May 282013
 
Kelowna Vineyards

Photo Credit: Kelowna.com

Well, as a matter of fact, Penticton is in Canada. More specifically, it basks on the shores of Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley, which is in the province of British Columbia about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Vancouver. Okay, well, that’s all clear now. I’ll be there next week attending the Wine Bloggers Conference and exploring the wines of BC.

Indeed, they make wine in Canada. For the most part, the country is too far north and too cold to grow wine grapes. There are, however, pockets such as Okanagan Valley where special climatic conditions make it possible for viticulture. While there are over 60 different varieties grown there, the best wines tend to be made from grapes that thrive in cooler conditions. Notably, this includes Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.

My exposure to the wines of Canada are limited. I’ve read for years that the wines from this region are impressive and have a lot of potential, but haven’t had much opportunity to try them for myself. I have a particular fondness for good dessert wines, and have had several notable Ice Wines from both Ontario and BC. I’ve tried a few Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs as well, but not to any great extent. That’s about it.

I am, therefore, looking forward to the opportunity of exploring the region, learning its history, and tasting its wines.