Fall & Christmas

Here is what has been happening here at Thorny Vines since the last update in late summer. For the enthusiastic reader, the first part of the year is covered in earlier thrilling episodes: Summer turned out to be much colder than normal in the valley, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by vineyard owners who unanimously expected massive crop failure as a result. This was...
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Spring and Summer at Thorny Vines

We spent a long time anxiously waiting for spring only to find summer was half over before spring arrived. The real concern was how the vines had wintered and whether they would they come back at all. In early May they started to “weep” and then turn black which did not auger well for healthy vines, but the weeping turned out to be the sap starting to flow and the black was just the oxidation...
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Winter in the Okanagan

One of the things that people warned us about before moving out to the Okanagan was the winters. Not that it is colder than other parts of Canada, but that the clouds sock in over the valley and sit there for months blocking out the sun. Apparently it makes you want to cut your own throat or travel off to Calgary for some of their famous winter sunshine. Even the locals do all they can to get...
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Merry Christmas from Thorny Vines

December 23, 2010 Dear All: Christmas is fast approaching, and the pressure is building to (a) find something for Ann and (b) to write this letter. However, these are pretty much my only Christmas responsibilities, and with Ann taking on all the rest, it is hard to complain about unfair division of duties. It has been a big year for Ann and & I leaving Calgary after almost 30 years and...
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Planting the vines

We first planted in...
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So you want to start a vineyard, eh?

Even after our thoughts started to centre around vineyard as our retirement dream, all sorts of other confusing choices start to surface. Things like Location, size, “build or buy”, affordability all start to play into the mix. We started with location. This was the easiest decision, and was heavily influenced by Liz and John Lawrence who had already moved to the Naramata Bench in the...
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The Dream and the Reality

We often get asked what on earth made us decide to go off and start up a vineyard in retirement. I don’t really know how to answer this question. I suppose the first thoughts started to percolate after we visited our friends Brian and Lindy Heyman at their vineyard in Franschoek in the Cape Province of South Africa, but this would have been some time in the nineties. It was barely more than a...
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Why a Blog?

First of all this is not my idea. The boys have developed this web-site where we can post all our pictures and keep people up to date about what is going on here. This of course assumes anyone is in the slightest bit interested. This is also a means to document what we are doing here in case they (or anyone else) want to look back on the project when we are gone, mentally if not physically.  We...
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