Wildflowers Okanagan Valley BC, British Columbia The Okanagan Valley is BC’s leading grape-growing region, accounting for 86% of the province’s vineyard land. The valley spans over 250 kilometres and is separated into sub-regions, each with its own set of soil and temperature conditions suited for growing a wide range of varietals from sun-ripened reds to brilliant fresh and frequently crisp whites.
The Okanagan Valley BC wineries are rich in heritage and character, frequently ranking among the world’s best at international competitions. They range from small family-run boutique vineyards to world-class enterprises.
Golden Mile Bench, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls, and Skaha Bench are the four recognized sub-regions of the Okanagan Valley BC, each having its own soil and climate characteristics.
The Okanagan Valley BC has a distinct climate. Daytime temperatures might exceed 40°C, but the chilly nights allow the grapes to retain their inherent acidity – a distinguishing feature of British Columbia wine.
Facts: The Okanagan Valley BC, which is warmer and drier than Napa Valley, receives roughly two hours more sunlight every day during the peak growing season.
Reasons why you should visit Canada’s Wildflowers Okanagan Valley
Okanagan Valley BC The rows of vines reach out to a glistening lake, and the wooded hills beyond are awash with green, red, yellow, and orange colors.
It’s quarter to the hour, and with a glass of crisp white wine in hand, it’s easy to think I’m in Tuscany. Even the sky resembles an Italian Renaissance painting, with the clouds creating a spectacular sunset.
However, a sharp breeze and the coolness in the air tell me that I am not. Winter has arrived early in British Columbia, Canada.
The tallest peaks are strewn with snow, and this bell tower belongs to the Mission Hill Winery, not a picturesque Tuscan hamlet church.
Mission Hill is one of the hundreds of vineyards in the Okanagan Region, a valley north of Vancouver that runs along an eponymous lake. The region is renowned as the “Tuscany of Canada” and is home to some of the best wineries in the country.
But it’s not just about wine here. If you’re considering a trip to British Columbia, here are a few additional reasons why you should stop in the Okanagan Valley BC.
Okanagan Valley BC breathtaking vistas at every turn
While the wine is the main attraction in this region, the lake is undoubtedly what keeps people coming back. Water views are spectacular from practically anyplace in the Okanagan. The cities of Kelowna and Vernon are on their beaches — the top floors of the Delta by Marriott hotel in Kelowna provide fantastic views – and there are lots of overlooks in the surrounding hills.
The deep green forest on the undulating terrain that surrounds the lake provides a stunning background for its sparkling blue waters in the summer, but the fall foliage is even more magnificent.
For secluded luxury | Okanagan Valley BC Hotels
Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, located just southwest of Vernon, offers a fantastic site overlooking Okanagan Lake and is a perfect getaway after a day of touring. The hotel’s rooms all feature floor-to-ceiling windows and baths with a stunning view, and it is owned by Swarovski and called for the three million-plus brilliant crystals that cover its walls and artworks.
It’s a lovely location from which to explore the northern Okanagan, whether you’re driving between wineries or taking a stroll on one of the many paths that wind through the hills.
The wonderful spa, with its indoor and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, is open late for needed evening rejuvenation – but keep in mind the ‘European hour’ from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., when swimming suits are not required.
Okanagan Valley BC eating and drinking from the farm to the table
British Columbia’s alcoholic beverages are mostly kept within the province due to severe export regulations — even across provincial boundaries. This means that restaurants and taverns around the valley will usually include something locally sourced on their menus.
In the summer, long-table, family-style dinners are common across the valley, and there is always a celebration of some kind. In the autumn, visit Davison Orchards for a harvest festival complete with pumpkin harvesting in its sloping fields, and don’t miss their very sweet, moreish apple juice and excellent pumpkin pie.
Okanagan Valley BC outdoor activities
With the lake as its most noticeable feature, the Okanagan Valley BC offers a plethora of water-based activities. Try wakeboarding, powerboating, or paddling across the water in a leisurely and steady kayak and stopping at one of the many beaches.
