northern most serious wine region in the world, the Okanagan Valley
runs for 125 miles along a chain of lakes that stretches from Armstrong,
British Columbia, south to the Washington border. The region is often
extended a few miles north to include the wineries around Salmon Arm. The
wines of the Okanagan are known around the world.
At the northern end grape quality is ultimately enhanced by the vines' struggle to give forth
ripe fruit in a shorter growing season. Wines produced here are often
referred to as Cool Climate Wines. They include Ortega,Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Gamay Noir,Kerner,Syrah,
Maréchal Foch and Viognier.
Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan . If your coming
from the south you have to cross the lake on a floating bridge to reach
the city. With more than 2,200 hours of sunshine per year numerous
wineries make there home here. They include Calona Wines, Bounty Cellars,
CedarCreek Estates, House of Rose, St Hubertus, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
The Westbank, the slopes of Mount Boucherie, now known as West Kelowna features
Mission Hill, Beaumont Family Estate, Little Straw Vineyards, Rollingdale, Mt.
Boucherie Estate and the Organic vineyards of Kalala Winery . Just a short distance
away are the wineries of Peachland and Summerland. Sumac Ridge and Hainle are
wineries with a proud history. Here we also find Adora
Estate Winery, Hijas Bonitas Vineyard and Silkscarf.
The Naramata Bench reputation for producing good wines continues to grow. The meandering country roads dotted with wineries and the spectacular views over Okanagan Lake enthral visitors. Among the small but very successful wineries are
Meyer family Vineyard and Van Westen with their renowned signature wines Vino Grigio, Vavacious and Volptuous. Larger wineries with good reputations include, Red Rooster, Hillside, D'Angelo Estate Winery ( also in Ontario) Kettle Valley and Lake Breeze. The king of Naramata fruit wines is Elephant Island. LA Frenz winery makes some outstanding fortified wines.
The South Okanagan would include Okanagan Falls,
Oliver, and Osoyoos and Oliver the Wine Capital of Canada.
Within the south we have regions known as the Golden
Mile Black Sage Bench Shaka Lake and Okanagan falls. World renowned
wineries located here include, Burrowing Owl, Tinhorn Creek, Black Hills,
See Ya Later Ranch, Blasted Church, Blue Mountain Vineyards, Hester Creek,
and Gehringer Brother
Numerous lakes help the micro climate of the Valley. The
major lakes are from North to South are the Shuswap Lake, Okanagan Lake,
Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake and Osoyoos Lake. Okanagan Lake, home of the legendary
lake monster Ogopogo, is the largest lake in the region and its sandy beaches
attract numerous summer vacationers. Penticton, Naramata, Summerland, Peachland,
and Kelowna are all located on the shores of Okanagan Lake.
The city of Penticton sits between Okanagan Lake and Skaha
Lake. It has some beautiful beaches. Vaseux Lake ( 3 KM long)is more for
the sportsman. The lake provides promising fishing opportunities for large
mouth bass, rainbow trout and carp. In winter there are great opportunities
for skating, ice-fishing, and ice-boating. As you drive through the Vaseux
Lake, look towards the southwest and you will notice some cliffs that rise
straight up for 250 metres (820 feet). This area is called the McIntyre
Thanks to significant new growing techniques vinifera varieties
such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and even Zinfandel do well
in the Okanagan. Gamy, Kerner ,Optima Vidal Muller-Thurgau, Zweigelt and
Viognier are all all grown producing fantastic wines. Merlot is the number
one grape grown in the Okanagan. The various climates and soils conditions through
out producing different tasting wines.
There are now 4 sub Appalachians
~ Golden Mile
~ Naramata Bench
~ Okanakan Falls
~ Skaha Bench
- East Kelowna Slopes, comprising just over 200ha of vineyards overlooking Mission Creek in the central area of the Okanagan Valley, which is known for its premium sparkling wines.
- Lake Country, on the west-facing slopes above the Lake known for Pinot Noir and white varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer.
- South Kelowna Slopes, comprising 130ha of vineyards on the slopes on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake.
- Summerland Bench, on the western shores of the lake, where Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer predominate.
- Summerland Lakefront, a small 7.5m stretch of land hugging the western shore of Lake Okanagan.
- Summerland Valleys, which includes some of the highest-elevation vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, around 35ha of predominately Chardonnay.
The designation is an official and protected term under British Columbian law, which can be included on the bottle.
As the number of wineries grows so does the need to highlight
the various regions/ Benches of the Okanagan. To help find the wineries
of the Okanagan this website has divided the Okanagan and area into the