KELOWNA – A daily newspaper from one of the top wine regions of the world has urged their readers to stop calling Kelowna "the Napa of the North."
The San Francisco Examiner, which calls itself the “longtime Monarch of the Dailies,” has been in continuous publication since 1863. On Dec. 28, they ran a story headlined “British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley: Napa of the North or something all its own?”
In it, reporter Ari Burack describes Kelowna as a “once-remote swath of rolling farmland” that has been hailed recently as Canada’s Napa Valley.
“In the Okanagan Valley,” he says, “diverse, hardworking and environmentally conscious farmers and entrepreneurs are doing more than creating great wines. They are bringing some of B.C.’s best organic produce to local restaurant tables and increasingly to the outside world.”
The article touts Kelowna as having picturesque scenery, excellent soil and four distinct seasons.
“Despite a relatively small growing area, microclimates and temperature variations from north to south here have proven good for cultivating many kinds of grapes, including riesling, gewurtztraminer, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. It is also considered the home of ice wine, a sweet and fragrant concoction made from grapes collected while frozen on the vine in the dead of winter,” he writes.
Quoted in the story are Summerhill Pyramid Winery winemaker Ezra Cipes and Jane Hatch of Tantalus Vineyards.
“The valley has come a long way since the first grapes were planted by settlers in the 1800s,” Burack writes. “A decade ago, high-profile publications began dubbing it the "Napa of the North." And while local winemakers were gratified merely to be recognized as competitive with one of the finest and most well-known wine regions in the world, some are ready to dispense with the label.
“It seems they have earned that much.”
In September of this year, Kelowna international airport became San Francisco Airport’s seventh Canadian destination when United Airlines announced daily, year-round, non-stop service.
“San Francisco is a great destination,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar. “It provides travellers’ better connection points to many more U.S. cities, as well, the San Francisco Bay area is a great region to visit.”
United’s non-stop United Express flights between YLW and SFO can be booked on-line at united.com. For more information about YLW, its destinations and services, visit the airport’s website at ylw.kelowna.ca.
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