Chances are you are familiar with the different wine regions in Canada, from BC to Nova Scotia. Within these larger regions of Fraser Valley, Okanagan Valley, Niagara, Prince Edward County and Tidal Bay, you can find smaller regions that further dictate a more specific wine style and quality. Naramata is one of these smaller regions located in the Okanagan Valley.
The Okanagan Valley is nestled in a pocket with the Shuswap and Kootenays to the north and east, and the Similkameen Valley to the west. Okanagan Valley is comprised of 11 different sub-regions with 122 licensed wineries. The Okanagan Valley produces the majority of B.C.’s wine, with “nearly 82 per cent of the total vineyard acreage in the province”- (WineBC.com)
Naramata is home to approximately 30 wineries. South of Kelowna and north of Okanagan Falls on the East bank of the Okanagan Lake, Naramata is home to many grape varietals. The soils and climate produce stunning Merlot and Pinot Noir, as well as full-bodied Pinot Gris, we like Kettle Valley’s. You can also find more unique plantings of Ehrenfelser, Pinot Blanc, and Pinotage at wineries like Lake Breeze Vineyards.
What makes Naramata wines so special? The approximate 25 kms of winding roads and undulating hills lay atop granite rich soils. The granite provides a level of minerality to the wines and also provides a heat source for the vines. The mineral rich soil absorbs heat during the day and disperses the warmth through the evening. The vines wake-up in the morning with open leaves and ready for the heat of the day. Vineyards with a western slope that face the Okanagan Lake also benefit from the additional sunlight reflected off the water. This is why you will discover fully ripened and expressive varietals such as Syrah, this far north!
A visit to Naramata is definitely worth a trip! If you are short on vacation time, you can attend the Flavours of Naramata festival being held this evening in Calgary. At the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby, you can sample the wines from 18 different producers while being entertained by the Deanne Matley Trio!
If you are attending the event, let us know what you thought of the wines! WineCollective would love to hear about your favourite Naramata wineries and new wines you discovered.