Clos du Soleil Winery is a South Similkameen gem and definitely one you should add to your schedule of winery visits. The winery is named so in reference to rocks, sun and soil, the land, mountain and climate of the Similkameen Valley, the location being perfectly suited for producing ultra-premium wines. The winery is located at 2568 Upper Bench Road in Keremeos, and open from 10-5 pm during the spring months from Thursday until Sunday. Call ahead for additional appointment times. The vineyard manager Jean-Felix Boulais runs the tasting room; he keeps an eye out for visitors and comes down from the organic and biodynamic vineyard to greet them, ensuring guests a true artisan winery experience.
The winery has just bottled their 2012 spring (“black” label) and summer (Grower’s Series) wines which include Pinot Blanc, Rosé, Fumé Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc), Célestiale and Merlot. Look forward to some crisp and juicy sippers for the spring table. Their award-winning premium red Bordeaux blend, “Signature”, is made from Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec and is currently resting in French oak barriques. This wine, along with the other red blends, will be bottled at a later time after the oak has done its magic. New this year is an addition to Clos du Soleil’s “Growers Series” wines – a 2011 Merlot crafted in conjunction with Walt Makepeace using grapes from his Similkameen Vineyard. This is a limited release as there are only 88 cases.
Clos du Soleil offers a premium wine club called “Soleil 160” for wine enthusiasts and is also active in the social media world. Find them on twitter at @ClosduSoleil and facebook www.facebook.com/ClosduSoleil.
~ Cassandra Anderton