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Planning your B.C. Wine Tour
Shuswap: Celista, Tappen, Salmon Arm & Enderby
The Shuswap, by comparison to other wine growing areas in British Columbia, is a bit of a toddler.Thirty years ago, this was a region of lakes and bush land. But then some brave souls took a chance and planted grapes in Salmon Arm. While wine grape growing in B.C. in general was considered very risky in the early days of the industry, it was especially so in the Shuswap region. Prior to 1990, no one had planted vines in the province so far north but after some experimentation, vintners opted to take a gamble on growing the German varieties of Ortega and Siegerrebe, along with the French grape Madeleine Angevine. That was a risk that paid off. Today, there are almost a dozen wineries in the Shuswap area producing aromatic whites and fruity, complex reds. The grapes grown here have expanded to include, among others, the popular varieties of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Marachel Foch This region is an ecological gem filled with alpine meadows, dense forests, rolling trails and waterways. Amid this natural habitat you’ll find smatterings of grass-roots communities with charming cafes and boutiques and an active and inspiring artist culture. It’s overall population is small, but swells in the summer with tourists attracted to the region for houseboating, camping, fishing and for the August music extravaganza called the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival. Those looking for a marine-centred getaway, there are numerous park campgrounds where exploration abounds through trails along the forested Shuswap Lake shoreline.
 Another draw is the Adams River salmon run in October when observers get a chance to see millions of sockeye salmon return to spawn. Nature lovers will appreciate Salmon Arm’s waterfront trails through a protected sanctuary featuring boardwalks, paths, a bird viewing tower and a Nature House. Then there’s Margaret Falls, which passes through a rock chasm and offers an enchanted forest feel. There’s a unique ecosystem of flowers, trees and shrubs and the water from Reinecker Creek cascades down a sheer rock face creating a natural shower. There’s also a hidden cave in the rock behind the falls. The Shuswap has a deeply rooted farming community and food enthusiasts are invited to do a farm tour that also includes the charming wineries of the area. It’s a terrific way to explore the regional food culture.