Browsing CategoryOkanagan North

“Most people have the perception that whites are for summer and reds are more for winter,” says Recline Ridge Winery co-owner Graydon Ratzlaff. In the hot summers of BC’s Okanagan Valley, this assumption is frequently the case. But Recline Ridge in the Shuswap Valley is poised to seriously challenge this notion with the fresh qualities of the red wines grown in their vineyard in Tappen. The four reds in the portfolio are all perfectly suited for refreshing enjoyment in the summer just as much as whites. The first red that visitors taste is whimsically named Too Many. Made with the…

Winery owner Jack Manser welcomed his boys back home to the winery this year. Both sons, Roman and Wayne have moved back to Salmon Arm from Edmonton to learn and work with their father. Jack says both are talented in the vineyard and the cellar and they are eager to learn the trade. He couldn’t be happier to see the next generation come on board. Wayne’s girlfriend Coreena also moved here from Edmonton and is now the friendly face that will greet you in the wine shop. Larch Hills offers the wine lover a truly unique wine tasting experience. Because…

The Shuswap = Houseboating, Roots & Blues Festival, Adams River “Salute to the Sockeye” Festival! All fabulous draws to visit this amazing region but there is so so much more to this secret paradise than you know. Plan a wine tour, book a sweat lodge experience with a First Nations elder, partake in some world class fly fishing, hit the farmers markets, drink organic beer, go where the buffalo roam and even snorkel with salmon (well, that will be next year at the Adams River “Salute to the Sockeye” Festival, but still!  So cool!!) The immense presence of nature is…

Recline Ridge owners Graydon and Maureen Ratzlaff are focused on their customers in their wine shop. “We focus on delivering the best experience that we can,” says Graydon. Everyone from the educated taster to the wine newbie can all get something from the experience. The common thread that Graydon has noticed is that most people are adventurous tasters and like to try new things and discover new flavours. Thankfully Recline Ridge has a good cross-section of wine styles available from which to choose. The whites tend to be fragrantly fruity and off-dry in style while the reds vary in intensity.…

When planning your wine tasting tours this spring, you must travel north to the Shuswap to discover BC’s newest wine frontier. One of the region’s pioneer vineyards knew the conditions here were ideal for growing cold climate wines a long time ago, and they continue to garner awards for the wines they are creating on top of the world. Larch Hills Winery is your destination. Winding your way up the beautiful forested larch hills, you will be captivated by the views and feel a sense excitement –you are heading to the highest altitude winery in North America! Surrounded by rich…

If you like your getaways romantic and authentic, then Echo Valley Ranch and Spa will tick those boxes in more ways than you could imagine.  Located northwest of Kamloops, and just five hours northeast of Vancouver, Echo Valley offers a traditional Western experience, with some authentic Asian culture to boot, all wrapped up in a rustic-but-luxurious experience second to none. Echo Valley is owned by British ex-pat Norm Dove and his Thai wife Nan, and offers traditional log-built architecture, activities like gold-panning, fly-fishing; trail rides and evening barbeques followed by campfire sing-a-longs. The authentic Eastern flavor comes through in the…

Larch Hills Winery. This little winery has a big personality and holds some amazing titles in wine country like being the oldest winery in the north  (they opened back in 1997) and being the highest altitude winery in North America! Nestled into the cozy wooded hills of Salmon Arm, the vineyards of Larch Hills truly have a spectacular view. Owners Jack and Hazel Manser have planted the perfect varietals that thrive in this cooler climate resulting in their wines winning awards galore. Just recently they won big at the Northwest Wine Summit Awards: 1 Gold medal– Tamarack Rosé; 4 Silver…

In the Shuswap near Tappen, you’ll find Recline Ridge Winery, a beguiling spot surrounded by mountains, hillsides and acres of vineyards. Sun-dappled days and cool evenings maximize the varietal character and set the stage for award-winning cool climate wines. Proprietors Graydon and Maureen Ratzlaff say that they’re expecting harvest to be a bit early in 2016. As the crush pad is next to the wine shop, visitors can see everything that is taking place when they do a crush. A great viewing spot is their pristine picnic area, where guests are welcome to bring their own food and purchase wines…

Part Two of my Shuswap adventure led me on a grand expedition across the region from the South to the North. I was overwhelmed with the choices of activities to choose from–from fishing and canoeing to hiking, biking, wine tasting, zip-lining to farmers market picnics and wine to snorkeling with salmon – who knew there was all of this on top of the legendary house boating? This adventure definitely needs a return visit that includes delving into the famous Adams River Salmon Run when the red fish are in the water, and exploring further the wonderful culture of the Little…

While the Okanagan South is rich in vineyards, the Okanagan North offers a plethora of farms. Armstrong, in particular, is a farmland haven, sitting just past Vernon and before Salmon Arm, its lush green landscape is dotted with beautiful farms raising animals and growing fruits, vegetables and grains. This agricultural region also has a niche for cheese makers, who thrive in the area. The cheese culture (get it?) here is strong and was started many years ago by the pioneer of this delicious craft, Armstrong Cheese. The 4th Annual ‘Cheese…It’s A Natural’ Festival takes place this year on November 5th. “Many…