Stoneboat Vineyards

About

Stoneboat Vineyards is a family owned and operated artisan winery. Our focus is on producing small lots of premium Pinot wines. Our vines thrive atop hundreds of feet of stones, producing fruit of exceptional concentration and character. Here we strive to farm thoughtfully and respectfully, creating wines that are distinct, honest, and above all, true to their origins in our vineyards.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Oliver, British Columbia.

Features

  • Producing small lots of premium Pinot wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 25

Winemaker

William Adams- Winemaker:

Bill began his winemaking carreer in Ontario where he completed a three year wine making program at Niagra College. Working under veteran winemaker David Hojnoski at Palatine Hills Estate Winery, Bill learned the fun side of winemaking and and developed impeccable winemaking practices.

A visit to experience the Okanagan wine region in 2006 kept Bill here ever since. During his four years working with Pascal Madevon, classically french viticulurist and winemaker, at Osoyoos LaRose, he met Stoneboat’s Jay Mar- tiniuk and our friendship with Bill began.

Bill joined Stoneboat afer a year as cellar master at Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars. His sensitive approach to winemaking, and his experience with Pinot varieties in particular, make him the perfect match for Stoneboat’s approach to honest, expressive wines.

Jay Martiniuk - Founding Winemaker:

While recuperating from a car accident that prevented him from returning to university in 2004, Jay began to consider a career in winemaking and viticulture.

He played an integral role in crafting the Stoneboat inaugural vintage in 2005 and has since worked as cellarmaster at Osoyoos Larose under winemaker Pascal Madevon. As Stoneboat’s winemaker until 2013, Jay founded the winery’s winemaking program and worked with Lanny to develop vineyard practices.

In 2011, the one-time Latin major graduated with a degree in food sciences from UBC, where he studied at the Wine Research Centre. With the 2012 vintage complete, Jay has moved back to Vancouver to continue work at the Wine Research Centre, where he aims to identify the native yeasts in Stoneboat’s Pinot Noir

History

Lanny and Julie Martiniuk left city life behind in 1979 when they purchased a 15-acre orchard and commenced turning it into a viable vineyard. Three grown sons (Chris, Jay and Tim) and 35 additional acres gave Lanny and Julie the resources to finally open their own winery in the summer of 2007.

1949: Harold and Margaret Green purchase a 14- acre parcel of raw land (later Maggie May Vineyard) under the VeteranÕs Land Act. Their two daughters, Julie and Cyndy, are raised on the homestead property.
1979: Julie and Lanny Martiniuk leave Vancouver with the hopes of purchasing a vineyard. They acquired the original Stoneboat property just up the road from what is now the Maggie May vineyard.
1983: First vinifera planted such as, Pinot Blanc and Schšnberger, as well as experimental Russian vinifera including Rkatsitelli (then the worldÕs second-most planted grape). This is the first orchard to vinifera conversion on the Black Sage. Maggie May Vineyard is planted as well.
1985: First vinifera killed to the ground in November freeze.
1992-1997: Marks the beginning of a planting program that converts all land to vinifera. New property is planted with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vinifera in Ô92, with Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon to be added later
1998 Lanny purchases Orchard Grove (also on a handshake). It is converted from orchard to vineyard, and new clones of Pinot Noir, along with Pinotage and Pinot Gris, are planted.
2003: Julie and Lanny begin to develop plans for an estate winery that will focus on Pinots (Gris, Blanc, and Noir), their most planted varietals, as well as their heritage vinifera.
2005: Stoneboat Vineyards creates its first vintage.

The Team

Lanny & Julie Martiniuk - Proprietors:

Julie and Lanny Martiniuk were pursuing careers in Vancouver when they decided to leave the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland and move to the Okanagan Valley, where Julie was born and raised. Hoping to buy a vineyard with their savings, Julie and lanny left Vancouver with a truck, a dog and some furniture. Because no vineyard land was for sale, they settled for a 15-acre orchard on the Black Sage and bought it on a handshake in 1979. Lanny left his career in nuclear medicine to farm it, while Julie continued practicing pharmacy.

During the formative years of the BC wine industry, Lanny served as director of the BC Grape Growers Association for a decade, chair of the Grape Marketing Board, and, as a founding director of the BC Wine Institute, was a pioneer in revitalizing the industry after free trade and the grape pullout of 1988. Lanny is also a successful grapevine propagator and has grown millions of vines for vineyards all over BC.

30 years and three children later, the Martiniuks have expanded their original 15 acres to nearly 50, and are busier than ever with the winery. Julie's background in pharmacy has prepared her well for much of the winery's lab work, and when she's not analyzing samples, she can be found in the wine shop pouring for guests. Lanny, a grape grower first and foremost, is generally preoccupied with managing the vineyards and overseeing winemaking operations, though he pops into the wine shop now and then.

