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The Similkameen Valley
Eau Vivre Winery & Vineyards
The Similkameen Valley runs from the desert like region of Osoyoos along Highway 3 to the historic town of Princeton, some 100 km (60 mi.) away, while the Okanagan Valley stretches some 250 km (155 mi.) starting at Osoyoos and making its way north to Enderby. The Similkameen is historically known for its Gold Mines, Western Heritage and ranching. The city of Keremos is known as the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada
While the Okanagan Valley's terrois is based on an elevation of 351 metres (1152 ft.). The Similkameen valley's elevation is 380 metres (1300 ft.) affording it slightly cooler evenings but still maintaining the desert heat for which the area is famous during the summer months.
The valley has been know for its abundant vineyards. Today more wineries are opening in the Valley with more planned.
Clos du Soleil
2568 Upper Bench Road,
After finishing careers as an officer in the Canadian Navy and in business, Spencer Massie returned to his native Okanagan with a passion for wine, food and travel.
In 2006, he and a small group of professional business people (Les Le Quelenec and Sue Lee, Peter and Andria Lee, Bonnie Henry, Gustav Kramer) acquired a four-hectare (10-acre) orchard on the Similkameen Valley's Upper Bench Road. He had also met Lawrence and Sharon Herder who helped find the vineyard and manage early operations, planting it and launching Clos du Soleil. The vineyards were planted in red and white Bordeaux varietals.
In 2009 Ann Sperling, a renowned Canadian winemaker and former high school classmate of Spencer, joined as viticulturist and winemaker , and Les Le Quelenec engaged as a Managing Director.
The name refers to rocks, sun, and soil, from the mountain which forms a tall natural stone wall at the back of the vineyard (the Clos), the cobbled terroir, and the long days of sun which pour in on the Similkameen Bench, where it is typically 3-4 degrees warmer than elsewhere in the valley.
Signature wines: Clos du Soleil Red, Clos du Soleil White
winemaker: Ann Sperling
Philosophy:Very simple – it's all about the vineyard and the wine in the bottle
Cerelia Vineyards and Estate Winery
2235 Ferko Road,
Cawston, BC V0X 1C2
The winery is the Similkameen Region newest opening Spring 2009. The winery name comes from ancient rome Cerelia, was the Roman Harvest festival where local people celebrated and made offerings for the year's harvests and it's continued abundance.
The winery believes in honoring each year's harvest of BC grapes with fine wines, and celebrated with good times.
Cerelia is owned by David & Peggy Mutch – Dennis & Roxanne Mutch – Megan Mutch & Corey Witter. Megan Mutch is the winemaker with
John Weber as consultant. The wines will be new coming from vineyards with four and five years growth.
The wineries future includes product of 3000 plus cases,
The Cerelia, with an estate dinner and festivities and a
specialty boutique restaurant.
Signature wine: wines produced from Orange Muscat
Winemaker: Megan Mutch
Philosophy: Producing high quality wines, with diligent eyes, precise timing, all made from quality grapes and good times, whether it be in the vineyard or at the winery. The most important thing is that we enjoy
our wines and celebrating them with everyone else
Crowsnest Vineyard Ltd.
RR#1 Site 18 Comp 18
The winery is nestled in the valley on the Upper Beach near Crawston. Named after Highway #3 which is also known as the Crowsnest Highway.
The winery is a family run business under the guidance of Olaf, Sabine, Ann and Sascha Heinecke; who purchased the winery in October 1998.
The Heinecke family emigrated from Germany in 1994. Ann Studied Winemaking at the Weinsberg Wein Schule.
Barcello Canyon ” label was named after the actual canyon that is right behind the winery and was named after Manuel Barcello who was the first settler in the Similkameen Valley .
Signature wines: Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Rieslings and Gewürztraminer
Chardonnay Stahltank Family Reserve, winner of the 2004 Best Un-Oaked Chardonnay of the year at the Canadian Wine Awards
Facilities include dining lounge, patio and newly designed wine and gift shop.
