Spring has finally arrived and with it, new growth and warmer days. Our cover shows old vines coming back to life as the sun gently awakens them from their sleep. They are the promise of longer days, warmer nights and great wines to come. This issue we welcome photographer Kirstin Wakal, who is also the owner of Sanctuary Gardens in West Kelowna, and her own vineyard. Kirstin is well known throughout the Okanagan Valley for her photographs of food, wine and people. One of her photos, her “sacred space” at Sanctuary Gardens, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network for…

In every detail, Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery stands behind its commitment to “Celebrate Nature’s Perfection.” Established in Kelowna’s Lakeshore district for more than 25 years, Summerhill is Canada’s largest, certified organic winery and BC’s first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard. It is Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine. The accolades and many prestigious awards for its wines have proven that doing the right thing for the planet by going organic — as founder and proprietor Stephen Cipes maintained from the beginning — enhances flavour. These principles are embraced by its acclaimed Sunset Organic Bistro, a 200-seat restaurant with a panoramic view…

For wine aficionados keen to expand their experience by straying off the Okanagan region’s beaten path, Recline Ridge Vineyards & Winery offers a palate-pleasing perspective on varietals that flourish in the Shuswap. Located in Tappen, it’s roughly 14 kilometres west of Salmon Arm in pastoral countryside and forest with a shorter growing season. Rather than procuring grapes from the south, Recline Ridge owners Graydon and Maureen Ratzlaff chose to be true to the region with grapes that can be grown in the Shuswap. With grapes sourced from its own vineyards and other local growers, wines include expressions of hardy varietals…

When your spirit needs a reprieve from big city hustle, plan a road trip to the beautiful and welcoming Armstrong/Spallumcheen area. The quaint village of Armstrong has many surprising activities and exciting opportunities for anyone seeking a simpler way of life surrounded by friendly neighbours and a community that celebrates local business. A haven for foodies, Armstrong has delicious offerings to complement your next party. Serve your guests delectable local cheeses from one of three cheesemakers, such as The Village Cheese Co., smooth Swiss chocolate from Chocoliro Finest Chocolate, a special appetizer created with Rogers Foods ingredients, as well as…

Starting in May, British Columbians and visitors alike are encouraged to go out and taste the best BC has to offer — be it in a winery tasting room or in a local restaurant. “Buy BC: EAT DRINK LOCAL” launches May 1 and aims to promote drinking and dining locally across BC. People are encouraged to dine out and support BC business throughout the month of May. It’s about celebrating local sipping and dining experiences, but it is bigger than that too: the goal is to grow connections between BC restaurants, chefs, farmers and wineries — because being proud of…

From the moment one arrives at Spirit Ridge Lake Resort one senses the difference. There’s so much to take in: the adobe-style suites, the breathtaking views of Osoyoos Lake, the vine covered hills, the majestic peak of Anarchist Mountain, the fragrance of desert sage. Here visitors are greeted by The Chief, a symbolic metal sculpture created by Smoker Marchand. The perfect emblem for a resort that prides itself on its sense of hospitality, The Chief offers visitors the peace pipe as they arrive. Situated in the migratory destination and home of the Osoyoos Indian Band, every inch of the landscape…

Adega on 45th Estate Winery’s Cabernet Franc is known for its amazing flavour and great grip. “It’s the best in the valley” says Karen Valckx, the estate’s wine shop assistant. A big wine with 17.2 per cent alcohol, it’s boozy, but not heated. It flows nicely into jammy notes. The aromas are wonderful. Think raspberry, plum and cherry with soft oak, vanilla and pepper tones. The tannins are smooth with a hint of spice, caramel and toffee to round out the finish. It pairs beautifully with steak. Another favourite is the 2013 Quarteto Tinto, which means “four reds” in Portuguese.…

People around the world celebrate the Malbec grape varietal, and Malbec World Day this year fell on April 17. In support of this auspicious occasion, River Stone released the much-anticipated 2017 Malbec Rosé and the 2016 single varietal, single vineyard Malbec. River Stone has grown the red Bordeaux grape varietals since 2003 and been making both single varietal wines and two Bordeaux-style red blends (Corner Stone & Stones Throw) since 2009. The word Malbec generates interest merely by the mention of its name. A rosé wine made from Malbec is still a rare find in North America, and can be…