Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992


Wines of the Okanagan

Osoyoos Lake Bench


Osoyoos Bench


The southern most vineyards in the Okanagan grow on the Osoyoos Lake Bench. This is one of the narrowest points of the Okanagan Valley-Osoyoos, in fact, is a First Nations word meaning “narrows of the lake”-and one of the hottest temperatures. Osoyoos (pop. 5,200), a Spanish-themed lakeside town next to the US border, averages summertime temperatures that are three to five degrees higher than those in Penticton.*

The dominant grape here is red. Leading varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Canada’s first successful Zinfandel block or section of grapes. Whites are also planted, notably Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The leading producers that get Osoyoos Lake Bench grapes include Jackson-Triggs, Mission Hill, CedarCreek, Osoyoos Larose, Inniskillin Okanagan and Nk’Mip Cellars.

Constelation Brands (owners of Jackson -Triggss) have the most extensive vineyards that were planted in 1998 and 1999 on the eastern and northeastern side of Osoyoos Lake, on slopes rising about 60 metres (200 feet) above the valley floor. These have been named Bull Pine, Sun Rock, Bear Cub, McIntyre and Whitetail. The bench on the western flank of the valley is perched slightly higher and has a more complex mix of sand, clay and gravel.

Osoyoos Lake is the warmest fresh water lake in Canada and provides for great summer time activities An oasis in Canada's only desert - the Sonora Desert. Summers are generally very hot with July and August being warmer than Napa Valley, but the evenings are markedly cooler. Osoyoos has 1450 growing degree days and 8 inches of average annual rainfall*

The Town of Osoyoos wraps it self around the lake. Just beyond the town city centre you find its many wineries and vineyards.

Some of the more noted wineries are Nk'Mip Cellars, La Stella and Twisted Tree with numerous  other wineries resource grapes from the area.

Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc  are some of the grapes grown here

~ Adega on 45th
~ Blue Sky Wines
~ Bordertown
~ La Stella
~ Lake Side Cellars
~ Mayhem Wine Inc
~ Nk'Mip Cellars
~ Moon Curser Vineyards
~ Osoyoos LaRose Estate Winery
~ Sonora Desert Vineyard
~ Young and Wyse Collection
~ Gold Hill
~ Lariana Cellars
~ B3 Wine

For a details on these wineries

~ Osoyoos Lake Bench ~ The Golden Mile ~ Simillkameen Valley ~ Okanagan Falls ~ Skaha Lake
~ Naramata Bench Summerland and Peachland ~ Mount Boucherie ~ Kelowna and Lake Country
~ Northern ~ Kootenays ~ Thompson River Valley ~ Black Sage

* John Schreiner - Okanagan WIne Guide

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