If you haven’t escaped the rat race and taken a trip to Okanagan Wine Country, have you really escaped the rat race?
Penticton, Naramata, Summerland, Oliver; towns all within biking distance of one another that offer LIMITLESS opportunities for wine sampling, enjoying the lake life, and just generally forgetting about the stressors that occupy your Monday to Friday cranial capacity (think Napa Valley, but way more accessible). You can take any number of air-conditioned, chauffeured wine tours for a relatively inexpensive cost of around $100, or as the wife and I chose to do, you can saddle up your huffy and bike it. In all of these locations, the wineries are lined up, one after the other, like a dream-game of dominos, allowing you to pedal (steadily at first) from one to the next (a bit more wobbly after a few tastings).
Now here’s the real kicker, the views are second to none. Sure, the rolling hills of coastal northern California appeal to the green senses, but take those rolling hills and add in a pristine shimmering lake, and a warm breeze, and you’ve got photo worthy moment no matter where you stop along the way. In my humble wine-pinion (as I’m far from a connoisseur), there are 3 wineries, in particular, that one can’t leave without buying a case:
- Blasted Church Vineyards in Okanagan Falls. It’s a homey-cottage style tasting room which holds absolutel gold in its oak barrels. $5 gets you a sample of 4 wines, but if you buy a bottle, the tasting is free; you’ll definitely buy a bottle
- Painted Rock Winery in Penticton. This ultra-modern winery on the hillside is so picturesque that weddings are hosted a couple times a week there in the summer – picture is wifey and I stealing a selfie. This 5 wine sample list costs $10, and the wine is a little more pricey, however, the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze
- Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery in Summerland. Everybody who loves fruit-wines, hands up!!! Even if you are a more traditional wine-o (Merlots, Cab-Savs, Malbecs), there is something for you here. The sample room is bright and clean, but the tasting sizes are generous (don’t drive yourself there)…and free! I dare you to leave with less than a few bottles
These are my faves, but they are also just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you love getting lost in wine country, lazily floating down a river channel on an inner tube, or a sunny day at the beach, the Okanagan in BC, Canada has a “never want to leave” weekend waiting for you!
- I’ve got three words for you: Okanagan. Wine. Country.