Great Friends and Good Wine

There is nothing so fine as good wine shared with great friends.  When we got a call from some dear friends in Alberta saying they would be coming by for a short visit, our first thoughts were – “the house is a disaster!”  “where can we eat?” and “what can we show them of Creston?”

The house part was not a problem as we were going to eat out.  The eating part was fairly easy as there are several good restaurants and coffee shops.  I talked to a couple of locals and Jimmy’s Pub on Canyon Street was recommended.  The last answer came easy as well.  Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard which is very close to our home.

Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard

Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard

The Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard,  has been a family operated winery since 2007.  Owners, Al and Marlene Hoag, planted and grew the vineyard and use all their own grapes in the beautiful wines we tried.  A couple of the specialty wines also use apples or cherries from the neighbouring orchards.

Susan runs the Tasting Bar and offers a plethora of knowledge on the estate grown handcrafted Kootney wines that the Skimmerhorn Winery offers.  Tours are also available June through September.  The Tasting Bar is open April to December.  Times are listed on their web page at www.skimmerhorn.ca

What a gorgeous day too!  Be sure to bring your camera to capture the amazing views.

old machinerywhat a view

When we arrived we found Susan busy cleaning up walnuts after the wind in the morning had shaken the big tree out front.  She let us pick some too.  Imagine that, Walnuts.  We have to let them dry in a warm place for 3-4 weeks before eating.

Walnuts

Walnuts

Picking fallen Walnuts

Picking fallen Walnuts

The wine tasting was in the cozy Tasting Room.

cozy Don’t forget to sign the guest book!

winesThe little room also has a big wood fireplace, perfect to curl up with a nice glass of wine and warm conversation.  It leads  to the outdoor patio and spectacular views of the Percell Mountains and Creston Valley.

patio with a view

Some of the Awards they have earned this year were Gold Medal for 2014 Gewürztraminer and Gold Medal for 2014 Autumn Tryst at the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition 2015 (Michigan)

more awards awards

Raising a toast and enjoying a glass!

bring friends

Enjoy!

Dreaming of a White Christmas, but if the White runs out Red is good too!

clink cheers

These are a few favourites of mine.  If you have been to the Skimmerhorn Winery I would love to know what ones you chose.

The following information can be found on the Skimmerhorn Winery web page found  here.

favourites2

2014 Autumn Tryst

The 2014 Autumn Tryst:   The scent of orange blossom and peach is followed by a striking peach and watermelon palate. The superbly balanced sweetness and acidity create a smooth and lingering finish. Enjoy this distinct wine on its own or with pork and chicken dishes.  Sweetness Code 3

favourites1

2014 Kootenay Crush

The 2014 Kootenay Crush “Kootenay Crush” is an unusual blend of Pinot Noir, Ortega and Gewurztraminer. This wine delivers the stunning aroma of rose petal and lychee fruit. The fruity palate has notes of pear, peach and mandarin orange giving way to a crisp and lingering finish.

favourites3

Old Koot

The Old Koot  This garnet-coloured, fortified port-style wine has dark chocolate and cherry aromas with smooth, velvety flavours of sweet plum, black current and cherry. A classic after-dinner drink that pairs well with robust cheeses and rich chocolate desserts.

All in all this was a wonderful visit and we all thoroughly enjoyed the winery.  I highly recommend a visit to Skimmerhorn, if you are a connoisseur of good wine or just starting out on your wine journey.  It was a warm and welcoming place, full of information, stunning views, and tasty wines.  Next time I would love to go on the tour.  You can find more information on the Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard web page.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.   Be sure to follow and like their page and tell them your favouite Skimmerhorn Wine.

Five Minutes Away

October already!  We have been living in our new home for over three months.  Some days I stop and gaze around not quite believing we are actually here.

The other day we took a break from renovations to go for a walk and within five minutes of our street we were here.

Five Minutes Away

Five Minutes Away

What a beautiful walk.  It ran down into a gully and then back up the other side where we found the railroad tracks.

5 min walk 2 5 min walkWe did not explore the gully very much as there have been reports of bears in the area.  They are looking for fruit left on the ground or in the trees from the Orchards.

rr going south

Coming up top we arrived at the tracks.  These head south and then east.  I’m not sure we should be walking along them but we did, keeping an ear out for the long low whistle of the train.

rr going northHeading North we had a Cherry Orchard to our right and the town ahead.  It probably took all of an hour to go up hill and down dale to arrive back in town not far from the Kootney Beer Brewery.  A short walk home and back to Renovations.  It was a wonderful break.

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Archway

Autumn Archway

DIY Sachet Bags

This is a simple and easy way to make a Sachet for your closet, or anywhere else that needs a boost of nice scent.Organza bagsI started with an Organza bag.  These can be purchased at a craft or dollar store: often two or three in a package and in different sizes .  The one I used is 9.5 x 5.5 inches.

A package of dried petals or an old potpourri you have lying around works perfectly for the filler.  I love the look of potpourri but find it loses it scent rapidly so ends up getting tossed out or tucked away somewhere “safe” until you forgot what you were keeping it for.PotpourriPotpourri can also be made from all those beautiful roses your sweetheart buys you.  When they have lost their freshness, hang them upside down until they are thoroughly dry.  Carefully take the petals and leaves off and separate them.  Add in some small dry seed pods or cones to fill it out.

