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Okanagan Wine Touring Tips 2023


I’m thrilled to share my insights and recommendations for an unforgettable wine touring experience in the Okanagan Valley. Located in British Columbia, Canada, this region has gained international recognition for its exceptional wines and breathtaking landscapes. With its warm climate, diverse terroir, and passionate winemakers, this region has become a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts from around the world.


In 2023, the Okanagan Valley continues to evolve and thrive, offering visitors a wide variety of wineries and exciting wine experiences. The region's commitment to quality and innovation is evident in the exceptional wines produced here, ranging from award-winning Bordeaux-style blends and crisp Chardonnays to rich Merlots and vibrant aromatic whites.


1) Plan ahead


With over 200 wineries spread across the valley, careful planning is essential to make the most of your wine touring adventure. Researching wineries in advance allows you to create an itinerary that aligns with your preferences and ensures you don't miss out on any hidden gems. For example, if you prefer big, bold reds, you may want to focus your time touring in the South Okanagan as opposed to the North. Many wineries now require reservations for tastings and tours, providing an intimate and personalized experience for visitors. By booking ahead, you can secure your spot and guarantee a memorable visit to your chosen wineries.


2) Take in the scenery


While the wineries in the Okanagan Valley offer a wide variety of wines, the region is also known for its stunning landscapes and natural beauty. From the rolling vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see, to the shimmering lakes and majestic mountains that frame the valley, the scenery alone is worth the visit. As you embark on your wine touring journey, be sure to take the time to savor the breathtaking views and embrace the serenity of the surroundings. Many wineries offer outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the picturesque vistas.


3) Hire a driver


To enhance your wine touring experience and ensure a safe journey, consider hiring a driver or joining a guided wine tour. When it comes to selecting a tour operator or guide, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable company that aligns with your interests and budget. Many tour operators offer different types of experiences, such as private tours, group tours, or customized itineraries, so consider your preferences and budget when making your selection.


4) Explore different varieties


When exploring the Okanagan Valley, it's essential to embrace its diversity. The region is divided into various wine sub-regions, each with its own microclimates, soil types, and grape varieties. For instance, Kelowna is known for cool-climate varietals, while the Oliver-Osoyoos area boasts the warmest temperatures in the valley, resulting in bold reds with ripe fruit flavours.


While it's always enjoyable to indulge in your favorite varietals, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new during your Okanagan wine tour. Wineries in the region have been expanding their portfolios, experimenting with lesser-known grape varieties and innovative winemaking techniques. Be open to exploring unique varietals such as Viognier, Tempranillo, or Grüner Veltliner, and allow your taste buds to be pleasantly surprised by the richness and complexity they offer.


5) Bring plenty of snacks and water


Finally, I’d highly recommend bringing an assortment of snacks and plenty of water. Many wineries offer food, but it's always a good idea to bring some snacks and water with you. This way, you can enjoy the wine without getting too hungry or dehydrated.


In conclusion, wine touring in the Okanagan Valley is a wonderful experience, and with a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your visit. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the fantastic wines and beautiful scenery that the region has to offer!

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Javen - Poured By Jay

Hi, I'm Poured by Jay.

If you’re here, you must be interested in Okanagan wine. I have lots of resources to guide you as you explore all that Okanagan wine has to offer.

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