism and a harsh, rugged landscape. In the early 1900s, the bench, known for its scorching summers, was deemed suitable only for scrub and cattle.
Defying these assumptions, Harry McWatters and Bob Wareham, visionaries from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, saw potential in this terrain. In 1992, they embarked on a bold venture, planting French vinifera vines on this challenging but promising 115-acre site.
The partners named it Black Sage Vineyard™, after the road it fronts and planted it with the late-ripening premium grapes that thrive in hot, arid conditions. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc represented about seventy percent of the planting.
Classic Bordeaux varieties
The reds were the first classic Bordeaux varieties to be planted in the region, and when the vines began to produce juicy, intensely flavoured fruit, other growers soon followed suit. Since 1993, the Black Sage Bench has become renowned for the quality of bold red wines it produces.
The soil, the climate, the light, and an intangible magic
combine to create what the French call terroir, loosely translated as “a sense of place.”
In the heart of Canada's pocket desert, our vines draw life from the scant rainfall, less than 20 centimeters annually. They translate the arid warmth of the desert wind into robust, full-bodied wines — a bottled homage to the land's untamed vigor.
Illuminated by an abundance of sunlight, the most in North America, our west-facing vines on the Black Sage Bench bask in the day's last rays. This generous light infuses each grape with the warmth and radiance of the Okanagan.
In each bottle, experience the masterful blend of rugged terroir and refined winemaking by Jason James, encapsulating a bold spirit for the wine connoisseur.