This unique group of British Columbia wineries is located in one of the most northern grape growing areas in North America. Shuswap lake is the dominant feature in the region,spreading its four long arms between rolling evergreen covered hills. Each vineyard has its own individual micro climate which gives special character to the wines produced there.
Summers are usually warm and dry, with long sunny days. The nights are cool, helping to preserve flavors in the grapes. Winters are more moist then thewine regions to the south,with most of the moisture falling as snow. Irrigation needs are therefore minimal and some vineyards don’t water their vines at all.
The varieties of grapes grown here are amongst others ortega, siegerebe, madeleine angevine, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, pinot noir and Marachel Foch. A large variety of wines can be found in the region from crisp aromatic whites to big, full bodied reds.
The many awards that have been won in national and international wine competitions by Shuswap wineries are indicative of the quality produced here. Six wineries will have tasting rooms welcoming wine lovers in 2011, some of which are open all year round and others part of the year. Most wineries are within a twenty minute drive from the Trans Canada Highway, which winds it’s way thru Shuswap country. On the North end of the lake one can find Celista Estate Winery, whilst traveling the corridors connecting the Shuswap with the Okanagan the traveler passes Larch Hills or Ovino Wineries. Located more central in the Tappen area, two wineries in close proximity can be visited. Recline Ridge and Sunnybrae Vineyards & Winery.
When touring this part of wine country there are many attractions to visit. Several golf courses, boating and house boating opportunities, hiking,camping, mountain biking and much more.
Some tips regarding touring:
- Check websites or phone for tasting room hours.
- Use a Designated driver,making for a more relaxing touring day and avoiding conflict with the province’s drinking/driving laws.
- Remember that some wines are produced in limited quantities and might only be available at the wineries tasting shop, so if you find something you like,
- Some wineries will have a picnic area or patio, so bring a lunch and enjoy with a glass of their wine.