BC Wine Appreciation Society 10th Anniversary Gala – Get Your Tickets

Do you love BC wine, or want to try BC wine?  Here is a great chance at the 10th Anniversary Gala of the BC Wine Appreciation Society.   Their announcement is below.  Enjoy!


BC Wine Appreciation Society logo10th Anniversary Gala-Over 45 Wineries – April 16/15

Clos du Soleil Dinner with BCWAS: Get Your TIckets

Clos du Soleil logo

The BC Wine Appreciation Society has a dinner with Clos du Soleil.  Wines you will enjoy plus ticket details are below. Enjoy!


Those of you who were on  our 2012 bus tour will remember the delicious wine dinner we had with Clos du Soleil at the Watermark – and now owner Spencer Massie and winemaker Ann Sperling are coming all the way from the Similkameen to visit us!

In 2005, Spencer and a group of friends fell in love with the Similkameen, and decided to found a winery. In 2006, they planted their vineyards with all Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Spencer and Ann Sperling were high school classmates, and by 2009, Ann was on board as winemaker.

The name Clos du Soleil refers to rocks, sun, and soil, from the mountain that forms a tall natural stone wall at the back of the vineyard, the cobbled terroir, and the long days of sun which pour in on the Similkameen Bench, one of BC’s most unique and promising microclimates. Clos du Soleil is highly committed to bio-dynamic farming practices, and to the French ideals of producing quality wines from their unique place.

Partners Spencer Massie & Les Le Quelenc with Ann Sperling 

                                                             Photo by John Schreiner


We are thrilled to be able to try this great lineup of wines! Included are two mini-verticals, one white and one red, as well as a great group of the rest of their lovely wines. Clos du Soleil is also generously donating a magnum of the Bordeaux-style Signature – so don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets!

The wines you will enjoy are:

  • Pinot Blanc 2013
  • Rosé 2013
  • Fumé Blanc 2013
  • Capella Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (the first vintage!)
  • Capella Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (compare with the 2006)
  • Merlot 2011
  • Celestiale Bordeaux-style blend 2011
  • Signature Bordeaux-style blend 2008 (compare the 2008 and 2011)
  • Signature Bordeaux-style blend 2011
  • Saturn late harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013

What a great way to start our summer – with a bit of “soleil”.

Several of our tastings this year have sold out. Sign up quickly to make sure you don’t miss this one!


Tuesday June 10, 2014


7:30 to 9:30 pm


Vancouver Masonic Centre, 1495 West 8th Ave (just off Granville)


Non-Members: $59


Click here to sign up:  http://www.bcwas.com/ClosduSoleil.html


2014 Upcoming Events:

Don’t miss our AGM on Monday June 16! This year we’re at a new venue, the Vancouver Film School on 88 East Pender. Come on out, bring a bottle of wine, enjoy the food the Society is providing, socialize with your fellow “winos”, and do a bit of Society business, too. We promise – the business part is over quickly!

The annual barbecue of the Vancouver American Wine Society is Sunday August 10. Once more, VAWS has invited BCWAS members to attend their annual barbecue at VAWS member rates. Always a fun time! This year, it’s in the gorgeous Kerrisdale backyard belonging to Larry Burr. Join us for food, wine, and bocce, and don’t forget your swimsuit.

Our 9th Annual Bus Tour is September 6/7, the weekend after Labour Day. We’ll be in Kelowna and Lake Country this year. The Saturday lunch will be at Gray Monk, our Saturday dinner will be at CedarCreek, and as always, Joy Road will be cooking us a wonderful Sunday lunch, this year at Tantalus Winery.

Questions? Contact us at events@bcwas.com.

Please make sure you have a safe way home – take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have transit tickets on hand for those who take BC Transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

Where is the Similkameen Valley and What Wines Can I Taste?

Probably most people outside of British Columbia have not heard of the Similkameen Valley. But they may have heard of some of the wineries. Does Clos du Soleil, Herder Winery, or Rustic Roots Winery sound familiar? Maybe you see their Twitter tweets?

Where is the Similkameen Valley?

The Similkameen Valley is about a 20-minute drive from Osoyoos or a 30-minute drive from Penticton to reach the Similkameen Valley.  It is approximately southwest of Penticton.

It is not part of the Okanagan.  It is characterized by a long narrow valley with steep mountain sides and an absence of major lakes.  This lack of large water bodies influences the temperature regime in the Valley.  The Okanagan Lakes store heat and allows for a longer growing / ripening season for the Okanagan, plus moderates the temperature of the land lakeside.   The growing season in the Similkameen Valley are shorter.  The grapes will have  a different character compared to the warmer, longer season in the Okanagan.  It should produce more citrusy whites and lighter bodied red wines, with higher acidity in general.  Cawston and Keremeos would be two towns in the Similkameen you may have heard of. The map below shows the location of the main wineries in the Similkameen Valley.


Which Grapes Do Well in the Similkameen?

There are currently over 600 acres of vineyards in the Similkameen.  The Wines of BC keeps track of the different grape varieties planted around BC.  They indicate that these varieties are planted in the Similkameen:

  • Merlot (17 per cent),
  • Gamay Noir (14 per cent),
  • Pinot Noir (10 per cent),
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (5 per cent),
  • Cabernet Franc (7 per cent),
  • Chardonnay (13 per cent),
  • Pinot Blanc (7 per cent),
  • Pinot Gris (7 per cent),
  • and small amounts of Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

In addition to grapes, there are many orchards in the Valley growing apples, cherries, apricots and more.

What Wines Can I Buy from the Similkameen?

Eight wineries joined together to form the Similkameen Wineries Association.  You can read about the wineries and association here.

Some of the wines you could purchase include:

  • Clos du Soleil Capella White Blend $32.99
  • Clos du Soleil Signature (Red Bordeaux blend)
  • Orofino Riesling $23.99
  • Orofino Red Bridge Red Merlot, $29.99
  • Herder Winery Estate Chardonnay $35
  • Herder Winery Estate Pinot Noir $35
  • Rustic Roots Apple Pear $18.90
  • Rustic Roots Apricot $28.90 (dessert style)
  • Forbidden Fruit Pearsuasion (pear wine)
  • Forbidden Fruit Cherysh (cherry wine)

From the brief sample above, there should be some wine to suit everyone’s palate.  There are also both grape and non-grape based fruit wines too.

As these are small wineries, relatively speaking, your best bet at finding these wines would be in a private wine shop, or at the winery.

Last but not least, maybe you pine to be a winery owner.  I did a quick check and there is a property for sale with 5 acres of vineyards with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and and Cabernet Franc for a mere CAD$999,000.  Here is the weblink to the VineSmart real estate listing.

I have yet to make it out to the Similkameen to visit the wineries there.  When I do, I will provide you with a detailed review. Enjoy.