With a grin as quick as his wit, Jeremy Luypen enthusiastically digs into his role as Executive Winery Chef at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. It’s a pivotal post joining the Cipes family and Winemaker Eric von Krosigk in the quest for uncompromising quality. CEO Ezra Cipes commented on Chef Luypen’s vision for Summerhill’s extensive culinary program, saying, “I can’t even express how excited our whole team is to work with Chef Luypen. Our little wine region is changing and growing so fast, and with Chef Luypen’s help, you are going to see major, creative evolution going on at Summerhill.” Located for…

by Darcy Nybo Make it an adventure and spend a day at Krause Berry Farms. Its picturesque 200 acres are good for the soul. This is more than a farm. It’s also home to Krause Berry Farms Estate Winery and Restaurant. This oasis is open on weekends from now until May. After that, you can have the Krause Berry Farm experience any day of the week. The restaurant and winery opened in 2012 as owners Alf and Sandee Krause looked for a way to show visitors the literal fruits of their labour. “We are growers first,” said Sandee, “and this…

by David Wylie Larch Hills Winery is on top of the world — at least it feels like it. Located in Salmon Arm, it’s the highest elevation winery in BC at 800 metres. Despite having a shorter growing season due to its northern location, the south-facing slope manages to soak up the sunshine. Larch Hills specializes in Ortega, taking advantage of European varietals that thrive in the Shuswap region. They also grow Siegerrebe, Madeline Angevine and Agria. Those who visit the family-run winery are treated to a cosy family experience, said winery manager, Roman Manser. “Any time somebody comes up…

It’s perhaps an over-quoted phrase, but one that’s frankly often under-appreciated. Quite simply put, “the best adventures to be had are off the beaten path.” Now, here in the Okanagan it’s easy to think there’s little that could possibly be off the beaten path – but you might be surprised if you swing your car north from Kelowna and follow the mountains up past Vernon. Up here the road flattens out and the valley floor sinks into a vast expanse of picturesque rolling farmland. This is where you’ll find the dual communities of Armstrong and Spallumcheen. This is the perfect…

 by David Wylie The Shuswap may be best known for house-boating, but Recline Ridge Vineyards & Winery in Tappen is helping showcase the region as a premier wine destination. Located near Salmon Arm, the winery is Canada’s second-most northern winery. “The Shuswap region, if you were to look at it from a scenic point of view, is quite green. It’s actually referred to sometimes as the Shuswap rainforest,” said Graydon Ratzlaff, who owns Recline Ridge with his wife, Maureen. “We’re trying to promote the region and what we can do up here. It sets us apart.” Recline Ridge is luring…

Adega on 45th Estate Winery is the perfect combination of old world tradition and new world opportunity. The tasting room, housed in the façade of a terracotta, Mediterranean-style architecture, reflects the Portuguese heritage of the family who owns and operates it. The dramatic landscape surrounding it is distinctively Okanagan. The family began its relationship with this land in the 1960s and it shows in the quality of the wine. Owners Alex Nunes and Fred Farinha were orchardists until 2005 when they began to grow grapes. They built the estate together, even paving the tiles on the tasting room floor and…

Destination Osoyoos is popping open new options in the seventh annual Osoyoos Oyster Festival, April 18-22, presenting the South Okanagan as a premier destination for everything oysters. Select first-class dining experiences, sample oysters from around the world and sip award-winning wine, cider, beer and spirits in this unique celebration. Liz Dryer, project manager, explains, “As we grow, it’s important to respond to festival feedback, enhance events and develop ideas.” Oysters and seafood are exclusively provided by the festival’s greatest supporters/champions — Jon and Anne-Marie Crofts of Codfathers’ Seafood Market in Kelowna. Destination Osoyoos hopes “Shucker Paddy” — Patrick McMurray, owner…

Things are heating up in the desert this spring. Spirit Ridge, the iconic Okanagan resort, has entered into a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, becoming the first Canadian property included in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection — a prestigious line of boutique-style hotels that specialize in offering guests the opportunity to stay at unique properties with distinctive narratives. Anyone who has ever visited Spirit Ridge knows this is the perfect fit. Situated in Canada’s only desert, it is a place of great spiritual significance to the Osoyoos Indian Band who have lived here for thousands of years. It charms the senses…

As Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail, wine touring springs into action at Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery on Black Sage Road, now open daily for the season. In the tasting room at Quinta Ferreira, you’ll find the new vintages of whites are being released. Now’s the time to snare those favourite white wines that sold out last summer! Make sure you also snap up tickets for the Bifanas, Wine & Live Music event, May 6, from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm — or until the bifanas run out. It features live music, the perennially popular Portuguese sandwich of…

When Desert Hills Estate winery reopens its tasting bar this spring, visitors will discover two new special releases: a 2015 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a Family Reserve Gamay. Winemaker Anthony Buchanan explains how blocks from two of the Toor family’s estate vineyards were identified as having the potential to produce extremely high quality grapes. “From the beginning through to harvest, we treated these particular blocks differently.” The Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has been 16 months in 100 per cent new French oak and Buchanan said, “It is absolutely beautiful.” Gamay is the most popular of Desert Hills’ wines, which…