We are passionate about sustainable viticulture and are delighted that we have such a wealth of wildlife at our doorstep. One of the things we were most excited about when we came here was the amount of biodiversity on the Marionette site. With its wealth of old cherry and plum trees surrounding the vineyards the health of the ecosystem is sure to be excellent. This of course means that we will be able to tend to our vineyards without relying on a pesticide treadmill. Our goal is to be a low-input and sustainable producer. We want to work towards balancing the vineyard ecosystem, adapting to and above all respecting the natural processes at work around us.
We see the Salmon Arm area and in particular the North Broadview bench as an exceptional mesoclimate for growing high quality cool climate wine grapes. Salmon Arm has warm summers but is not so dry that you need to irrigate. The complex soils and warm aspect of the Marionette vineyard site is what led us to start a winery here. The definition of Terroir however extends beyond the soil, aspect and weather conditions of a place. It also encompasses community and cultural identity. With its wealth of local artesan food producers and farms, its independent film society and very active arts council and music scene, Salmon Arm seems like a perfect place to have a bespoke and regionally expressive winery and vineyard.
After meeting in Spain both Jamie and Amanda moved to Brighton, England to study degrees in Viticulture and Oenology. They both completed a BSc. Hons in the subject and began working in both in England and in Europe. The university in which they studied is highly regarded in the world of wine. It has strong links with the Champagne region which has invested a considerable amount into the English sparkling wine industry. As well as their degrees in Oenology and Viticulture Jamie and Amanda also studied the prestigious WSET professional wine tasting exams which have given them a comprehensive knowledge of wines through out the world. Their WSET training has also helped them develop excellent tasting skills.
Jamie and Amanda have had the opportunity to make wine in award-winning and breathtaking European wineries. They’ve worked with renowned winemakers in France, Portugal and England (where some of the world’s finest traditional method sparkling wine is made). In France they were fortunate enough to work under a prestigious Bordeaux wine researcher and academic in his own winery just south of the Loire Valley. In Portugal they worked for an exciting young winery in the Alentejo region that consistently gets exceptional reviews in the Wine Spectator. In England they worked for a small winery with distinguished traditional-method sparkling wine that was highlighted on the wine list at the Savoy hotel in London. After leaving Europe they worked in a beautiful boutique Gulf Islands winery before taking the opportunity to start Marionette winery with Jamie’s family.