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
Wine producers in the Thompson Valley are not afraid to push the boundaries. Indeed, they are teetering outside the comfort zone climate-wise when it comes to growing grapes.
But these gamblers have rolled the dice and come out on top, big time. The Thompson Valley may be the most northerly area within BC Wine Country, but it enjoys more than 2,000 hours of sunshine annually and often records some of the warmest temperatures in Canada.
Today, there are just over 100 acres planted supplying grapes to a handful of wineries, mostly around Kamloops, which makes up only one per cent of the total vineyard in BC. But the potential is real and enthusiasts can count on a personalized experience and share in the passion and determination of the pioneers who are undaunted by any perceived challenges.
After all, when wine producing began in BC decades ago, there were plenty of naysayers and few – even those who took the plunge – predicted it would reach the level of excellence it has achieved today. The vintners who set the course were considered to be risk takers and mavericks at best; foolhardy and doomed at worst – but they proved the critics wrong and history speaks for itself.
There’s a lot to love about the Thompson Valley. At its core is the City of Kamloops, the second largest metropolitan area in the BC interior. But it’s an easy escape from urban life as the area is teeming with valleys and plateaus formed by volcanic land masses and rivers. Anchored by the Thompson River, a visit to a golf course or winery can be effortlessly paired with a fishing trip, a nature walk or boating expedition.
Here 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.
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.