The Napa Valley of the North
There are over 180 wineries operating in the Okanagan Valley, producing more than 75 grape varietals and Penticton sits at the heart of it all, which is why it inherited the nickname “Napa Valley of the North.” Whether you’re a connoisseur, a wine lover or just looking to try something new Penticton is a great place to start.
When to go Wine Touring
Any time is wine time in Penticton and no matter the season, you’ll find authentic, intimate tasting experiences. Each season does have it’s own nuances though, which are worth knowing before planning your visit.
Winter is a quieter time affording you the opportunity to stay longer and enjoy a more laid-back tasting experience. During this time you’ll often you’ll find the proprietor or winemaker behind the tasting bar regaling guests with tales of the grapes’ journey to the glass and you may find special seasonal treats like mulled wine or chocolates on offer. Ice wine only a few places in the world where this is made.
Spring is a great time to visit your favourite wineries as they release their new vintages and the vineyards are busy preparing for the new growing season.
Summer and early Fall are the busiest time for Wine Touring around Penticton, but are also the best time or year to enjoy the outdoor wine experience. Many wineries have culinary offerings to further tempt your taste buds, and encourage you to stay and soak up the views.
Fall is harvest time so you will often find some opportunities to get involved in the agricultural aspects of the Wine Industry, Fall Wine Festival.
Wine Touring Tips
With over 85 wineries within a 20-minute drive of Penticton, how do you know which ones are right for you? Here are a few tips, which will help you make the most of your wine touring adventure.
Do your research. Do you like whites or reds? Sweet or dry? Are you interested in fruit wine or icewine?
Take time to become familiar with “wine-speak.”
Give yourself time to enjoy the tasting experience at each location by planning to visit no more than 3 to 5 wineries on any given day, allowing for travel time between locations.
Consider taking a wine tour with one of the many knowledgeable operators like Grape Escapes Wine Tours, Grape Friends Lounge & Tours, Sagebrush Tours, Vivid Tours or Wine Wagon Tours.
Wine Touring Regions
The Okanagan Valley has been ranked as one of the top wine destinations around the world. The South Okanagan in particular is home to over 200 wineries, and Penticton perfectly located in the heart of the South Okanagan wine region.
With abundant sunshine, cooling lake breezes and an optimal temperature range, the Naramata Bench is a premiere grape growing region in Canada. A winding 13 kilometre stretch of gorgeous lake views, vineyards, orchards and mountain views and is home to over 45 wineries, 2 distilleries and 2 cideries.
Summerland’s Bottle Neck Drive
A peaceful meander through the hills and valleys will lead you to Summerland where you will find over 20 wineries, 2 breweries, 1 distillery and 3 cideries.
Okanagan Falls/Skaha Lake
This wine touring in Okanagan Falls spans both shores of Skaha Lake to the tip of Vaseaux Lake. Amazing views can be found from both sides of the valley. The Okanagan Falls region now offers more than 15 wineries to explore.
Sit back, relax and savour the hidden gem called the Similkameen, home to 10 wineries and 2 cideries.