Shanyn Ward is a WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Diploma graduate and Okanagan sommelier. Image contributed

Wineology: The Similkameen wine region

Check out Okanagan sommelier Shanyn Ward’s new bi-weekly column

For many visitors to the Okanagan, and even for residents, when we think of heading out to tour wineries we often over look the Similkameen Valley.

Approximately 80 kilometres or 60 minutes away from Kelowna, Highway 3A veers off and takes you to the heart of a very relaxed and picturesque wine region.

I would like to call it a new and emerging wine region, but feel that would be unfair, as vines have been planted here as long as they have been in other areas of the Okanagan.

Instead maybe I will just say that the quiet and reserved nature of the winemaking community here is more like a long established wine region such as Burgundy or The Rhone. Once you get a chance to experience it, they will always be in your mind and you will make the choice to visit as often as you can because you know the wines are just that good.

It’s the simplicity of the Similkameen that makes them unique. You will not find any flashy restaurants here, just casual patios offering charcuterie and cheese. You can stop by a fruit stand and pick up some local produce or pack yourself a picnic.

One of the things I find so great about the Similkameen is their ability to produce wine as naturally and organically as possible. This is due to the climate and valley it is located in.

Days are long and hot – often reaching over 40 C, but evenings are generally quite cool, sometimes below 10 C. The soils of sand and loam give an equal balance of drainage and water holding capacity, allowing for less irrigation. And the steady breeze that blows through the valley ensures dry conditions for the vineyards, which means lower incidence of pests and disease with little or no pesticides or herbicides needed.

The list of wineries is a short one, and with a palate cleansing stop at Twisted Hill Cidery to finish, this is an area you can see in a day. I assure you that you will back though; the laid back nature is contagious!

What I am loving this week: Two Similkameen wines, as there were too many to only pick one, but arguably I could have picked 10!

Corcelette Pinot

This very light and juicy style Pinot Noir is achieved by less skin contact and just a touch of sweetness. It has ripe strawberries and cream on the nose and fresh rhubarb minerality on the palate. This is seriously a great summer Pinot.

Clos du Soleil Fume Blanc

This is a Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend that is boldly refreshing. It has yellow grapefruit, lemon and fresh green apple flavors. It would pair perfectly with summer cuisine with fresh Okanagan produce.

Cheers!

shanynward@gmail.com

To check out past Wineology columns, click here.

Just Posted

B.C. man facing first-degree murder charge in death of Belgian tourist

Amelie Sakkalis’ body was found on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Cathy English releases second book on the history of Revelstoke

‘Through our lives and our interactions and our words we create this community’

Election 2018: Steven Cross running for city council

Steven Cross is running for city council in the upcoming municipal election.… Continue reading

Election 2018: Garry Pendergast running for school board

Garry Pendergast is running to be a trustee of the Revelstoke School… Continue reading

Home ownership declined in Kelowna, and other large Canadian cities

Homeownership in Canada has declined for the first time in almost half a century.

‘Fire tornado’ erupts as firefighters battle interior B.C. wildfire

Firefighters near Vanderhoof were taken by surprise

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Vernon police respond to accusation of delayed 911 action

Vernon RCMP are working with Westshore Estates residents following complaints of delayed 911 response.

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Filipino-Canadians concerned about family after typhoon hits Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China

Ottawa looks at having retired judge help guide renewed pipeline review process

The feds would only says that ‘multiple options were on the table’

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Trans fats are know to cause heart disease

Armstrong Metalfest gears up for year 11

Band submissions open until Nov. 1

Most Read