Harper’s Trail, named for the cattle drive “trail” of pioneer rancher Thaddeus Harper
Harpers trail is helping to put Kamloops on the map as a regonized wine region in Canada. The first winery to open in Kamloops with wines made from 100% Kamloops grown grapes. The winery is owned by Ed and Vicki Collett
Kamloops is a city in south central British Columbia in Canada, located at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River near Kamloops Lake. It is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Throughout his career, Ed visited wine regions in other parts of the world, particularly Australia and Chile, and was struck by the similarity in climate to the Thompson River Valley. The possibility of starting a vineyard crept into the couples' minds and a weekend getaway overlooking the vines in the Okanagan cemented the desire to create their own vineyard.
Vicki Collett, co-owner of Harper's Trail, has experience in both the hospitality industry and administration - two very important areas when deciding to open and run a winery. It was Vicki's love of food and wine, along with a weekend wine-tasting trip to the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan, which led her and husband Ed Collett to start having conversations about owning a winery. "I simply like food and wine, and in no particular order," says Vicki.
The winery is a little farther north than most Okanagan winery It is a cold climate grape growwing region wher Harper's Trail Cabernet Franc succeeded so well that more was planted in 2012, This was followed with 2.4 hectares (six acres) of Pinot Noir and Gamay in 2013. Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay also are succeeding.
Wind machines combat early autumn frost. Ginseng shade-cloth on the vineyard’s borders breaks the valley’s constant winds. Propane cannons deter the birds. “All of this is new to the Thompson,” the vineyard manager says. “This was the first vineyard with wind machines and bird bangers.
Michael Bartier is the consulting winemaker, and has made Harper’s Trail wines from the first vintage. Try the Harper’s Trail Pioneer Block Dry Riesling 2013 .
Kamloops Wine Trail now has four members Privato, Monte Creek Ranch, Harper's Trail and Sagewood
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