The Okanagan: Canada's Most Diverse Wine Region

Posted by Ann Brydle on
DipWSET, Certified Sommelier (CMS), Certified Sherry Professional, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar

There’s still plenty of time for another summer adventure! Head up to the Okanagan Valley for a first-class wine tour and see firsthand how diverse this amazing region truly is.

Although the Okanagan only has two official sub-appellations – ‘Golden Mile’ and ‘Okanagan Falls’ – it has a wide range of regions that showcase a variety of terroir and style. We’ve selected a few favourite wines from a few favourite sub-regions to get you started before you hit the road!



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REGION: EAST KELOWNA

  • Soils in Kelowna are heavier than elsewhere in the valley, based on sandy loam, clay and limestone.
  • The coast mountain range protects vineyards in this region from the Vancouver rain.
  • Riesling is one of the top grapes in this northern region due to its similar latitudinal range to Germany.
Cedar Creek Riesling

Try: Cedar Creek Riesling

Bright and focused citrus acidity balances out its sweet stone fruits.

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REGION: NARAMATA BENCH (PENTICTON)

  • The soils are a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that provide ample nutrients and water retention for easy farming.
  • Nestled in the south-east end of Okanagan Lake, Naramata Bench benefits from lake-side breezes, which keep summer temperatures cool and help protect the vines from damaging frosts and molds.
Cedar Creek Riesling

Try: Poplar Grove Merlot

Classically Okanagan with velvety tannins + notes of sage & cherry notes.

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REGION: THE GOLDEN MILE BENCH (OLIVER)

  • Sandy soils that cover the bedrock aid in effectively draining water.
  • BC’s first official sub-appellation and one of the most southerly growing regions in the province.
  • To the north sits basalt faced McIntyre Bluff, which blocks wind, making the region hot and dry.
  • Osoyoos lake on the south end moderates the temperature, keeping the vines from scorching in the summer and freezing in the winter.
Cedar Creek Riesling

Try: Tinhorn Creek The Creek

A bordeaux blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon featuring dark berry flavours and a spicy finish.


 

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