The days are longer, the weather warmer and the patios more welcoming. A glass of wine is the perfect complement to relaxing in the summer sun, and you need not look far to find the perfect glass.
After the first vineyard opened in Kamloops in 2005 a local wine industry blossomed. Now there are six vineyards and four wineries in the region.
Trish Morelli, executive director of the Kamloops Wine Trail, said the region’s recent designation as an official wine region will help the area continue to grow and be recognized as a wine destination.
“It means a lot, it really helps to validate everything that we’re doing here,” Morelli said. “The Thompson Valley will be like the Okanagan Valley, we will be officially on the wine map. We won’t be lumped under emerging wineries. It brings so much credibility.”
With the designation under their belts the wine trail is now looking forward to future growth.
“I’m very proud of this region and very proud of the B.C. wine industry…every one of the wineries has shown double digit growth. We’re expecting a pretty epic year this year.”
The area’s semi-arid climate with shorter and less harsh winters combined with minimal precipitation has proven to be ideal growing conditions.
All this means great wines to try and wineries to visit; see our summer guide to
Monte Creek Ranch Winery
The beautiful terrace at the Monte Creek Ranch Winery is open for the summer and Instagram ready. The menu features local food, mouth watering baked brie, beautiful platters and more.
With more than 1,200 acres of ranchland with 75 acres of vines, this working ranch is home to a wide array of features. Take part in the daily tour program at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to get an up close look at the vineyards, hakasp, bee colonies, the ranch and wine cellars.
Their summer wine recommendation is their 2017 rosé made with Marquette grapes. Its perfect pink colour and refreshing but dry strawberry rhubarb taste was unaffected by the smoky skies it was grown under last summer.
Privato Vineyard and Winery
With a wide variety of events Privato is ready to welcome everyone this summer.
Pet parents will enjoy the Dog Days of Summer on May 27. Pups get treat tastings as their people sample wines and visit pet vendors. An agility course will be set up and a competition will be held for owners who resemble their pets.
For those more focused on wine than pets the Spring Release Party on June 23 will feature a variety of wines including their first Grande Reserve released since 2012. Want to add food to the mix? Make it to one of the outdoor long table dinners hosted in July and August. Local caterers will delight the taste buds in these themed meals.
Other public and private events will be hosted throughout the summer. Stay tuned to their website or Facebook page for more information.
On your way take the McLure ferry for a unique experience before you pick up a bottle or two of the perfect summer wine. While the rosé is the most popular summer pick, the chardonnay and “gew” also make for easy sipping.
Cabernet Franc lovers will be happy to hear two more acres of grapes have been planted for the varietal and fruit should be ready for harvesting next year.
Until then stay busy with Wine Down Wednesdays, head to the winery every Wednesday from June 6 until the end of August for 10 per cent off food and wine purchases and live entertainment every second Wednesday. The events are free and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Don’t want to put the picnic basket together yourself? Local crackers, meats, cheeses, olives and nuts can be bought on site.
On trend with the region, Harper’s Trail’s most popular summer wine is their refreshing rosé with hints of pomegranate, cranberry and apricot.