Larch Hills Winery is a 15 minute drive south of Salmon Arm and is British Columbia’s highest elevation vineyard at 2,480 feet. From the top of the steep south-facing vineyard, you can see the beginning of the Okanagan Valley in the distance. The winery has been in operation since 1997. I had the chance to visit the winery driving back from Golden BC to our home in Kelowna.
The owners are Jack Manser, formerly a forester in Switzerland, and his wife, Hazel, who bought the winery in 2005 from founders Hans and Hazel Nevrkla. The non-irrigated vineyard grows the cool-climate varieties appropriate for the location, including Ortega, Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe, Lemberger and Maréchal Foch. Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Merlot are sourced from contract vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. All grapes are crushed, processed, and the wine made right on our premises. Production is around 5,000 cases per year.
The Larch Hills wines are consistent, reliable and excellent value. 2013 Maréchal Foch Reserve won a bronze at the 2014 All Canadian Wine Championship. The 2013 Grandview Bench (a blend of Marechal Foch, Merlot & Lemberger) is a smooth wine, equally good on its own or accompanying any flavourful food and also won bronze.
The winery is open all year round so please check it out if you are driving by.