Summer in the Okanagan: Sun-soaked vineyards sprawl out before your eyes, stretching down the hillsides towards Lake Okanagan. The smell of fresh fruit, award-winning wines and clear lake water awaits.
The Okanagan Valley is home to some of the most delicious wines in the world. There are over 120 Okanagan wineries and vineyards in the area, and it is British Columbia’s largest, oldest and most popular wine-producing region.
Featuring a very dry climate, the temperatures during the growing season months of July and August in the Okanagan may reach 40 °C (104 °F), often staying above 30 °C (86 °F) for several days. The region’s northerly latitude allows the vines to experience longer hours of daylight than the more southerly vineyards of California receive, with late June seeing daybreak around 5 am and sunlight still present as late as 10:30 pm. 1
Okanagan wineries range from large and luxurious facilities to small family-run vineyards. Tours can be guided or self-guided. Some offer picnic areas and others have on-site restaurants and gift shops. Consider using one of the various shuttle services so everyone in your party can enjoy a day of sampling at different locations. Another idea is to try a winery cycling tour.
Wine festivals are a great way to sample many different wines in one location. The Mile High Wine Festival at Silver Star Mountain on Aug 10 offers guests outdoor wine tastings, appetizers and live entertainment along Main Street. The Okanagan Food, Wine and Film Festival takes dinner & a movie to a new level this year on September 13-15, 2013 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. Or be a Vintner for a Day on July 6, 2013 … Guests can “roll up their sleeves” or just sip some great wines and spend a day at St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery alongside vineyard managers and winemakers.
With so many options, the hardest part is deciding where to visit first!
1 British Columbia Wine Institute “BC Wine Institute Members: The Okanagan Valley“ Accessed: March 26, 2013