Lightning Rock, started in 2017, is a relatively new kid on the block with a new vision for Summerland wineries. When a husband and wife duo, Jordan Kubek and Tyler Knight, decided to launch their own winery, they knew exactly what they wanted. Having been involved in wine making since 2011, they knew it was really important for them to farm their own fruit using organic practices. A big focus is placed on soil health; they focus on diversity of insects and cover crops on the vineyard. Composting is also a huge focus, especially for Tyler who farms the vineyards. The skins, seeds and stems of their fruit, as well as treechips, manures and kitchen composts are recycled and renewed back into the soil. The result is always very clean and deliciously crafted living wines.
Jordan was drawn into the wine industry when she was still young. She once studied and aspired to be a sommelier and came to the Okanagan to complete her training in 2010. She soon fell in love with the harvest and winemaking side of things. She joined Okanagan Crush Pad, a newly launched winery. The winery sponsored Jordan to study at Washington State University and gave her time off during Canadian long winters to spend time in the Southern Hemisphere. She assisted with harvests and learned about growing and harvesting while in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa.
Tyler grew up in the Okanagan and studied biology and entomology at UBC. He was still trying to figure out what to make of his career when he and Jordan met at a music festival in Salmon Arm. Jordan introduced him to the wine industry and they have been happily making wines together ever since.
By the time they decided to open their own winery in 2016, they had seen and traveled the world and had gained a lot of winemaking experience. Their new project was backed by Jordan’s father, Ron Kubek, who willingly moved back from his early retirement in Pennsylvania and lent a helping hand. Together as a family, they have purchased three vineyards; namely, Elysia Vineyard, Canyon View Vineyard, and St. Katharina’s Vineyard. Their dream of growing their own fruit and making the wines exactly the way they want has finally come true.
“When we first bought the vineyard, we were told by our neighbor that we had bought the Lightning Rock Vineyard. There is a large granite rock that is split perfectly in half on our land. Local rumors say it was hit by lightning during a spring storm.” Hence the winery name and the label. With the fruit of their hard labour, 20% of the vineyard will be certified organic by the end of this year.
“Summerland is one of the easier places to grown grapes organically with little rain and cold winters. It also has very unique geographic origins. A lot of the Okanagan is a big sandy bench but in Summerland, with a little higher elevation, there is a ton of micro climates, different rocks, and soils to explore. We have 3 unique sites that we can play with, each of them expressing very distinct terroir through the wines.”
Since their first vintage in 2017, Lightning Rock is known for their terroir-driven sparkling wine, claiming Jordan’s title as a “bubble queen of the valley.” All their wines are unfined and unfiltered with just a tiny hint of sulphur. So much love and care has been put into growing healthy fruit that it is not hard to taste happiness and healthiness in their wine that lights up your senses.
– Coming up next is VOICE 10 QUESTIONS with Jordan!