Common Grape Varieties: Marechal Foch, Ortega, Siegerrebe, Gewurztraminer, Kerner
Average Daily High Temperature (July): 26C
Average Hours of Sunshine: 1802
Average Annual Rainfall: 469 mm
Soil Type: Silt, clay, sandy loam
North of the Okanagan Valley, there’s an area of the province that has long been renowned as the “Houseboat Capital of Canada.”
More than 1,000 kilometres of shoreline make up the Shuswap Lake system making it a major draw for those who love watersports and home to the largest houseboat fleet in the country.
But the Shuswap is also reputed for being one of the most northern grape growing areas in North America. And while some might not think that’s anything to brag about, the area is slowly making a reputation for quality wines thanks to a unique set of micro-climates. It enjoys sunny, mild temperatures through the spring, summer and fall months, yet the level of precipitation tends to be higher than grape growing regions further south. The tradeoff is that irrigation needs are kept to a minimum and in some cases not required at all.
The first winery opened almost a quarter century ago, and today there are eight wineries stretching from Enderby in the North Okanagan to as far north as Celista.
This region is an ecological gem filled with alpine meadows, dense forests, rolling trails and waterways. Amid this natural habitat you’ll find smatterings of grass-roots communities with charming cafes and boutiques and an active and inspiring artist culture. Traditional Secwepemc or Shuswap Indigenous culture is still very much alive today in the area.
The Shuswap has a deeply rooted farming community and food enthusiasts are invited to do a farm tour that also includes the charming wineries of the area. It’s a terrific way to explore the regional food culture.
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