Splash of Wine: BC fruit wines burst with local flavours
The BC wine industry has earned a glowing global reputation, but there’s more to the local collection than elixirs made of grapes. Fruit wines also form part of the provincial portfolio. Here's a small sampling of places throughout BC where the offerings are truly fruit-forward.
Monte Creek Ranch's Blueberry Wine
Situated 10 minutes outside of Kamloops with views of the South Thompson Valley and surrounding mountains, Monte Creek Ranch grows Reka blueberries for this dry wine ($17.99) right on-site.
A vibrant purple, the wine has bright floral flavours and is best served chilled. Pair it with pad Thai, flatbread topped with feta cheese and fresh mint, or grilled chicken. (It’s $17.99; see Monte Creek Ranch for details.)
The family-run farm also produces a Haskap Fruit Wine (a dessert wine made of three varieties of the namesake berries that they grow) and Split Decision, a blueberry-grape sparkling wine (in addition to reds, whites, roses, and other sparklers).
Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery’s Ina’s Blush
The Summerland winery makes several types of fruit wine, including Pear, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Raspberry, and Cranberry.
Ina’s Blush consists of Okanagan peaches and, to a lesser extent, Fraser Valley blueberries. It’s perfect for patio sipping or for serving with a selection of soft cheeses or salmon three ways: sashimi, smoked, and grilled. ($15.96; see website for more information.)
Then there’s dessert wine: choose from Apricot, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and more.
Fort Wine Co’s Keremeos Fruit Stand
Located just outside of Fort Langley in Glen Valley (who knew?), Fort Wine Co. was founded nearly two decades ago when tugboat captain and cranberry farmer Wade Bauck started making Cranberry wine, which remains its flagship product. Now the winery has several varieties, including Bite Me Strawberry and Valley Girl Blueberry as well as Island Queen Blackberry, a port-style wine, and the very sweet Cold Snap Apple dessert wine.
At 11 percent ABV, the Keremeos Fruit Stand wine consists of a blend of crispy B.C. apples and juicy local pears. Best chilled to 6 degrees Celsius, it goes especially well with seafood. (It’s $32.98; The Fort Wine Co. has ordering info.)