Down in the desert country of Osoyoos, at the very southern end of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, the mercury has been hovering around the zero-degree mark for a while now, but that shouldn’t last much longer. Soon enough, buds will burst on the area’s grapevines, and as vineyards bloom under the sun, those temperatures will climb into the thirties and forties. It’s as we get into vintage when the region’s desert classification becomes a lot more obvious. Not only is it ‘hot enough for ya’ more often than not, but while toddling around the area’s landscape, cacti and rattlesnakes aren’t exactly uncommon sights.
It is here where the Okanagan Valley excels at ripening the grapes for rich red and white wines, while sandy soils with pockets of clay, limestone and granite add distinct minerality and the cool nights allow natural acidity to be preserved.
These conditions make it possible for quite the variety of, er, varieties to be grown, and when it comes to Osoyoos wineries, this writer can’t think of anyone taking advantage of this scenario as much Beata and Chris Tolley, the owners of Moon Curser Vineyards.