Larch Hills Winery, whose vineyard is perched spectacularly at an altitude of 700 metres, offers the best combination of quality and value among British Columbia’s Northern producers.

Owned and operated by Swiss Forester Jack Manzer and his wife Hazel, the winery is celebrating 15 years of great vintages. The experience shows. At this spring’s highly competitive Northwest Wine Summit, which ranks Pacific Northwest offerings, 11 of the 17 Larch Hills submissions captured medals. It’s hard to top an anniversary present like that.

The Gold Medal winner among them was the 2010 Siegerrebe, a seductively well-rounded German white that offers elegant tropical flavours before fading gently with a long, dry finish. At less than $15 a bottle, it’s a steal. Also delicious and offering similar value is the 2011 Riesling. 

In fact, if your tastes run to cool climate wines, you’ll be very pleased by any of the superb Larch Hills products. And stay tuned — Jack is toying with the idea of a sparkling Ortega, similar to Prosecco. 

While the sun-drenched Larch Hills vineyard now covers 6 hectares, it could easily grow by 25 more if only the trees were cleared. Must be tempting for a former forester like Jack!

~ Barry Potyondi