Common Grape Varieties: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch
Average Daily High Temperature (July): 29C
Average Hours of Sunshine: 2080
Average Annual Rainfall: 224 mm
Soil Type: Bedrock, gravel, loam, silt, sandy clay
When it comes to grape growing in BC Wine Country, the producers in the Thompson Valley are living on the very edge.
The pioneers who broke ground in the industry in the Okanagan Valley were once considered the crazy ones, but went on to prove the naysayers wrong. And wine enthusiasts are very happy they did. The newest crop of boundary pushers hope to do the same.
So far, they are doing just that. The Thompson Valley may be the most northerly grape growing area within BC, but it enjoys more than 2,000 hours of sunshine annually and often records some of the warmest temperatures in Canada during the growing season.
Today, there is just over 100 acres planted supplying grapes to a handful of wineries, which makes up less than one per cent of the total vineyard in BC. Visitors will find most of them around Kamloops, the second-largest metropolitan area in the BC interior. Between winery tours, they can take in the fine dining, nightlife, and shopping.
Outside the city, the area is an ecological wonder featuring valleys and plateaus formed by volcanic land masses and rivers. Anchored by the Thompson River, a visit to a winery can be effortlessly paired with a fishing trip, a nature walk, golf, skiing or boating expedition.
Another attraction that’s sure not to escape your notice are the stunning rock formations known as the Hoodoos. The area also offers alpine skiing at a world-class resort known as Sun Peaks.
In the North Thompson you’ll find Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and Wells Gray Provincial Park, which features Helmcken Falls, higher than Niagara and plunging a breathtaking 141 metres down a narrow canyon.
PLEASE NOTE: Harper’s Trail wine shop is now closed but you can still order wine on-line.
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