Sip Canadian Wine from a BC Family Winery

BC Wine

The wines of Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery have been winning awards since 2000, soon after Mike Smith brought his first wines into production on this small family-run winery in the Shuswap region of rural British Columbia. When he started, people scoffed, saying he would never succeed in growing wine grapes at 51 degrees north latitude. Grounding his plan in research and experimentation with varieties that produce world class wines in the Rhine regions, he nurtured white Optima, Siegerrebe, Ortega, Madeline Angevine, Madeline Sylvaner, and red Marechal Foch vines until they matured, and soon met with enough success to merit opening a winery on the Recline Ridge Estate to make the wines as well as grow the grapes.

In 2010, when Mike Smith was ready to retire, Graydon and Maureen Ratzlaff were ready to shut down their busy urban careers in the Lower Mainland near Vancouver, British Columbia and make a lifestyle change to a slower-paced rural environment. Building on his experience in the food and beverage industry, Graydon had the knowledge and network to develop and market the wines they produce on this small acreage at the foot of Tappen Mountain, where the ridge at the foot of the rows of vines looks like a giant reclining on his back. Collaborating with the wine master, Jesse Steinley, he enjoys the creative element of blending their own grapes and developing new wines. As they build on their initial success, they continue to expand the tasting bar and gift shop, where Maureen welcomes visitors for individual and group wine-tastings at the tasting bar or on the patio.

At Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery in British Columbia, the rows of vines slope downhill toward the head of the giant reclining on his back along the top of the ridge.
At Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery in British Columbia, the rows of vines slope downhill toward the head of the giant reclining on his back along the top of the ridge. | Source
Recline ridge Winery grows Marechal Foch grapes in this vineyard, looking out to the Recline Ridge now hidden in cloud.
Recline ridge Winery grows Marechal Foch grapes in this vineyard, looking out to the Recline Ridge now hidden in cloud. | Source

Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery , Tappen BC

show route and directions
A markerKamloops, BC -
Kamloops, BC, Canada
[get directions]

B markerTappen, BC -
Tappen, BC V0E, Canada
[get directions]

C markerKelowna, BC -
Kelowna, BC, Canada
[get directions]

D markerLittle Shuswap Lake -
Little Shuswap Lake, British Columbia, Canada
[get directions]

Recline Ridge is one of many hidden wineries in the Shuswap region north of the Okanagan. As each pioneer winery succeeds, new ones open.

Shuswap country along the Tappen Road, a rural drive to Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery about an hour east of Kamloops, British Columbia.
Shuswap country along the Tappen Road, a rural drive to Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery about an hour east of Kamloops, British Columbia. | Source

If You Go

Recline Ridge Winery is open year round:

May and September, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

June, July, and August, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Call for hours 250-835-2212.

Visits between November 1 - March 31 are by appointment only.

BC Wines from Recline Ridge Vineyard & Winery

A few of their recent wines stand out:

  • The fruity Ortega 2008 was a Gold medal winner at the All Canadian Wine Championships in 2010.
  • The Kerner 2011 has a complex flavour with a Riesling edge.
  • The Marechal Foch 2009 has a fruity, spicey flavour with a smokey finish, and was a Bronze medal winner at the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival in 2010. The Marechal Foch varieties have been the most successful red wine grape to grow at Recline Ridge, this far north.

Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery
Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery | Source
Viticulture is a developing form of agritourism in the shuswap resgion.  This roadside sign along the Tappen Valley road points to Recline Ridge and neighbouring Granite Creek family vineyards and wineries.
Viticulture is a developing form of agritourism in the shuswap resgion. This roadside sign along the Tappen Valley road points to Recline Ridge and neighbouring Granite Creek family vineyards and wineries. | Source
White grapevines in early spring at Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery
White grapevines in early spring at Recline Ridge Vineyard and Winery | Source
Recline Ridge Vineyard & Winery near Tappen, British Columbia is one of a growing number of family wineries producing award-winning wines in northern locations.
Recline Ridge Vineyard & Winery near Tappen, British Columbia is one of a growing number of family wineries producing award-winning wines in northern locations. | Source

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Comments 5 comments

Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

Some fantastic photos Janis! I don't think I've ever tried a Canadian wine, but I'll keep an eye out for it!


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

This is one of a few fairly new vineyards, and they may not export yet. Don't know if you can take delivery if you order on-line, but check it out.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

After reading your hub I was hoping that I could purchase a bottle at the LCBO. Sad to say that when I went to the LCBO site they do not have it listed. Some of my favorite wines are from Canadian vineyards. Have you tried Inniskillin ?


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Beautiful photos! My brother has a bio dynamic vineyard in Templeton (California) and his business is growing through great wines and ongoing wine tastings in much the same way that the Smiths of Reline Ridge in your northern climes are. It's an exciting business, the more so in your Smith's case because of the climate up there. I'll send my brother this! It's fascinating.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

Susan, I haven't tasted Inniskillin for a while, but I will go looking for it. Is it from the Niagara region? I have been exploring local wines from around here, and learning more about the industry. Lots of changes are afoot as hardy varieties are being planted successfully and opening up whole new avenues for new experiments with wines.

Goodlady I would love to hear more about what your brother is doing. There is huge interest in organic methods around here, and his biodynamic approach sounds pioneering.

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