Okanagan

Westworld Saskatchewan Features My BC Wine Country Update

Okanagan Wine Country-1

 

 

 

 

 

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Okanagan Winter Staycation

When family commitments sidelined all hope of a warm southern getaway, I didn’t despair — though that great honkin’ snowstorm in January prompted a tiny twinge of jealousy for all my absent neighbours. Still, I figured if thousands of people travel to my home patch for their vacations every year, surely I could come up with a suitable break right here in the Okanagan.

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McIntyre Bluff

McIntyre Bluff is named for old-timer “Uncle Pete” McIntyre, who lived at the foot of the cliffs; but the face in the rock isn’t Uncle Pete, it’s known as “The Chief.”

Whenever I drive along Highway 97 between Vaseux Lake and Oliver, I hope the light will be just right to bring out his enormous features. I’ve never found a specific connection between the monolithic chief and local First Nations, although the bluffs themselves figure in a ghost story. 

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Spion Kop Trails

You find vestiges of empire in the strangest places. As a huge history buff, I’m all in favour of names that relate to the heritage of an area, be they aboriginal or settler. But I was left scratching my head just a little over the origins of a landmark familiar to Lake Country residents and anybody else who regularly drives Hwy 97 between Kelowna and Vernon.

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Linden Gardens

A single-file dirt path ribbons into my favourite kind of garden; not wild, exactly, not tame or manicured either. A riot of knee-high, waist-high, chest-high plants jostle, shove and elbow their neighbours for a good space in the sun. A single leafy tree—maybe a linden—pushes skyward, rising above the Joseph’s coat of blossoms. I recognize yellow iris and those little white flowers might be mock orange, but I have no clue what to call the purple bottle brushes lining the path or the lurid fuchsia shrubs nestled here and there among the jungle of greenery that will blossom in its own turn throughout the summer. 

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Okanagan Wine Country: BC Living

Love the layout of my Insider’s Guide to Okanagan Wine Country in the Spring issue of BC Living. You’ll find my suggestions for must-sip wines and don’t-miss wineries along with tips on what to nosh and where to lay your head. It’s all broken down by region: Kelowna, Penticton & Naramata; and Oliver & Osoyoos.

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