Hands in the dirt, that’s the key to making great wine,” says winemaker Anthony Buchanan from the Eau Vivre Winery and Vineyards. 

“I like to be involved directly in every aspect of the process, from spreading compost on the vines in the spring to putting in 15-hour days while punching down the grapes in the tank to get the extraction I’m looking for.”  

Situated in the town of Cawston, the fruit-packing centre of the Similkameen Valley, Eau Vivre has been in operation only since 2009. Production is limited to about 1,200 cases per year. That suits owners Dale Wright and Jeraldine Estin just fine, as their intention was always to produce small lots of well-crafted wines. “Wines that people love to savour,” as Buchanan says. 

Last year Eau Vivre caught the attention of the industry when its sold-out 2009 Pinot Noir won the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines. The 2008 bottling, which you can still buy, exhibits the earthiness and austerity you expect from the finest Burgundies. Well-structured, it will age well for at least another year or two. And keep an eye out for Eau Vivre’s first reserve Pinot Noir, which will likely be released this fall. 

If you prefer something with more body and deeper fruit aromas, Eau Vivre also produces a 100% Similkameen Cabernet Franc, a robust Malbec, and a silky Bordeaux blend called Buddhaful. 

Their white wines include a well-balanced, buttery Chardonnay, a lush Gewürztraminer, and a refreshing Riesling. All are well priced.

Eau Vivre recently introduced its Cinq Blanc, the perfect patio sipper. A delicious blend of Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay and Riesling, this is summer in a bottle. Available only at the Eau Vivre tasting room, Cinq Blanc alone will make your trip worthwhile.

~ Barry Potyondi