The wine region less traveled

SN&R Illustration By Mark Stivers

Right now is California Wine Month, but I recently got back from a trip to a wine region very different than big, familiar Napa. It’s in Canada—yes, you heard me, Canada. The Okanagan area of British Columbia, centering on the town of Kelowna, comprises spectacular, arid hills threaded with fruit and grape-growing valleys, all sitting on a vast, prom-dress-blue lake of the same name. They make everything from the expected (ice wine) to the unexpected (very nice Bordeaux-style red blends). The winemaking falls between New World and Old World styles, and they’re also developing a strong local food culture; I tried fabulous, fresh goat cheese, homemade peach juice, caribou with a red-wine reduction, and a lot more. The wines are hard to find south of the border, with the exception of a few ice wines and some bottles from the big-gun winery Mission Hill, so you’ll just have to go—and soon, before the Canadian dollar catches up to ours.