1. The Okanagan Valley? Never heard of it
USA Today has called it the second best wine region to visit in the world, and the Okanagan Valley holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who has visited. Over 200 wineries surround Okanagan Lake. If you are looking for a destination where a superb wine experience awaits, the Okanagan Valley is the place for you this fall. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is one of a rare breed of wine festivals that actually take place during the fall harvest where wine tourists see, smell, touch, and hear the energy in the vineyards.
2. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival looks like no fun
Now in its 36th year, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival has been voted Best B.C. Wine Festival in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver issue, and named in the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. And WestJet Airlines passengers have voted it one of the Top Festivals in Canada. There are events for every type of wine enthusiast. Amateur or oenophile, we have something for you.
3. The views? Ugh
The Okanagan Valley is arguably one of the most picturesque places in all of Canada. The mountains, lakes, vineyards, and people are easy on the eyes. Tasting our incredible wines is the only way to compete with the breathtaking scenery.
4. It’s nothing to write home about
Canada’s best kept secret is here waiting. You won’t be able to help but tell your friends and come back year after year. We are warning you—once you come to the Okanagan and visit our wineries, you will be planning your return visit to one of our other Okanagan Wine Festivals found online.
5. Culinary talent is at a minimum
Calling all foodies! Home to some of Canada’s most talented chefs, and with Kelowna being the host city for the Canadian Culinary Championships, the Okanagan Valley has hundreds of dining options from casual to upscale. For a made in Canada event of great food and wine, check out Alexis de Portneuf presents: The Young Chefs. Amateur chefs are challenged to make the best food and wine pairings, and you sample the results!
6. You will probably get bored
With over 100 participating wineries and more than 100 events happening during the 36th Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, there is no shortage of things see and do. A fan favourite will be the 20th Festival of the Grape in Oliver with a live grape stomp, music, and over 50 wineries present. More events are online.
7. Who stuck a massive lake right in the middle of everything?
Lake Okanagan, which is 110 kilometres long, lays smack dab in the middle of the Okanagan Valley, with its most southern tip landing in the north shore of Penticton and its northernmost point in the south of Vernon. In addition to Lake Okanagan, there are dozens of other lakes throughout the valley such as Skaha Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Vaseaux Lake and Canada’s warmest lake—Lake Osoyoos.
8. The people are boring
The Okanagan Valley has been transformed into an urban oasis with a well educated, diverse population that is emblematic of Canada’s culture in the 21st century. The valley has a wonderful mix of winemakers, grape growers, and service professionals who love their professions and live to build a wonderful wine experience. In the Okanagan, our people are as dynamic as the wines.
9. Plus, you might freeze—it is Canada after all, and practically winter
With average temperatures in September being 20 degrees Celsius, the start of the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival may surprise you with warm afternoons and lots of sunshine. Throughout the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival you can watch the trees continue to change their hues as the beautiful October colours set in. And with the opportunity to see the vineyards in action with the crush pads alive with grapes being harvested, it is a wonderful time of the year to be outdoors.
10. The wines are dull
Hardly. The wines of the Okanagan have captured the attention of wine lovers, enthusiasts, and critics alike. From the Best Chardonnay in the world to the Best Syrah in the world and countless other international and national awards, the reputation of the Okanagan as a top brand for wines continues to grow. With over 50 grape varietals grown and over 100 wineries participating in the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, engage your senses and indulge your taste buds.
Do yourself a favour and stay far away from the Okanagan during the first two weeks of October. You might fall in love with the wine, the people, the energy and the passion of the Okanagan. Don’t risk it.