The Myra Canyon is Okanagan’s outdoor showpiece. A sequence of 18 trestles and two tunnels were used for the Kettle Valley Railway and erected around the turn of the century have since been rebuilt and are a popular cycleway or jogging path. The high ropes and zip lines at Myra Canyon Adventure Park will also appeal to adventurous adults and children (ages 3 and above).
to view unexpected street art
You won’t swoon the moment you arrive in Vernon. It’s not the most gorgeous city in Canada, or even in British Columbia, but the creative and historical murals that grace many of its buildings will enchant you.
During the summer season, there is a self-guided tour with maps available for download from the tourism office, or you may join one of the twice-weekly expert-led excursions. You’ll see cowboys, some of the area’s most powerful people, and even Ogopogo, Okanagan Lake’s counterpart to the Loch Ness Monster.
For exceptional wines and cellar secrets
The wineries in this region produce some of the best Canadian wines, but many of them offer more than just a sample.
By far the most stunning winery in this valley is Mission Hill. Book a site visit with Graham Norton, Head of Wine Education, and you’ll learn about the history of the buildings and a few of the mysteries buried inside the basement, as well as sample some wines from the barrel.
Summerhill’s bottles are matured inside a pyramid because the proprietor feels the energy improves the flavour of the wine. Tastings at O’Rouke’s Peak Cellars can include a walk through the pinot Gris grapes, followed by lunch in the contemporary Garden Bistro, which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the 300-acre property.
Because you can do it in a sustainable manner.
Not only is the farm-to-table lifestyle here an arguably more sustainable way of living, but you can also travel about the Okanagan in ecologically friendly vehicles. Avoid petrol and diesel car rentals in favor of an electric Tesla from Power Trips.
The primary road through the Okanagan is Highway 97, which is part of the Alaska Highway and has enough charging stations so you’ll never go without electricity.
Is it worthwhile to visit Okanagan Valley?
For a relaxing summer road trip, the Okanagan Valley BC is hard to beat. The vistas are spectacular, the distances are short (just 170 kilometres from Osoyoos to Vernon), the local product is plentiful, and the weather is delightfully mild. There’s also a lake everywhere you look.
What is the Okanagan Valley well-known for?
The Okanagan Country, commonly known as the Okanagan Valley BC, is an area bounded by the basins of Okanagan Lake and the Okanagan River in the Canadian province of British Columbia and the United States state of Washington
Why is it so hot in the Okanagan?
This region’s valleys and slopes are dominated by dry woods of ponderosa pine and low grasses. The Okanagan Valley BC, south of Kelowna, has a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters. The average daily temperature in this region is roughly 15.0 °C (59.0 °F), making it the hottest in Canada.
What distinguishes the Okanagan Valley?
The Okanagan Valley’s unusual environment allows winemakers to produce excellent wines that can compete with the world’s best wine regions, all while generating a diverse variety of varietals and defying previous notions about our latitude.
Is there snow in the Okanagan?
They are wetter than Calgary’s winters but dryer than Vancouver’s. According to these reports, Okanagan receives more snow than Vancouver.
What exactly does the term Okanagan mean?
The word “Okanagan” means “rendezvous.” The Okanagan River’s headwaters, Osoyoos Lake, were given this name by the First Nations peoples. According to others, “Okanagan” also means “Big Head.” People with outstanding talent, valor, and other excellent attributes are referred to by this word.
What is the greatest time of year to visit the Okanagan Valley?
The weather is particularly nice in the middle of the year, with peak temperatures that are rather warm. These months get only little precipitation, with 2 to 5 days of rain every month. Because the Okanagan Valley’s busiest season is from June to August, hotels and other accommodations may be more expensive than usual.
Is the Okanagan Valley a desert?
The Okanagan Desert is the vernacular name for semi-arid shrubland in British Columbia and Washington’s southern Okanagan Valley. It is Canada’s only semi-arid shrubland, and it is centred on the city of Osoyoos.