(Photo:International wine blogger Chris Drake of The Drake Vine from London, UK loved visiting Larch Hills Winery. )

Nestled in a charming spot in the beautiful Shuswap, Larch Hills Winery is producing some of the finest wines they’ve ever made, including their perennially favorite, Ortega.

Proprietor Hazel Manser, along with her husband Jack, have been overseeing the production and growth of the mostly German-style wines in their portfolio for nine years.  The Ortega, says Hazel, has become one of their signature wines.
“I have never come across anyone who doesn’t like Ortega,” she says.  “If you aren’t sure what to serve, it’s perfect.  Ortega is versatile – drink it with appies, Thai food or just sip it on its own.  It is a sweetness level 1 with a nice crisp, citrusy finish.   It’s just an excellent all-round wine.”

The Ortega is a cool climate grape which many people can’t grow.  It is grown without irrigation, so the flavour is very concentrated.
Manser says the 2013 vintage looks very promising in the tank.  Watch for a great selection of new releases including their 2013 Siegerrebe, Lemberger and Merlot as well as the Foch, Foch Reserve and their Foch blend, Grandview Bench.
The Lemberger dessert wine and sparkling Ortega and Lemberger Sparkling Rosé are also festive choices for wine aficionados.  

~ Deanna Rainey