Winemaker: Ann Heinecke
Philosophy: To showcase the immense fruit and acidity balance this valley has to offer. Using only Similkameen Valley grapes is our priority
EauVivre Winery & Vineyards
716 Lowe Drive ,
Cawston, BC V0X 1C2
Dale Wright and Jeri Estin were born and raised in Saskatchewan were they dabbled in making wine.
When their daughter moved to the Similkameen Valley, they of course came to visit and fell in love with the valley.
When they discovered that Herder winery was for sale ( Herder moved to a new location)
They acquired the property after the 2007 crush.
EauVivre means water of life .
Wines are produced from Organic grapes. Production 1500 cases
Anthony Buchanan, who has worked in the BC Wine Industry for over 5 years, is now in charge of producing the full range of Eau Vivre wines.
Anthony is a graduate of the Professional Enology Certificate Program through Washington State University and the Winemaking program at Okanagan College. He has also completed Sommerlier and WSET training as well as Vineyard Management training. He has worked at Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars, Church & State Wines, Soaring Eagle Estate Winery and Paradise Ranch/Bench 1775 Winery
signature wines Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer
winemaker: Anthony Buchanan
Philosophy: Hand crafted small lot production from the best grapes in BC.
Very friendly, homey feeling to our tasting room and patio. We are never too busy for you!
Forbidden Fruit Winery
620 Sumac Road
Cawston BC V0X 1C3
The winery is located on Ven'Amour Organic Farms, a certified organic tree fruit farm, vineyard and nature estate along the banks of the pristine Similkameen River in Cawston,The location of this farm is surrounded by natural desert habitat and old growth river bottom forest giving the feeling of a pristine garden (eden).
located on Ven'Amour Organic Farms, a certified organic tree fruit farm, vineyard and nature estate along the banks of the pristine Similkameen River in Cawston, British Columbia, Canada.
Kim Brind'Amour and Steve Venables are the owner/ managers. The winery is the latest development of our Ven'Amour Organic Farms.The family farm has been Organic since 1977,receiving Certified Organic Status in 1984 the year Certification began in BC.
The farm grows 3 acres of Certified Organic grapes from which the winery produces it's 'Earth Series' grape wines. These wines are designated for raising funds for Sustainability Initiatives through various organizations
Fruit varieties grown include Asian Pears, White Peaches,
White Cherries, and four iced wine varieties (apples, pears, cherries
etc.). Signature wines ar Asian Pear off dry, White Peach
Dessert and Iced Apple
Licensed picnic area by the River and Art Gallery featuring proprietor Kim Brind'Amour's multi medium art.
Winemakers: Dominic Rivard, Steve Venables,
Philosophy highest quality organic fruit and grape wines from 100% Certified Organic fruit
farmgate sales of all in season fruits and veggies
Herder Winery & Vineyards
2582 Upper Bench Road
Keremeos, British Columbia
Experienced winemaker Lawrence Herder and his wife Sharon were seeking to establish a winery in British columbia after ten years in California. They selected the selected the Similkameen Valley
for their winery. They choice their location for it's heat (we have a huge rock back-drop that retains loads of heat) also the rocky soil and the panoramic views of the Similkameen Valley.
While preparing for his own winery Lawrence produced wines for Jackson- Triggs and later Golden Mile wineries.
Sharon has 10 years experience as a Graphic Designer and Marketer with a strong background in the wine industry. Together they manage all aspects of the winery operations.
The winery has new state of the art equipment and is dug into the ground on three sides. The wines are handcrafted kept in small lots to show the varietal character of each wine.
Signature wines are
Josephine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc),Merlot,Cabernet Franc,Pinot Noir,Chardonnay,Pinot Gris
Three Sisters (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier & Gewürztraminer).
Philosophy: Traditional winemaking techniques focused on each varietal and terroir of the land they come from. We pay close attention in the vineyard trying to derive consistent quality year after year.