Take approximately 1 cup of your potpourri and fill the organza bag.  Next add in a small amount of Downy Unstoppables, very small amount as these are highly scented.  Pull the ties tight on the bag and hang in your closet.  These will last for many weeks maybe even many months.  When the scent gets low, throw in a few more Downy Unstoppables.  SachetWhere would you hang your Sachet Bag?

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

Creston Valley has the beautiful Wetlands. There are boardwalkyear round trails with loops from 20 minutes to 3-4 hours walks; two vie1wing towers; guided and self-guided canoe trips; wildlife viewing with over 300 species of birds, 57 species of mammals and 29 species of fish, reptiles and amphibians.  We have seen Blue Herons; Otters; and Turtles on just one visit.

Bears and HornetsWe Did Not see the Bear!

The Wildlife Interpretation Centre is a friendly and informative place for all ages.  DiscoveryThere are Insidea variety of educational programs and you can browse the educational displays and a hands-on science lab.  Visit the small shop for gifts, books and maps of the area – excellent Christmas ideas!

Although the trails are open 24/7 you can support the Wetlands by taking out a Membership for very reasonable fees and some nice benefits.

bridge

We started exploring soon after arriving and found it is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Expect many more posts about this fascinating place.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Rest Stop

Rest Stop

Rest Stop

Smokin’ Deals

As you can see, in a prevfrontious post, we are in the middle of renovations on our 50 year old home.  Some planned and some unplanned.

One of the planned renovations is to re-do all the flooring on the main level.  To this point we had tentatively made a budget that would work for us.  We plan on doing it ourselves so needed something relatively simple and easy to do.

We decided on laminate flooring.  It was cheaper than hardwood and could take a bit more beating.  We have two large “Grand dogs” that visit and this was the deciding factor.  We would be able to spend a bit more on a higher grade and quality of flooring by doing it this way.

First step was to figure out the floor square footage.  It was a snap, as the previous owners had left the plans for the house and all the information was there!  How lucky.  Otherwise your best bet is to measure each and every room, add all this and top it up by 10% to get your total square footage.  You can find lots of information and flooring calculators online.

Nothing was planned but we happened to be in Home Depot in Cranbrook on other business.  I had some idle time as my Handy Man did his chores and started to browse through the flooring samples, picking out ones I liked best and making note of the prices.  Most ran around 3.50-3.75 per square foot.  I like to keep these in mind so when I do find a good price I will know it.

Chores finished and we were preparing to leave, I spotted some skids of flooring.  The first one was $1.76 per square foot!  Wow, and to top it off, a sales person asked if we need help.  I know, sit down and shut up!  She was so knowledgeable and helpful.  This particular batch did not have the number of boxes that we need to do our home, but we found another that was just as nice but the price was $1.39 per square foot.  There was enough to do the whole main floor with the extra 10% we needed to be safe.  Because of the price of this laminate we saved 1/2 of our budget and that in any terms is a Smokin’ Deal.

WALKING PAST A 400 TON BOULDER WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT: THE BALANCING ROCK TRAIL…by Bop

After too many days renovating the house and reinventing the yard, I thought it was time for a play day.  My wife was at an art show, the sun was shining and the contractors had yet to show up.  Time to get some elevation under me!View South and East

I had done some hiking before and should have know better, but for the reasons already stated I chose to hike the Balancing Rock Trail in the early afternoon of an unseasonably warm day without water and without company.  Not smart, but the trail was only 4km long and how  bad can it be?   View North and East

The Balancing Rock Trail is noted for a bridge, a waterfall and a 400 ton boulder that the retreating glacier decided not to take back with it.  The trailhead is near the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) and well signed.  So off I went.

It has an inauspicious start, jig jagging under a power line.  Shade was scarce and I started to regret not taking any water.  After about half an hour I came upon a look out, complete with bench and  pine tree for shade.  Tempting, but I had several kilometers to go before returning to the vehicle, so I did not stay long. South North

As often happens when a trail passes through a rocky patch with little undergrowth, the way became unclear, but after a false start I found it again and carried on.  This time the trail passed through trees, down a hill and onto a board walk, bordered by skunk cabbage, with huge elephant-ear leaves.  Then it was up hill again, angling south and offering spectacular views of the valley.  Sword fern did its  best to cover the trail and the willows and aspens were beginning to carpet the ground with leaves that had fulfilled their summer purpose.  One had to watch for the trail.  Further on the trail branched.  The right branch went up to a high rock wall.  The rock was wet and mosses grew at the bottom of it.  Although no water ran down the face, I assumed this was the waterfall.  Seeing there was no way up the face I turned back and followed the left fork hoping to find the 400 ton granite boulder.  Unfortunately I ran out of time before that could happen and I started back to the trail head.  Next time I would start earlier AND carry water.  Path

(The next day my wife and I were talking to someone who knew the trail.  The boulder, she said, is a little past the bench.  You can see it through the trees apparently.  Now I really have to go back)     BopYellow Flower

Wordless Wednesday

Canning

Canning

Fall Fair

ScarecrowOh my.  When was the last time you attended a Fall Fair?  Blue ribbon pies.  Super zucchini.  Flowers from the garden.

This past weekend was the Creston Valley Fall Fair.  I know I missed some of it but what I did see was fantastic!  Worth every bit of the entrance fee.  Playing at the FairPrizes

On Saturday of the Fair the local Farmers Market was also set up.  At the Farmers Market you could listen to the Buskers or buy breads, flour, local grown produce or some of the beautiful crafts.

Food Buskers

Right in the same parking lot was the Fall Art Show for the Creston Art Club which I was participating in.

Art 1 Creston Art Show 2015

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