As growers became more familiar with the geographical and climatic differences within the Okanagan Valley, red wines took over plantings in the south (Merlot is, after all, the most widely planted grape in BC). However, the northern reaches of Lake country still remain a smorgasbord of German grapes that, as one visitor pointed out, are more common here than in Germany. While Riesling and Gewurztraminer are well-known throughout the wine world, Ehrenfelser is one such grape that has a cult-like following here but is not well-regarded back in Germany. The cool-climate Austrian reds Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch are gaining a following here too. Small, scattered plantings of Bacchus, Siegerrebe, Schonberger, and Rotberger will have you wearing lederhosen to your next tasting bar experience.
Alpine Vineyards at Gray Monk
50th Parallel (www.50thparallel.com) - Arguably Canada's northernmost winery, 50th parallel is a new venture with sleek design and small but quality-minded portfolio. With just four wines, the portfolio reflect both consumer trends and the northern terroir.
A couple of days in Kelowna complete, it is back down to a last run of the Naramata. From there, homeward bound through the up-and-coming Similkameen Valley.