Known more for its western frontier history of ranching and gold mining, the Similkameen Valley has only four wineries thus far. This cattle country DVA runs 70 miles westward through the Coastal Mountain Range, from Osoyoos in the southern Okanagan Valley to that valley’s western reaches. Nestled on the banks of the Similkameen River lies St. Laszlo Vineyards, near the town of Keremeos, and Crowsnest Vineyards near Cawston. The high-elevation Similkameen Valley has near desert-like conditions, with hot daytime temperatures and cooler nights, tempered by the river. Summers are dry and hot, with long sunshine hours and low humidity. The valley follows the picturesque Similkameen River and is surrounded by steep terrain. Two hundred acres along the river are planted to wine grapes.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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is the Regional Correspondent for Similkameen Valley.