Wine lovers in Ontario recognize the strides taken by the Ontario wine industry over the last 25 years. However, the Okanagan Valley has also come a long way in establishing itself as one of the premiere wine destinations in the world. Over the past 25 years, the Okanagan Valley wine industry has flourished. And it was recently voted one of the top wine destinations in the world, second only to Alentejo, Portugal according to a 2014 USA Today report.
Why is the Okanagan Valley so Popular?
Often referred to “Canada’s Napa Valley” or “Napa North”, the valley offers over 250 kilometers of stunning landscape . Though the Okanagan doesn’t necessarily compete with the scope and scale of the Niagara wine industry, (2,400 to 6,900 hectares), it arguably provides a richer experience owing to its lush environments and rich scenery. Not many other wine regions can offer the visitor a chance to bask in the sun, overlooking a lush vineyard, with a backdrop of a mountain ranges and winding rivers, all the while enjoying a glass of locally-produced wine.
In addition to the allure of its surroundings, the southern B.C. region is home to some of the most fertile soils in all of Canada. The dry summer heat aids in the ripening of the grape varietals that produce its renowned wine.
Wine and Grape Varieties
The Okanagan Valley is home to over 200 licensed wineries which produce wine from over 60 different grape varieties. The style of wine made famous in the Okanagan is rich and ripe wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Like their counterparts in Ontario, Okanagan wineries can usually produce icewine every year.
Planning a trip?
If you are planning to take a trip out to the Okanagan Valley, it is always possible to fly into the Kelowna airport. However, we recommend going by train. Though 4,466 kilometers and 3 days of travel from Ontario to Vancouver may seem long, travel through Northern Ontario, prairie fields and Rocky Mountains is, for many, the trip of a lifetime.
Travelling around the Okanagan is done best either by walking or cycling down the Kettle Valley Railway. This old railway line meanders along a scenic 600 kilometre route through South Central British Columbia giving visitors the opportunity to connect with many of the regions best wineries.
Try to tie your visit in with one of the many Okanagan Wine Festivals. There are many events taking place all over the Okanagan that will showcase the region’s passion for great wine making and the terrific wines produced there. For More information on the Okanagan Wine Festivals, please visit the website here: http://www.thewinefestivals.com/
Our Favourite Wines from the Okanagan Valley
Are you interested in sampling some of the great wines this region has to offer? Here are some of our favourites available for immediate delivery. While it would be great to be enjoying these wines in the mountains of British Columbia, it’s great to know we can enjoy this wine in Ontario.
Red Rooster – Cabernet Merlot 2013
$18.95 / Bottle
|The grapes for this Cabernet Merlot come from several vineyards in the south Okanagan and Similkameen Valley. The wine was tank fermented and aged in older (80%) American oak and (20%) French oak barrels for 14 months. Ever-changing notes of blue plum, black cherry, currant and smoky oak escape from the glass. This medium-bodied red has soft, smooth tannins, and fruit-flavours of cherry, blueberry and plum, accented by a touch of spice.
Enjoy with peppercorn pâté; lamb chops; grilled steaks; beef, bean and vegetable stews; beef brisket; leg of lamb; pot roast and root vegetables
Sandhill – One Phantom Creek Vineyard 2012
$35.00 / Bottle
Sandhill – Pinot Gris 2014
$19.00 / Bottle
You will fall in love with our exclusive selection of wines from the Okanagan Valley. The Small Winemakers Collection is a Toronto wine agent that scours these great wine regions for the most unique and exclusive wines and delivers them right to your front door anywhere in Ontario. Order some of British Columbia’s favorite wines today!