Tim Martiniuk - Founder & General Manager:

Jay’s twin brother, Tim, has a degree in Political Studies and & Media from Queen’s University. In 2008 he returned to the Okanagan to help run the family business, overseeing marketing & design and managing the wine shop. Having made the wines with Jay in the 2008 and 2009 vintages, Tim has an intimate understanding of Stoneboat’s winemaking programs, and he continues to assist Alison in the cellar.

In overseeing the winery’s operations, Tim’s role spans everything from cellar work to pouring at the tasting room, to mowing the lawn. He is currently the president of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association.

In his spare time, Tim keeps bees at the Home Vineyard and each year grows flowers for the wine shop along with hheirloom vegetables in the Orchard Grove Vineyard’s garden plot.

Chris Martiniuk:

From an early age, Chris spent his summers working on the vineyards doing everything from rock picking to leaf plucking- at which he's especially talented. After finishing his first year as a history major at Simon Fraser University, Chris returned home to become Stoneboat's Senior Foreman of Technical Operations (a.ka. tractor operator) and was responsible for the mowing and hedging of grape rows. He and Lanny also made Stoneboat's 2007 vintage together.

Realizing that his dreams are in the clouds, Chris has since become a pilot and now and flies cargo planes that often contain shipments of Stoneboat's wines. He is still flying low in the winery background though, and comes home on time off to reclaim his seat on the tractor (Lanny figures he's the best driver ever).

Practices & Techniques

A healthy, balanced vineyard will produce superior fruit. Thoughtful farming is how we achieve this. It requires an intimate understanding of our vineyards- along with some common sense- and is based upon our view of the vineyard as a living system of interconnected parts; what we do with one part- the soil, the vines- has an effect on the others. Balancing the variables in the vineyard by encouraging biodiversity and healthy soil helps prevent undesireables like pest outbreaks and vine disease. Avoiding vineyard "sterility" by leaving heavier ground cover, bushy areas, and encouraging wildlife corridors for beneficial birds and insects contributes to this. Natural processes then do some of the work for us, so we can minimize our use of tractors, sprays and fertilizers. We have learned over decades of farming that the more we interfere in the system,the greater the likelihood that this balance will be disrupted.

Thoughtful farming is also shaped by the view that our land will take care of us as long as we take care of it. Our vineyards are where we make a living, and they are also where we live- along with many other plants and critters. We are always mindful of this, and follow a "work around it" policy where areas with nests or other dwellings are flagged and left alone. Responsible stewardship of our land is vital to our well-being and the well-being of the other living things that make their homes there.

A variety of conscientious farming practices- along with countless non-invasive "tricks" that we have picked up over the years- help us to maintain a healthy vineyard environment. Some include:

Heavier ground cover- a mixture of grasses and nitrogen fixing clovers- is left between rows to prevent erosion and builds organic matter.
Prunings, leaves, and grape skins/stems are left in or returned to the vineyard to decompose and build humus.
Antelope brush, milkweed and wild roses are encouraged as they are home to predatory wasps, butterflies and birds.
Wildlife corridors of native plants and trees that house beneficial insects and bird life are maintained.
75% of our vineyards are drip irrigated, which reduces water consumption and loss through evaporation. Conversion of the remaining 25% is in progress.
Sprays of any kind (organic or synthetic) are kept to an absolute minimum through diligent canopy management. Insecticides have not been used for over a decade in our vineyards.
We follow a "work around it" policy, where any nests or dwellings in the vineyard are flagged and those areas are then left alone (unmowed, unsprayed).
Both the Home Vineyard and the Maggie May Vineyard border sensitive stands of cottonwood riparian habitat- among the last remaining. It is home to several threatened species that we see in the vineyard on a regular basis, including Spadefoot toads, painted turtles, and tiger salamanders. Sizeable buffer zones are kept between the vineyards and these areas.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Home Vineyard sits atop two feet of topsoil that overlie 150+ feet of of fluvioglacial deposit (calcareous stones). This poses many challenges from a farming perspective, as rocks often damage equipment and make cultivation difficult. Because the rock provides excellent drainage, our vines must also work hard to reach water, which in turn concentrates flavours. All this work yields rewards because it is gives personality and character to our fruit.

The Home Vineyard consists of two portions: the first 14.9 acres purchased by Julie and Lanny in 1979 and a 17.4 acre parcel adjacent to it, which was purchased in 1991. We started out here, planting our first vinifera grapes in 1984. Today it is our largest vineyard and the site of our oldest vines.

Because this vineyard is on a western slope on the valley's east side, it receives extra warmth from the late afternoon summer sun. Gradually rising over 100 feet above the Okanagan river, our vineyard benefits from slightly cooler temperatures, allowing us to grow pinots in an area that is generally too hot for them. Various ridges, elevations, and flat areas within the vineyard affect air flow, creating several different microclimates.

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Hours

Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 4:30 pm.

Address

356 Orchard Grove Lane
Oliver, British Columbia V0H 1T1
Canada

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