“We are doing a thing this year called a surprise wine release,” says Kim Brind’Amour of Forbidden Fruit. “It’s based on sustainability and the resources that we have at hand every year.” This mystery wine’s release will be timed to coincide with the Spring Wine Festival. To find out what it is, you must visit them at the winery in the south Similkameen at that time.

It happens that there will be many reasons for celebrating this year. Owner Steve Venables acquired and planted the land in 1977 making this year their 35th Anniversary of organic growing in the Similkameen Valley. Part of the celebrations involve releasing four new grape wines that are all Certified Organic. The “Earth Series” of wines are “designated for raising funds for sustainability initiatives,” says Venables. “A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold goes to different organizations. We started out with the Suzuki Foundation in Vancouver. We’ve now sponsored the Organic Farming Institute of British Columbia. This year we’re looking at a couple of new potential [organizations].”

Can grape wines and fruit wines coexist peacefully in the same wine shop? “We just found out that grapes are actually just fruit,” says Venables with a smile. “The boundaries have really relaxed since we opened. From the very first time we decided to open a winery, our focus has been on well-balanced, soft, smooth finishing wines that don’t bite back and are not too sweet. The balance between the acid and the sugar is critically important for us. I think that as the fruit wineries mature, they’re all seeing the benefits of having that really good balance.”

The Earth Series, which includes a Sauvignon Blanc, “Sauvidal” (Sauvignon Blanc/Vidal blend), and Cabernet Sauvignon, will all be made with Certified Organic grapes this year. New to the Earth Series this year is an Organic Merlot that is sure to capture the crowds with its intense flavors.

Check out Forbidden Fruit during the Spring Wine Festival at “A Toast to Mothers Everywhere” Mother’s Day Champagne & Crepes. Contact the winery for more information.

Luke Whittall