During these pandemic days, we all seem to be trying to find our balance. In wine country, the ‘new normal’ plans for tasting room visits and wine tourism are pivoting to make one of the Okanagan’s favourite pastimes safe. One of Naramata’s biggest wine stars, Tightrope Winery, happens to specialize in balance and award-winning wines, and they have made some adjustments to keep their wine fans happy.
Husband and wife duo at Tightrope, Graham and Lyndsay O’Rourke (he the viticulturalist and she the winemaker) produced their first vintage in 2012. It was a Rosé and won “Best Rosé” at the 2013 Northwest Wine Summit– an auspicious beginning to their storied wine career.
Both attained honours degrees in oenology and viticulture while studying in New Zealand at Lincoln University before returning to Naramata. In 2007 they purchased their 10-acre vineyard on the rolling hills of Naramata Bench overlooking Okanagan Lake and sold their grapes to other vineyards until 2014 when Tightrope became their full-time project.
Since then, this powerhouse couple each bring excellence to their side of the partnership. As Lindsay continues to excel on the winemaking side of the business, Graham has been focussed on growing the award-winning grapes to make the wine and on sustainability. Graham sat on the committee writing guidelines for the vineyard portion of the Sustainable Winegrowing B.C. (SWBC) program, developed by the B.C. Wine Grape Council. The SWBC offers online self-assessments, access to educational resources, and training to help vineyards and wineries adopt sustainable practices and measure and demonstrate ongoing improvement. The certification program is now in place and soon to become a recognized designation for growers.
2019 was a big award year for the O’Rourke’s. Amongst other accolades they achieved the following (click here for full award listings):
2019 InterVin International Wine Awards:
#14 Winery of the Year
Judgement of BC Awards:
Selected among the Top 6 BC wines to represent the best of the varietal!
2016 Syrah: #1 in its category - Judgement of BC Winner
2016 Pinot Noir: #8 in its category
2017 Riesling: #4in its category
2019 National Wine Awards of Canada:
Top 10 Small Winery in Canada
Top 25 Winery in Canada
2019 All Canadian Wine Championships
2017 Riesling: Gold
2018 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon: Gold
It is easier than ever now to get Tightrope wines on your table at home. Tightrope is offering free shipping to your door on six or more bottles in BC. Use promo code ShiptoSipBC when ordering. If you live outside BC, free shipping is offered on a case of 12 bottles, promo code ShiptoSipCAN.
if you would like to pick up the wines at the winery phone 778-476-7673 ahead or from your car and they will bring your order out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org on any other questions or to order.
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