Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 19, 2017
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BC's place in the sun

About this time of year, the weather tends to take a frightful turn along the west coast of Canada. Rain becomes a more constant companion, and grey becomes the new blue. However, there’s no need to fret, simply head for the hills. Literally, because away from the churning seas and low-pressure coastal fronts — across the Cascade Mountains and their protective rain shadow -- the sun still clings to the interior of British Columbia.

Which is one significant reason to head inland to visit the Okanagan Valley, the major wine growing area of British Columbia. In fact, many find that fall is the most enjoyable touring season, as harvest is in full swing and the region’s hundreds of wineries are consumed with the sounds of the annual grape crush and the scents of fermentation. The Okanagan is truly abuzz this time of year, before the frost settles in to chill the lake lifestyle for the season.

Whether driving from the coast or arriving via plane from far flung parts of the country, the common Okanagan entry point is Kelowna. Which makes a great starting point for a weekend’s worth of winery touring. Quails’ Gate Winery (quailsgate.com), for example, located a crow’s flight west across the lake from Kelowna in appropriately-named Westbank, always offers a warm welcome.

One of the Okanagan Valley’s established estate wineries, Quails‘ Gate is perched on a prime piece of panoramic lakefront property. Here the winery produces a full lineup of red, white and dessert wines, including a not-to-be-missed Marechal Foch. This hearty hybrid grape was once popular throughout the valley, and though international superstars like Merlot and Syrah get the most press these days, Quails‘ Gate has remained committed to the quirky cultivar. All the winery’s wines can readily be sampled in their tasting room, though a glass with a midday meal at the all-season Old Vines restaurant is the logical, more leisurely choice.

If a firsthand tour of Quails’ Gate winery is not in the cards, consider picking up a bottle of their Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir from your local wine shop. Made from grapes sourced predominantly from more than 20 year-old vines, this forthright red is redolent with bright red fruits and a supple yet fresh disposition. Pair with beef stew, meatloaf or even roast duck with plum sauce.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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