Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Postcard from Penticton...

As you would expect, the one region best represented in my store in Vancouver are the wines of BC, the production of which is centred in the Okanagan Valley about 400km east. A glacially-carved valley strecting 150km, the Okagan Valley is the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, and is as such Canada's hottest and driest region. Tempered by the cooling (and in winter, warming) effects of several lakes, the temperature is ideal for not only holiday-makers, but winemakers as well. What's surprising is that this is my first trip to the Okanagan Valley; I've spent more time in Spain or Chile than here.
Naturally, the 3-day visit is crammed with appointments to a few select wineries with spare time to fit in as many others as possible. Driving down Highway 97, signs reminding visitors of the Wine Route are a list of labels that grace my shelves: Tinhorn Creek, Stag's Hollow, Hester Creek, Nk'Mip, Burrowing Owl, Laughing Stock, Lake Breeze....just a handful of the 100 wineries in the area.
Nevertheless, there are still a few things beyond this carte des vins that now make more sense to me:
1) Road 13 Winery - there is actually a Road 13 (between Roads 12 andd 14), so the name of the winery was not just a gimick;
2) Peachland - a town located on the shores of Lake Okanagan, and guess what.....there's alot of peach treest here;
3) Summerland - with a daytime high of 32C on Monday, 23 April, I'm thinking it really is rather summery here compared to everywhere else in the Great White North;
4) Distances - as a Canadian, I should have a better sense of distance; Osoyoos (the hottest region, located on the American border) is not the 30 minutes away from Kelowna (the largest city in the region) I had expected: 130km of windy mountain roads separate these centres, covering a wide range of climatic, soil, and altitude variances, each of which has a significant viticultural impact;
5) Destination - having traveled the world in search of great wines and wine regions, I have to admit that the unique scenery, climate, and of course, wines, truly make it a destination worthy of any wordly wine lover.
Who knew all this was just down the road from home?
Apparently, alot of Canadians other than me!

No comments:

Post a Comment