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Similkameen Valley: Cawston & Keremeos
EnRoute magazine dubbed the Similkameen Valley, one of the “world’s five best wine regions you’ve never heard of.” Indeed, it’s an up and comer in British Columbia Wine Country, yet its growing conditions are very much like that of the Okanagan Valley and capable of ripening the bold reds. The Similkameen isn’t new to the table. The first winery opened in 1984. But due to the fact it is more remote and orchards, farms and ranches had a pretty strong foothold here, the wine industry didn’t really take off until more recently. Today, however, there are 19 licensed wineries and 657 acres of vineyard. The top grapes planted are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. The Similkameen River brings life to the arid grasslands of the valley. Keremeos is known as the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada and the region’s ability to grow excellent fruit is evident with the increasing number of wineries. The Similkameen Valley is rich in mining history and you can still pick up a pan and try your luck at striking gold. First Nations culture and agricultural lands still thrive here. The Similkameen boasts scores of accessible fishing lakes along with the remote backcountry terrain of Cathedral Provincial Park, a major attraction to adventure seekers looking for unparalleled experiences and breathtaking views. History buffs will be drawn to the old frontier-like atmosphere and landscape