A number of Okanagan wineries produce cool climate wines, which boast very distinct flavours. Each has its own essence, its own special something that sets it apart from all others. Such is the case with Larch Hills, one of the region’s northernmost wineries, which produces 4,000 to 6,000 cases annually.

Even the trip to Larch Hills is a delight. After driving through the winery’s 15 acres of vineyard you’ll arrive at the winery, at an elevation of 2,300 ft.

“We’ve seen people’s mouth drop when they arrive,” says Larch Hills Proprietor Hazel Manzer. “We are overlooking Salmon Arm, Deep Creek Valley and Enderby.” She describes the wine shop as ‘European Style.’

“Our Austrian-style winery building is painted with grape vines and we offer a picnic area where guests can bring their own food and buy their wine. It’s a beautiful setting.”

Hazel mentions their Orgeta as one of their signature wines.

“Many of our whites are very fruity. The Ortega is a German-style varietal with a crisp, citrusy finish. It pairs well with Thai Food and appetizers.,” she notes. “And our Siegerrebe is a very tropical and aromatic white wine that can be paired with red meat dishes because it is so flavourful. Our Madeleine Angevine is a delicate French varietal with a fruity aroma and a clean, crisp finish. Pair it with fish or lightly spiced chicken dishes.”

New releases to watch for include their 2011 Riesling, which will be available in March and their 2010 Ortega, coming out this spring.

~ Deanna Rainey