Little Farm Winery
2155 Newton Road,
BC. V0X 1C1
The name Little Farm Winery was inspired by the French term paysan. Whilst reading an article about some of the natural wine producers of France, one wine grower preferred to be called a paysan, or small farmer, as he translated it. It struck us that we are small farmers too and that we were the paysan's of our little farm.
The winery is owned by Rhys Pender MW and Alishan Driediger. They love the Valley and here is were they wanted to have their winery.
The property was purchased in 2009 . Vineyard planting took three years. Rhys and Alishan have been in the wine industry for a long time with their business Wine Plus+ doing education, consulting, writing, judging.
Their first vintage in 2011 of just 55 cases, 190 cases in 2012.
Their goal is to obtain organic certification. They want their wine tastes to reflect where and how it was grown. A wine of place, of our soil, our climate, our farming philosophy and our winemaking beliefs. It will always be a small, hands on business where we do everything from the vineyard through the entire winemaking process ourselves.
The unique calcium carbonate soil that gives intense minerality to the wines
signature wines are Riesling and Chardonnay from Mulberry Tree Vineyard
The winery is not open to the public
winemaker: Alishan Driediger
Philosophy:In the cellar it is about minimal intervention, age-old techniques and traditions, careful respect for the natural process of winemaking and the importance of good grapes. Using the least intrusive methods, we strive to let our grapes shine through in the wine by carefully guiding the winemaking process and maintaining as much of the integrity of the grapes as possible.
We are interested in older, traditional methods such as using neutral barrels, long cool ferments, full solids, lees aging and stirring and as little else as possible.
2686 Middle Bench Road
Keremeos, British Columbia
Canada V0X 1N2
The winery is owned by Tim & Caroline Cottrill They have 8 acres near Keremeos
Robin Ridge Winery uses the Geneva Double Curtain Trellis style to allow more light into the fruiting zone while at the same time increasing the surface area of the canopy. This allows the grapes to become optimally ripe producing intense and unique flavours.
Signature wine Gamay
winemaker: Tim Cottrill
Philosophy: The pursuit of a great berry transformed into the perfect wine is the constant quest of Robin Ridge Winery.
Rustic Roots Winery
2238 Hwy 3,
Cawston B.C. V0X1C2
Winery owners Bruce and Kathy Harker family has been in the Similkameen Valley since the Mid 1800's, having six generations or "roots" farm the land. With their image and building been very Rustic, therefore the name Rustic Roots was born. Their son Troy and his wife Sara run the winery Sara is the winemaker.
Rustic Roots is a fruit winery using local products and practicing organic farming. They use 100% certified organic fruit and are working to become certified organic in the cellar. Their Apple Pear and Blackberry
wines are popular.
Their dessert wines - Blackberry port style, Iced Apple, Santa Rosa Plum and Iced Orin. The winery opened in 2008 producing award winning wines.
The Harkers own 18 acres of Tree Fruits and produce 1200 cases of wine. Look for their
fortified wine and dessert wines
signature wines Santa Rosa Plum Dessert Wine, Mulberry Pear Port Style Wine and Fameuse Frizzante Sparkling Wine.
winemaker: Sara Harker
Philosophy: Minimalistic, I let the fruit speak for itself. I try to make any adjustments to the fruit eg pH, Sugar etc as natural as possible by blending varieties and ripeness to create an optimal flavor profile
Seven Stones Winery
1143 HWY #3
Cawston, BC V0X 1C0
Hanson selected their location
as the valley as proven its self as a quality site to grow wine grapes. An added bonus was the
spectacular scenery overlooking the picturesque Similkameen Valley. The wineries name embraces the history of the valley.
There are seven rock formations scattered throughout the Similkameen valley known as the Seven Stones..each rock formation has a legend that is associated with it.
