While tame and docile today, the rolling hills of West Kelowna hide a more explosive past. The volcanic legacy of this region is still found today in the region’s mineral rich soil, which leaves a uniquely identifiable mark on the grapes that grow in the shadow of Mount Boucherie, the now extinct volcano.
One of the younger, but already well-established wineries here, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, has tapped into this distinct terroir and built a prominent name for itself through award-winning wines that reflect this rich volcanic soil. Recently, there also seems to be a lot of gold that is found in these volcanic hills.
Volcanic Hills Gold
Volcanic Hills Winery is a must-stop for anyone passing through West Kelowna. They’ve won four gold medals at both the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival and the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition for their 2016 Single Vineyard Gewürztraminer, 2016 Gamay Noir and the Bordeaux-style 2014 Eruption, along with a silver medal for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. And with the ever-popular 2017 Bubbly Gewürztraminer, the featured wine for July, and the 2017 Rosé, the featured wine for August, now is a perfect time to stop by, stock up for those warm summer evenings and taste West Kelowna’s unique, volcanic past.
A heavy, full-bodied blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc aged for 18 months in French barrels, The Eruption bursts forth from the glass with forward tannins and soft, underlying notes of berries coupled with the rich aroma of cedar and lightly toasted oak. This is a wine that’s heavy enough for pairing with both grilled and smoked meats, perhaps from the patio of the Blu Saffron Bistro, while looking out over Lake Okanagan under the protective watch of Mount Boucherie.