Keremeos is one of B.C.’s not so secret wine destinations. Tucked into the outrageously beautiful Similkameen Valley, this town, along with its neighbour wee Cawston, play host to a list of star wineries.
And one of those wineries is shining a little brighter these days. Clos du Soleil, which translates to 'enclosed vineyard of the sun,' is renowned for wine excellence and biodynamic viticulture and also has a very special member of its ownership team: B.C.'s much-beloved provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Clos du Soleil was founded in 2006 by a group of friends that were all passionate about wine, food and travel, and shared a common vision of producing terroir-driven wines in the Similkameen Valley. All of those initial people are still involved today, as well as a few other families who have joined over the years," winemaker and managing director Michael Clark says. "Dr. Bonnie Henry was one of those initial investors, and she continues to be an investor today. For all of the owners, Clos du Soleil is much more than just a business, and I know Bonnie feels this way too. She is passionate about what we do at Clos du Soleil, she sees it as a source of friendships, and she holds the winery close to her heart.”
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We all know Dr. Henry as B.C.'s guiding and calming voice during the pandemic. She was Deputy Provincial Health Officer for B.C. in 2014 before moving into her current role as Provincial Health Officer. She has stepped back from any direct involvement in the winery during the pandemic, however she continues to enjoy the wines, Clark says.
“Bonnie enjoys all of our wines, and has been loving our recent rosé release, but when asked which wines are her overall favourites, she chose Clos du Soleil's Fumé Blanc and Signature," Clark says.
During the pandemic crisis, Clos du Soleil has been raising funds for the B.C. Psychological Association's program to provide free-of-charge psychological support and mental-health services to healthcare workers and other essential workers across B.C. The program has already provided more than 700 calls to provide free support services to essential workers in B.C.
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“The empathy, unity, and collaborative spirit shown by the vast majority of Canadians during this crisis has made me very proud to be a part of this country, and a part of British Columbia, and I can tell you that Clos du Soleil has felt that support in turn from our customers across the country. From the start, Clos du Soleil has been a story about place, about our unique Similkameen Valley, and about how a bottle of wine can tell a story about a place. It is for this reason that we have decided to make our free-shipping policy permanent. It is as a reflection of that spirit of unity that we want to make it as easy as possible to share our story with customers everywhere," Clark says.
Like many of our B.C. wineries, Clos du Soleil has stepped up during the pandemic crisis to help customers access to their wines by offering free shipping. Since then, they have recognized the importance of value of this service to their customers have decided to continue offering free delivery for all orders in B.C. and Alberta of six bottles or more (and only nominal shipping charges for customers across the rest of Canada).
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