by David Wylie

The Shuswap may be best known for house-boating, but Recline Ridge Vineyards & Winery in Tappen is helping showcase the region as a premier wine destination.

Located near Salmon Arm, the winery is Canada’s second-most northern winery.

“The Shuswap region, if you were to look at it from a scenic point of view, is quite green. It’s actually referred to sometimes as the Shuswap rainforest,” said Graydon Ratzlaff, who owns Recline Ridge with his wife, Maureen.

“We’re trying to promote the region and what we can do up here. It sets us apart.”

Recline Ridge is luring the adventurous wine tourist — “the ones who are willing to look in other directions than mainstream wines,” he said.

The winery has 13 wines in its portfolio, including whites, reds, a rose and dessert wines.

“People always ask me, ‘what’s my favourite wine?’  But they’re like kids — they’re all my favourite,” he laughed.

“To demonstrate the range that we have and the wonderful nature of these wines, I always love the Bacchus,” he said. “And certainly our Foch — it turns a lot of heads.”

Despite its northern location, Recline Ridge’s vineyards enjoy sun-drenched days and cool evenings that help the varietal characteristics pop, setting the stage for award-winning wines.