Located only about a 90-minute and very beautiful drive from Kelowna, the Monte Creek area is bursting with appeal for those who want to enjoy a variety of new experiences. It is a burgeoning wine area too, and the recent opening of Monte Creek Ranch Winery is further proof that vineyards can thrive in ranch country.

From its gorgeous position looking north to the Trans Canada Highway only a few minutes east of Kamloops, Monte Creek Ranch is poised to become another feather in the area’s cap, which already features, as Tourism Kamloops web site says, 107 Things To Do! From skiing at Sun Peaks Resort to whitewater rafting on the rugged Thompson River to boating on Shuswap­ Lake, from zip lining and dirt biking to museum visits, hockey and even dog sledding, the Thompson Valley has much to offer. Now with the addition of vineyards, that are proving to be outstanding producers of cool climate grapes, wine lovers will want to add Monte Creek Ranch to their itinerary.

The winery meshes perfectly with the ranch’s commitment to a Farm to Table, Pasture to Plate experience. Near the vineyards, ethically raised free-range Black Angus cattle feed on grass, and only grass, producing meat that is less fatty, lower in calories and higher in nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acids. No need for antibiotics or hormones here—just a bottle of Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet Merlot for when the meat comes off the grill!

Haskap berries, a relatively new fruit on the BC farm scene, are being grown on the property and are brimming with nutrients. They are also wonderful in pies, jams, sauces and, of course, eaten freshly picked. And what ranch with a commitment to environmental sustainability wouldn’t also be raising honeybees? Harmful pesticides like neonicotinoids have never been used on the property, so the honey is all-natural. It is unpasteurized and hand packaged so customers get the full flavour and all of the healthy live enzymes that make honey so nutritious.

Since the gorgeous winery opened in June, the good news has rolled in with regularity. Hands Up Red won Gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships and the Riesling earned a Silver Medal at the Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada, where it was also a finalist in the Best of Varietal Wine Awards.

The opening of Monte Creek Ranch Winery might just be the most exciting news in the area since Billy Miner robbed a train on the property more than a century ago. Don’t miss out on the action!

~ Lorne Eckersley