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Shuswap wine region

Between Armstrong and Enderby, a line separates the Okanagan Valley, part of the Columbia River system, from the Shuswap region, which lies in the Thompson/Fraser watershed. Just south of the divide,

Edge of the Earth Vineyards, nestled in a peaceful hollow along Deep Creek, is close enough to include in a Shuswap wine tour. The southwest-facing, 1.2-hectare estate vineyard “acts like a heat sink, drinking up the sun,” says owner Russ Niles.

On Yankee Flats Road, eight kilometres south of Salmon Arm, with Mount Ida looming to the east, Ovino Winery is perched on a sun-drenched bench above the Salmon River Valley. After the harvest, former dairy farmer John Koopmans allows his small herd of sheep to graze in the two-hectare vineyard.

At the head of Tappen Valley, Granite Creek Estate Winery produces “BC’s most northerly Pinot Noir.” Crisscrossed by a network of trails, the property attracts local equestrians who often stop by for a picnic. Co-owners Heather and Gary Kennedy offer local cheeses, cranberry hot pepper and homemade jellies to go with great wines.

Backing on north-south rows of vines and lofty Mount Tappen, Recline Ridge has expanded its portfolio to 13 wines since Graydon and Maureen Ratzlaff took over in 2010. Bordering the vineyard, their alluring patio is an excellent place for sampling Recline Ridge wines with local delectables like Gort’s Gouda cheese.

A jog from Tappen, on the shores of Shuswap Lake, Sunnybrae Vineyards & Winery opened in 2011. When he realized a hay field he owned was ideal for growing grapes, Barry Turner decided to plant a vineyard in 2006.

BC’s most northerly grape winery, Celista Estate opened in 2010 high on a hill overlooking the north shore of Shuswap Lake. Besides a two-hectare, south-facing vineyard, the property owned by Marg and Jake Ootes features cosy rental cabins, an art gallery, Icelandic horses and a tasting room with a unique pine beetle wood counter.

To the south, Larch Hills Winery tops a hill overlooking the town of Enderby. Whether it lies in the Okanagan watershed, as co-owner Jack Manser argues, or is in the same boat as the rest of the Shuswap wineries (a possible appellation of the future?), the cool climate wines and alpine setting are splendid.

One Response to “Shuswap wine region”

  1. Darliane says:

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