A Brief Guide to the Okanagan Valley Wine Region

Okanagan Valley | Alexia Saumon

Many people visit British Columbia to get a taste of its world-renowned wine industry, one of the best in Canada. The heart of British Columbia’s wine industry is in the scenic Okanagan Valley. Located in the southern part of the province, the expansive Okanagan Valley is a picturesque place with a diverse geography, including rushing rivers, a massive lake, and plenty of farmland. While this region attracts many outdoor enthusiasts, its wine industry truly distinguishes it. Below, we briefly overview the key features of the Okanagan Valley wine region.

Top Destinations in the Okanagan Valley Wine Region

With thousands of acres of vineyards spread across the Okanagan Valley, numerous cities and towns provide convenient access to tours and tastings. Let’s look at a couple of major cities to know when booking your trip to the Okanagan Valley.

Kelowna: Kelowna is the largest community in the Okanagan Valley. This charming city’s scenery and surrounding vineyards attract numerous tourists. Over 40 wineries surround Kelowna, ranging from small and specialty wineries to world-renowned and mass-producing vineyards. 

Penticton: This smaller community boasts a celebrated art scene, picturesque beaches on Okanagan Lake, and a superb selection of wine. With dozens of wineries within a half-hour drive of Penticton, you can enjoy the incredible diversity of this region’s wine offerings. 

Pentâge Winery, Penticton | Jasper Garratt

Fun Facts

The Okanagan Valley is the second-highest-rated Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) in Canada by output, producing the substantial majority of British Columbia’s wine. This area encompasses over 8,800 acres of vineyard, spread across more than 180 wineries. No matter your preference, you’ll discover a variety of wines that suit your taste. More than 60 grape varieties grow there, but it is particularly known for its chardonnays, rieslings, and sparkling wines. 

Okanagan Valley | Kym Ellis

Exciting Experiences

When planning a trip to this remarkable area, you’ll encounter several must-have Okanagan Valley experiences. Near Kelowna, five wine trails take visitors on a well-orchestrated journey through various local wineries, enabling you to savor as much as possible. Also, in several Okanagan cities, you can arrange worry-free public or shared tours; drivers pick you up, organize winery visits, and guide you to the top destinations throughout the area.

Kelowna | Kolby Milton

The Biggest Okanagan Valley Wine Events

Several year-round, dedicated wine events in the Okanagan Valley offer the best of the region. Let’s look at some of the Okanagan Valley’s top wine events.

Okanagan Wine Festivals: The Okanagan Wine Festivals host two major annual events, one in the spring and the other in the fall. These gatherings draw numerous wine producers, industry experts, and enthusiasts together for several days of wine-themed events. 

Feast of Fields: This event is yet another Kelowna occasion that celebrates the region’s incredible agriculture. There, wineries, fishers, farmers, and others proudly display their finest produce. 

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