When one thinks of Canada's "wine country" I feel that Niagara automatically comes to mind. While the Niagara region does produce amazing wines, I feel that the British Columbia's Okanagan Valley also needs recognition for the wines that are produced there. I strongly believe that unless you are from Western Canada, you are not familiar with the wine production that takes place in the lower mainland of BC, and you should be! Some of the most amazing wines I have ever tasted come from this region.
If you ever find yourself in the Okanagan and are looking for a wine inspired adventure, they have these nifty little Wine Passports for each area of the Okanagan. On each passport, you are given a list of all the wineries in the region that participate. Each passport varies a little, but generally you have to visit a certain number of the wineries on the list. You get a stamp at each and at your last one, you drop your completed passport into a draw box and it enters you to win a prize. Again, the prize varies depending on the passport.
Here are my 3 favorite Wine Passports:
1. Summerland's Bottleneck Drive - Summerland, BC
This is my personal favorite passport to work on. Located in Summerland, most of the wineries on this passport are at a higher elevation on the West side of Lake Okanagan. This means that the view from most wineries is amazing! You can look across Lake Okanagan and on the other side is Naramata Bench (we'll get to that one later!). My 3 favorite wineries on this passport are Dirty Laundry, Sumac Ridge, and Sleeping Giant.
Dirty Laundry Vineyard - Bottleneck Drive, Summerland BC
Dirty Laundry is an incredibly fun winery to visit and it has an entertaining origin story. Their wine is delicious, the atmosphere is fun and you can use their deli to put together a picnic lunch to enjoy on their magnificent patio.
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery - Bottleneck Drive, Summerland BC
Sumac Ridge is a very modern winery and they run 2 lines of wine. Sumac Ridge and Black Sage. Both are very fantastic and you'll find something you like whether you are a red or a white drinker. There is not much in regards to a patio or a place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine but staff in the tasting room make this place so much fun, you will want to hang out inside.
Sleeping Giant - Bottleneck Drive, Summerland BC