With information at our fingertips, it’s increasingly more difficult to find something as yet undiscovered. In the BC wine world, the Similkameen Valley was once undiscovered except for the few brave, talented folks who grow grapes and make wine. Now that hidden gem is getting a little more exposure.

In Cawston, Dale and Jeraldine are the laughter and light behind the award-winning Eau Vivre Winery – Dale is always laughing, and Jeri’s smile can light up a room. After taking on this vineyard and winery in 2008, the couple now has something to really celebrate: a Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence for their 2009 Pinot Noir. Only 8 to 10 wines make the cut each year.
I’ve been a fan of Dale and Jeri’s for a while. The two have experimented, learned, and grown into their roles as vineyard people and winery owners, with frank honesty. It’s refreshing. And their wines are evolving nicely because of it.

Past vintages brought stunners like the 2008 Malbec, and their latest releases indicate where Eau Vivre is headed. The 2009 Pinot Noir ($19) is a big, beautiful new-world Pinot with echoes of classic Burgundy. Good structure should take this through a few years in the cellar, too. And the new release 2010 Buddhafull ($26) is a Cabernet Franc dominant blend that benefits from a “vigorous decanting”, says Dale.

If you visit Eau Vivre, and you should, plan to spend some time with Dale and Jeri. Not only will they welcome you with a glass of something lovely, they’ll also have you laughing in less than three minutes.


Photo: Eau Vivre Proprietors Jeri and Dale with the Honourable Steven L. Point, and his wife Her Honour, Mrs. Gwendolyn Point.

~ Jeannette Montgomery