Editor Vince Hempsall recently discovered some delectable surprises in the Arrow Lakes region while on assignment for ZenSeekers.

I’m embarrassed to say I had no idea there was a winery on Arrow Lakes. An honest-to-god grape winery. Not one of those places that ferments peaches or raspberries and tries to pass it off as wine, but an actual vineyard that produces one of the best Gamay blends I’ve ever sipped in the province. The appropriately named Valley of the Springs Winery is located near Nakusp, British Columbia, 30 kilometres south of Halcyon Hot Springs, and it’s the only one of its kind in the region—a remarkable thing given that one valley west, in the Okanagan, there are no less than 200 wineries, one for every square kilometre.

Above: Photographer Dave Heath and videographer Chris Wheeler ham it up at Frog Peak Café after filling up on eggs benedict and espresso. Top: Lem Canlas and Riabi Lingao at the Valley of the Springs winery in Nakusp. Dave Heath photo.

Nor did I know there was a meadery near Nakusp. Established by Dan Abraham, a self-described “Dungeons and Dragons nerd” who smokes a pipe that’s a replica of the one owned by Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings movies, the Mithril Meadery is still in start-up phase but the goal is to be open sometime next year. That didn’t stop Dan from offering up a taste of mead, made from fermented honey, to myself and the crew. It was delicious.

Photographer Dave Heath takes some medieval gear for a spin at Mithril Meadery in Nakusp.

Photographer Dave Heath, videographer Chris Wheeler, Vernon locals Lem Canlas and Riabi Lingao, and I are on assignment for Arrow Lakes and Slocan Valley Tourism to #explorearrowlakes and all that the harvest season has to offer in the region. We’ve eaten exquisite, homemade food at Camp Café in the community of Silverton as well as Frog Peak Café in Crescent Valley. We’ve also sipped cider at Burton City Cider, just south of Nakusp, and enjoyed a respite from all the consumption at Summit Lake Provincial Park.

The offerings at Burton City Cidery.

Now we’re off to Halcyon Hot Springs to enjoy yet more excellent food at the Kingfisher Restaurant followed by a soak in the pools. All in all, it’s been a pretty delectable gig capturing all that Arrow Lakes has to offer in the fall.

The world-famous Halcyon Hot Springs resort. Dave Heath photo.

To see photos and the video from our #explorearrowlakes assignment and to read the full story, visit: