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The wines of British Columbia continue to delight and surprise those who have the pleasure of tasting them. I fondly remember the day I tasted my first BC Merlot. Before that fateful day, I was a scotch and vodka gal and my only experience with wines was the inexpensive sweet ones that resulted in youthful hangovers. Every now and then, usually during the winter holidays, a well-meaning dinner guest would bring a bottle of their favourite “inexpensive” wine for dinner. Needless to say, with those types of early wine experiences, I was not a wine drinker. It was the fall…

In a recent editorial, I described how the wineries and growers across BC give back to their communities and the province. In April of this year, the Naramata Bench Wineries Association (NBWA) held two fundraisers, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver. “We are pleased to announce that our two NBWA Annual Spring Wine events in Victoria and Vancouver supported the raising of significant funds for two organizations we sponsor,” said Tina Baird, marketing director of NBWA. “We are grateful to everyone involved in these two events.” According to Baird, Wine for Waves (Vancouver) raised $19,000 for Ocean Wise Seafood…

We are blessed to have such fertile soil, amazing grape growers and farmers, and talented vintners and chefs throughout BC. I’m lucky in that I get to know a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at many of our BC wineries. In this issue, I want to acknowledge all those wonderful people who spend their time and money giving back to the community and the land, in many ways. The wineries of the Naramata Bench recently held their spring release at the ReWined event in Victoria to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC & The Yukon.…

Welcome to the end of winter! My name is Darcy and I’m the new editor for Wine Trails. With the snow gone, we are more than ready for another great year of food and wine. It’s also a great time to plan your adventures to the many wine growing areas we have right here in BC. Winemakers continue to come up with new vintages to please the palate in the well-established regions of the Okanagan, Similkameen, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. They are ready for you to come and try their latest and greatest vintages. The areas where…

Summer is in full swing now and the wineries, drinkeries, farms and eateries in the Okanagan are buzzing. There are so many wonderful food and wine trails to follow throughout our diverse and glorious regions and so many wonderful people to meet in our food, drink and farm industry. Really cool, inspiring people that are doing what they love! Ask them about their craft, learn a bit about how they roll – I promise you will be inspired. Osoyoos, Similkameen, Oliver, OK Falls, Penticton/Naramata, Summerland, Kelowna, Lake Country and then to the exciting new trails in the Shuswap region! The…

It’s spring wine release time! The new vintages of beautiful 2016 wines are now available. Make sure to stock up on your favorites for those many sunny patio days ahead and join a wine club or two to ensure you don’t miss out on small lot releases. Festivals and events are also being announced for the year, so put on your partty pants and get ready to live it up. Do get your calendars out to save the dates for upcoming events like the Pinot Noir Celebration on August 19th – website: bcpinotnoir.ca. Garagiste North Wine Festivals has three events…

Hallelujah spring has sprung! Western Canada certainly received a whooping this winter, with record snow falls and endless cold and grey days, we could not be happier to receive the sunshine and promise of greener days ahead. If those sub-zero conditions had you worried for the safety of our vines, you can be rest assured that all reports are showing no damage. Those hardworking vineyards probably enjoyed their hibernation break under the snow. Now is the time to start planning all of your wine country adventures for the next three green seasons ahead. Start making a list, because there is…

Keremeos in British Columbia’s fertile Similakameen Valley is bathed in sun and heat for 181 frost-free days resulting in the best tomatoes in the world and a price that will blow your socks off. Top down to take advantage of the sun on the first day of fall, The Handyman and I head out from Naramata past Almost a Ranch, Foggy Mountain Ranch, Cedar Creek Ranch and the infamous Crazy Zach’s junk/antique on the way to the “Fruit Stand Capital of Canada” on our annual pilgrimage to bring home some summer to store for greyer days ahead. I always feel…

Concentrated appleness and soul-soothing aromatic cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean…What is this sorcery? Apple butter and my new mission to make the lost art of making it found.   Apple butter thickly laid over a heavy slice of bread warm from the oven is a pioneer staple that deserves a revival in the orchard-rich Okanagan Valley. Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelize turning the apple butter a deep brown. Originating in the Middle Ages at monasteries with apple orchards, the…

Fall is already upon us and what a whirlwind summer it was! I spent many wonderful hours driving across the province visiting wineries, farms and attending glorious events. Every single trip I make, I meet another amazing person in our food drink and farm community. One that is inspired and passionate about their craft or their job—it really reminds me that I live in the best place in the world right now.  The many generations involved in our industry at this time are offering unique perspectives and contributing knowledge dealing with food security issues. The wine, spirits and microbrewing community…