Wine-Taste Your Way Through B.C.’s Okanagan Valley
With over 300 wineries to choose from in British Columbia -- and over 80% of them located in the Okanagan -- wine tours are quickly becoming a top attraction. Choosing between so many wineries and regions can be daunting, so I’ve created three simple tips that will help you sip your way to happiness. There’s a good chance you may find your next favourite wine in B.C.!
Tip 1 - Experience each winery and wine with an open mind. Throw out what you think you know about B.C. wine and give each wine a chance to wow you. Wineries separated by less than 30 m can yield the same varietal grape, but produce very different-tasting wines. I personally love many of the pinot noir and rose wines that come from B.C. wineries. Plus many of the estates and tasting rooms have spectacular views.
Tip 2 - Pick an area and focus on wineries within an easy distance of each other. The Okanagan is quite large and incorporates many different wine regions. I suggest you book a wine tour (or hire a driver if you can manage it) and stay within a 15-20 km radius. You will have so many choices that I bet you won't be able to visit them all! In a day, I tend to max out at 4 wineries. The Naramata Bench region alone has 29 member wineries. It would take me at least a week to visit and taste them all.
Tip 3 - Buy the wines that you love and bring them home with you. Chances are that you will never be able to buy these wines where you live (and the further you live from B.C., the fewer options you’ll have). If you are road-tripping, make sure to pack an empty cooler; this way your wine won’t overheat in the trunk. Flying back home? Pick up some bubble bags for wine bottles to protect your favourite vino, and you can rest assured there will be no spillage inside your suitcase.
My bonus tip is to have fun. Don’t take the tasting too seriously. Enjoy the variety of wines produced in B.C.! Hopefully you will discover a new favourite and make some friends along the way.