The Napa Of The North: B.C’s Okanagan Valley
Photo: burrowingowlwinery on Instagram
Napa Valley, California’s wine country, has a Canadian sister in British Columbia that goes by the name of Okanagan Valley. Okanagan promises an unparalleled and unique wine experience on Canadian soil. In 1859, Father Pandosy, a French priest, planted the first Okanagan vines and in the early 1930s, Calona Vineyards opened, making it the first and oldest winery in Okanagan. Many travellers can confirm the extraordinary taste and quality of the Okanagan wines. With over 120 wineries in the valley, it can be difficult narrowing down those truly worth visiting. We’ve done the hard work for you and found the four most scenic vineyards offering the finest quality wines in Okanagan Valley. The vineyards on our list offer free or low charge tastings and tours that make for great girls’ getaways or couple’s retreats.
LaStella, located by Osoyoos lake on the south end of the valley, untraditionally combines two forms of winemaking to create multiple fabulous wines, including their very popular Rose. The wine is fermented and then aged in wooden barrels with simple inspiration from Northern Italy. All of LaStella’s wines are named after Italian music notes to convey that each wine has its own story. A classic win tasting costs $10.00 a head, a picnic costs $50.00, and the symphony of the senses tour and tasting costs also costs per person $50.00.
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate
Jackson-Triggs is the most well known of all the Okanagan wineries. Visitors are welcome year-round, except on major holidays, to the 410-acre vineyard in Oliver, B.C to take part in wine tasting some of the rarer bottles that are unavailable at the BLC. As Canada’s most awarded winery this is a must visit on your Okanagan holiday.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is another winery located in Oliver, B.C. This family-run establishment is the first winery in Canada to support carbon neutral measures. Meaning, they are committed to environmentally sustainable practices. Visit the Tinhorn Creek Vineyard to hike one of the many trails, participate in a $5 wine tasting of some of the world’s best, take a $15 tour, or take an extravagant $35 cellar tour and tasting. The thriving winery features a wine club, a restaurant named Miradoro, and even an event space to host weddings.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Not only can you visit the Burrowing Owl vineyard in Oliver, B.C, but you can also dine at the Sonora Room Restaurant and stay overnight in The Guest House suites for a romantic getaway. There are 10 rooms to choose from in The Guest House as well as a hot tub and pool. For $3 a person, which goes as a donation to the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of British Columbia, you can participate in the wine tasting at this stunning hilltop winery. For only $5 a head, you can also take part in the public guided tour.
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