The orchard has 45 acres of high-density apples including Royal Gala, Ambrosia, and Sunrise. In 2008, 5 acres of Riesling wine grapes were planted on Dorenberg’s steepest slope.
This “fruit of the gods” was discovered in the early 1990’s as a chance seedling on the orchard of Wilfred and Sally Mennell in the Similkameen Valley of BC. Through great effort the Mennell’s were able to bring this “made in BC by Mother Nature” apple variety to the attention of growers and consumers.
The Ambrosia is bi-coloured, with an almost luminous pink/red blush over a creamy background. It is a sweet, low acid apple with a distinct honeyed aroma; it is crunchy and chin dribbling juicy.
Dorenberg Orchards was among the first orchards to test the variety and then plant on a commercial scale.
The Gala is a variety originating in New Zealand. It was developed by plant breeder J. H. Kidd in the 1930’s and is a cross of Golden Delicious x Kidd’s Orange Red. The apple was named in 1950; however, it was not until the 1990’s that the apple was heavily planted on a commercial scale. This is perhaps due to trying to find a visually appealing Gala strain which would complement its mild sweet flavour.
At Dorenberg Orchards the large juicy Royal Gala are round to oblong conical in shape with a red colour showing a narrow darker red stripe. This red colour overlaps a green/cream background. The warm summers of the Okanagan ensure the sweetness of our Gala apples.
Sunrise is an attractive apple variety developed in the late 20th century at the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre in Summerland, BC Canada (home of the Spartan apple). It is the best early-season apple variety. The Sunrise is a cross of Golden Delicious x McIntosh x PCF-3-120 (a numbered variety from the Purdue University apple breeding program).
The Sunrise is round to conical in shape and has a pink/red blush over a cream/yellow background. This bi-coloured apple is medium to large in size with white flesh. The flesh is crisp and the apple juicy with a perfect combination of sweet and tart.
Riesling is a white grape variety thought to originate in the Rhine region of Germany. Production increased in the 17th century when monks discovered that their red wines could not compete with French Reds and so concentrated on white varieties they could grow well such as Riesling. The Riesling grapes form in small compact bunches. The berries are small, round and soft when ripe with tender greenish yellow skins that have a flecked appearance from lenticels on the skin.
Riesling is “terroir-expressive” meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine’s place of origin. Hillside microclimates above water, which provide a moderating effect with plenty of sun exposure, are of paramount importance to quality Riesling. The south-west sloped exposure above Okanagan Lake at Dorenberg Orchards match these descriptions perfectly.