Seven Stones Winery cultivates 20 acres of bench land Similkameen River Valley. In 2000 and 2001 the estate vineyard was planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and followed up with a new planting of Petit Verdot. The winery opened in May 2007
The Winery produce 2800 cases per year and focus on consistent quality
signature wines include Syrah and Meritage
winemaker: George Hanson
Philosophy: Using top quality materials along with sound winemaking practices we will make small lots that will bring the best out in our wines
St. Laszlo Vineyards
Site 95 Comp 8
Keremeos , BC
Locate near Keremeos the winery has operated since 1978 under the direction
of Winemaker Joe Ritlop. The slopes of the River are the homes of St Lazlo's vineyards.
The wines are organically produced from the vine to the bottle. The wines have a full body style.
Grape varieties include Tokay, Perle of CsbaDe Chaunac and Verdelet
Icewines are produced too. The winery also produces some sensational tasting fruit wines.
winemaker: Joe Ritlop
will create my own wine in my own fashion. I cannot do anything else. We can make
as good or better white wines here than any European Country.
2152 Barcelo Road
Cawston, BC V0X 1C0
Nested among the almond and walnut trees of the Similkameen is Canada's first and currently the only strawbale winery. The family owned winery named after the
mountain which overlooks the winery. Owners are John and Virginia Weber . Orofino means Fine Gold in Spanish.
The Webers purchased an existing vineyard first planted sixteen years ago. They enter the business with a strong back ground John is a
graduate of the OUC wine studies program and he participated in all 3 strands of the faculty including viticulture, winemaking, and marketing. He was the first recipient of the Frank Supernak memorial bursary sponsored by the Canadian Vintners Association.
Virginia has a diploma in horticulture.
The tasting room power comes completely from solar power.
The project uses a unique hybrid system of solar photovoltaic panels and a solar thermal water heating system. The system was designed and constructed by Swiss Solar Tech from Summerland, BC who are leaders in solar technology implementation in the province
winemaker: John Weber
philosophy: Make small lots of premium wine from Similkameen Valley grapes. We have an aggressive barrel program and look to show off what our terroir in this valley can produce.
signature wines Old Vines Pinot Noir and Merlot/Cabernet
330 Highway 3
Cawston, BC V0X 1CS
3 Cru is the power of three – mind, body and spirit; sun, earth and vine. 3 Cru is synergy in motion – distinctive blends, a small ecological footprint and great value, unfettered by tradition or place
The winery is owned by Mariposa Vineyard Limited Partnership. The winery and its vineyard are based on Organic farming principals.
Karnail Singh Sidhu ,
Dr. Thomas Kinahan ,and
Jacques LeCavalier are managing partners . Their vineyard in the valley is called Mariposa.
In the spring of 2011, the partnership
planted about eight hectares (20 acres) of vines and prepared the
sun-drenched site for about another two hectares. Most of the vineyard
is planted with ainstream varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Franc,
Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and
Gewürztraminer. A quarter of the vineyard is experimental plantings
of varieties such as Italy’s Teroldego, Austria’s Lagrein and Argentina’s
Untill the winery is fully established the wines are being produced
and sold by Kalala, Karnail’s
winery in West Kelowna.
winemaker: Dr Alan Marks (consultant) and Karnail Singh Sidhu
Philosophy: Winemaking really begins in the vineyard by choosing grapes with excellent concentration of flavour and an ideal balance between sugar and acid. The best berries give the best juice, which in turn, produces the best wine. For 3Cru, we went to many different properties to select varietals we knew
would blend together well, to create balanced and well structured wines. This is also our opportunity to get somewhat creative in the blends and try something that perhaps hasn't been done before. When the Mariposa vineyard is producing high quality grapes, we will instead choose to highlight the terroir of our specific site, and produce wines that are more traditional in style with the pure varietal characteristics shining through. The two different brand styles will complement the other.
Overall, winemaking will continue to focus on minimal handling and manipulation of the wine. Gentle pressing and thoughtful oak aging, if required, gently maximizes the bouquet, aroma, flavour and mouth feel of each wine. Our consulting winemaker and the team all take great pride in the product we produce.
We extend our philosophy of sustainable and organic practices in the cellar as well. Even our cleaning solutions are organic! Our sulphite levels are much lower than other wines, and we never add artificial substances to our product.
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