British Columbia’s Best Wine Regions (and Where to Sip)

Head to the Okanagan Valley or Kamloops to eat at a winery restaurant, sip at a farm or ranch, or attend a fall wine festival.
 

Covert Farms Family Estate, photo by Diane Bolt

Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley is emerging as one of the world’s most exciting wine regions, thanks to its range of climates and terroirs. Aromatic whites and Pinot Noir rule in the central valley’s Lake Country, while the desert-like south Okanagan is hot and sunny enough for big Bordeaux varieties and spicy Rhône blends. Just outside Oliver, enjoy a glass of Nota Bene, with a selection of artisan cheeses and locally cured meats, on the upscale terrace at Black Hills Estate Winery. Over at rustic Covert Farms Family Estate, kids will love touring the vineyard in the back of a 1952 Mercury truck before hopping out to visit the llamas and pick berries. End your day with supper and valley views at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards’ Miradoro Restaurant.

Don’t miss: The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival (Sept. 28 to Oct. 8) features events throughout the valley, including Kelowna’s WestJet Wine Tastings, when more than 200 B.C. wines will be poured.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery

Kamloops

An even newer wine region is on the rise in the Thompson Valley’s Kamloops area. So far, only a handful of notable wineries have opened here, but the complex, limestone-rich soils show promise for Riesling and other grapes at wineries such as Privato Vineyard & Winery, which is set among the scenic slopes of the North Thompson River and specializes in small-lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Monte Creek Ranch Winery, situated on a working cattle farm with a thriving bee colony. Nearby Sagewood Winery has been operating for 12 years, and today it grows 17 different types of grapes in its 3.5-acre vineyard. Visit the tasting room located in the converted garage at the owner’s family home.

Getting there: WestJet flies to Kelowna 23 times a day from Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria and to Kamloops twice a day from Calgary.

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