We recently did a visit to a nearby winery on the Black Sage bench between Oliver and Osoyoos, British Columbia. This particular area is known for red wine production.
The wine grapes are now reaching their most luscious and will soon be harvested in stages, depending on the processing for the various wines they will become.
Some grapes will remain in the fields until the first frost. Among them are grapes that will be allowed to develop a certain type of “rot” and will be harvested to produce various kinds of dessert wines.
The Okanagan also produces ice wine. This means that the grapes freeze on the vine at temperatures between -1C to -8 C ( 30F – 18F). The frozen grapes are harvested at night and processed quickly so that they don’t defrost to spoil the concentration of sugar in the juice. Ice wine is a type of dessert wine, but is much more concentrated. It’s commonly served with cheese in order to get that lovely sweet/salty flavour combination.
The Okanagan is starting to come into its own as a wine-producing region and is branching out into lesser known varietals that are being handled well. If, like me, you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a nice dessert wine after dinner, a visit to some of the Okanagan’s many wineries might be if interest to you. If not, the scenery, beaches and walking and hiking trails are great!
We have just returned from Northwest Territories to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The drive from the high-altitude Coquihalla Highway (also known as Highway 97C) into the valley is impressive and steep.
The summit of the Coquihalla Connector highway is 1800m (5900 ft) and you then drive down to the valley which is at an elevation of 344 m (1100 ft).
This is a significant drop of 1456 m (4800 ft). Some people aren’t comfortable with driving this highway for that reason, especially in winter. It is a long way down, and you do want to make sure your brakes are working!
The sign in the distance shows that we are about to come down from our lofty perch to join the highway along the lake.
We have some very hot temperatures right now, so it’s important to go walking in the cooler morning hours. Penticton has many trails and paths from which to choose and with varying degrees of difficulty. Even in the morning, it was already quite warm and so we decided to take our time.
At one point, we were accosted by a gaggle of ducks and pigeons who were expecting handouts. This group is seriously used to interacting with humans.
It might be 40C (104F), but really, I prefer the heat over -40C (-40F). I have one more subarctic winter to go before returning permanently to Penticton where my time will be mostly my own!