The Similkameen Shines

May 12, 2008 by  

As the largest appellation in British Columbia, a lot of attention is given to the wine of the OkanaganValley. An Okanagan girl myself, born and raised in Osoyoos, I am usually the first to sing the praises of the area.

But the ‘little sister’ of the OkanaganValley, the SimilkameenValley, doesn’t get nearly as much attention as she deserves. It’s about 50 kilometres closer to Vancouver than Osoyoos or Penticton. Some of the Okanagan’s tastiest wine is sourced from Similkameen grapes, yet many people have never heard of the place.

Keremeos is a “big city” of the Similkameen with a population of 1,200. Some Similkameen natives translate the name to ‘the creek that cuts’ and the SimilkameenRiver still runs through the narrow flats of the valley and allows for beautiful views against the backdrop of the steep, high mountains. The heat from these rock faces makes the most of the summer sun by radiating warmth after sunset. The winds though the valley help to reduce moisture in the vines and the soil.

Keremeos and Cawston have long been known for fruit growing – especially organic. There are more fruit stands in Keremeos than any other growing area in Canada. Places that grow good fruit are top bets to grow good grapes. This area is no exception.

During the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival, we rushed to the Naramata bench with the rest of the crowds. Then we stumbled into the shadow of the Okanagan and discovered some fabulous wineries shining in the Similkameen.

Orofino: Fabulous wines and a unique, ecofriendly winery makes a visit to Orofino a necessity on your Similkameen itinerary.

Herder: With a grand new location, sipping Herder’s crisp wines will give you time to enjoy a gorgeous view of the valley.

Seven Stones: Easy to find at the side of Highway 3, there is no reason to miss the friendly welcome and well-polished wines of Seven Stones.

Forbidden Fruit: These cleverly named, organic tree-fruit wines will surprise traditional grape-wine lovers. There is no need to resist temptation.



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One Response to “The Similkameen Shines”

  1. BC Wine Tour Ideas : Ruby Suitcase on February 1st, 2009 7:00 pm

    [...] The Similkameen Shines [...]

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