You may have heard of it: Canada’s desert, the South Okanagan, characterized by its sage-scrub and rattlesnakes and burgeoning status as one of the country’s most popular luxury playgrounds.
“You won’t believe you’re in Canada,” says food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King.
It seems the global weather system is getting weirder and less predictable. And on the contentious but important subject of global warming? The study of how wine will react to climate change is one small but telling piece of the larger story of how agriculture as a whole will endure.
At the base of Mission Hill Family Estate’s monumental bell tower is a cast-iron sculpture affixed to a rectangular block of granite. The sculpture is emblematic of the winery’s proprietor. Whether it’s ski jumping or empire building, with Anthony von Mandl, it’s all about how far you can fly.
Situated high above Okanagan Lake and sequestered behind 4,500-kilogram steel gates, Mission Hill welcomes almost 130,000 visitors annually, with good reason, as proprietor Anthony von Mandl built the property up around a foundation of, yes, award-winning wines, but also much more.
It began, appropriately enough, over an impassioned discussion during a restaurant meal in which several great wines were poured. “Wouldn’t it be great,” someone mused out loud, “if we could make our own wines, right at home, and have them with beautiful dinners like this one?”
Golf is a game of inches, both literal and figurative. A slight shift from front foot to back; an additional degree of inclination on a club face; a ball that rolls a little to the left rather than the right—any of these can make the difference between an afternoon spent dreaming about turning pro and one spent ruing the day you first put hand to club.
The locals have dubbed Sparkling Hill Resort “the Crystal Palace,” an apt moniker because this resort is, indeed, full of crystals, and sits high atop a granite ridge overlooking a kingdom of scenic rolling hills and Okanagan Lake below. Crystal architecture is its central theme, with more than 3.5 million individual Swarovski crystals incorporated into the design.
British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is attracting international attention as a New World wine region poised to become one of the best. Those savvy in the international wine business understand that the Okanagan wine-country offers exceptional value compared to other global wine producing regions, many of which are older and much more established.