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

Preliminary inquiry for Sagmoen begins in Vernon

Sagmoen, whose charges were split into three separate matters, has been in custody since Oct. 2017

Voter turnout rises in Salmon Arm and Sicamous municipal elections

A greater percentage of voters made it to the polls on Saturday than they did in 2014.

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

ELECTION NIGHT: Mayor-elect Alan Harrison expresses gratitude

Longtime councillor Alan Harrison is Salmon Arm’s new mayor, defeating incumbent Nancy Cooper

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Book capture’s baby boomer’s joy of being a grandmother

Author Pauline Daniel launches novel at Salmon Arm library Monday, Oct. 22

Most Read