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I have returned from a vacation with 23 family members to British Columbia, Canada which included activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking glaciers and Canadian bowling. The coolest adventure was mountain climbing using Via Ferrata – a system of steel cables connected to rock along a route with iron pegs, carved steps, ladders and bridges. Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Road) originated during World War I in the Dolomites (Italian Alps) to aid movement of troops.

 Via Ferrata allows inexperienced climbers to experience the thrill of serious mountaineers and more than 1,000 ferratas now exist. Our Via Ferrata was a four hour climb to Terminator Peak (7,188 ft. elevation) at Kicking Horse ski resort where we spent the week at the enchanting Vagabond Lodge. 

I was skittish about doing this adventure and remained nervous as I approached the narrow cable bridge over a deep gorge. But I forged ahead with the mantra “don’t look down” and I was rewarded with a thrilling journey. For you thrill- seekers, find the nearest Ferrata and check it out! 

The team on the wall

The team on the wall

Hanging Loose!

Hanging Loose!

But how is this post relevant to a wine blog?  

One evening after the adventure of the day, our group met for dinner at a local restaurant in Golden, BC and I was offered a wine list. To my surprise wines were from BC wineries but I never realized wineries or vineyards existed in BC. British Columbia includes the cities of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton – cities which I associate with very cold weather so how can there be vineyards? And more surprising, the wines I selected were very good and value priced.

BC wine country is located in Okanagan Valley along the Washington state border about 260 miles east of Vancouver at a latitude similar to Champagne, France. There are 130 wineries and 8,600 acres of vineyards which is the approximate size of Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. If you can find BC wines in the States, they should be bargains since the USD is now valued 1.30 to CDN.

 GEHRINGER Desert Sun 2014

GEHRINGER Desert Sun 2014

White blend of Auxerrois, Chardonnay and Riesling with an intense fruit bowl of aromas.  Bright crisp acidity invigorates flavors of peach and pear, mingled with delicate citrus notes. Refreshing, easy drinking wine that we bought a bottle after drinking by the glass.

 GEHRINGER Summer Night 2014

GEHRINGER Summer Night 2014

Red blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Merlot is light and mellow red. It delivers enjoyable aromas of strawberry, plum and spice. Slightly chilled by the glass was the perfect match for a burger on the deck overlooking the Kicking Horse River.

The moral of this story is that good wine is made around the world even where you least expect. Let me know if you’ve been surprised by good wine in an unexpected place.

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