By Dan Bilefsky

Canada’s Napa Valley: Canadian gastronomy may be better known for poutine, gravy-drenched cheese fries, than for pinot noir. But a new generation of winemakers is putting the Okanagan Valley on the global wine map, alongside famed regions like Bordeaux, Tuscany and the Napa Valley.

OSOYOOS, British Columbia — The first surprise for Séverine Pinte, a French winemaker working in Canada, was how casual everyone was — more ripped jeans and flip-flops than Chanel. Then there was the unexpected need to warn grape pickers not to smoke marijuana near her beloved vines.
And finally there was a furry menace: Canadian black bears with a taste for chardonnay that gobbled up rows of grape clusters, forcing winemakers to employ hunters, electrified fences or pepper bombs.

When Ms. Pinte emigrated to Okanagan Valley in British Columbia a decade ago, she experienced some culture shock, as she transitioned from the formality of Bordeaux’s centuries- old wine industry to Canada’s more laid-back style.

“But I am never going back to France,” said Ms. Pinte, the chief winemaker at Le Vieux Pin winery in British Columbia’s pristinely beautiful winemaking region. She added, “The soil here is a palette from which I can make art.”

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