Okanagan Wine Tasting
We are extremely fortunate in the Okanagan Valley to have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and also a widely diverse selection of fantastic wines. Spending an afternoon wine tasting in the Okanagan is one of the great pleasures of being in this area, and it’s our aim to make this experience enjoyable for all of our guests and show off this area that we proudly call home.
If you’re looking to spend some time touring the local wineries we have outlined some tips for you based on our own experiences around the valley.
Where Should I Go?
Well, we’re partial to Okanagan Falls and feel that this area is the dark horse of the local wine industry, but we may be a bit biased! Otherwise the entire valley is filled with stunning views and some great wine.
Okanagan Wine Regions
- Similkameen Valley (Cawston / Keremeos)
- Oliver (Black Sage Bench / Golden Mile)
- Okanagan Falls (Corkscrew Drive / Skaha Lake / Kaleden)
- Naramata Bench
- Summerland (Bottleneck Drive)
- West Kelowna
- Kelowna (The Mission / East Kelowna)
- Lake Country
What Should I Wear?
While there is no set dress code, we would imagine that most wineries adhere to a “no shirt, no shoes” policy. A good rule of thumb would be to dress as if you were going out for a casual bistro meal. Dress comfortably for the weather, and a day spent wandering around outside and travelling between wineries. Also, try to avoid heavily scented perfumes and colognes as this might interfere with your wine tasting experience and that of others.
Who Should I Go With?
Bring all of your best friends, or go it alone! Either way can be a great experience, but we do recommend a designated driver or tour service to make the day safe and enjoyable.
Do I Have to Drink the Wine?
Most definitely not. You are free to taste from available selections, and it is perfectly acceptable and non-offensive to spit discretely into the spittoon, or dump out the remaining contents of your glass. In fact, professional wine tasters always spit when judging wines as it allows them to keep their wits about them for the duration of the tasting day and properly taste a larger quantity of wines.
Are There Wine Tasting Fees in the Okanagan?
This depends on the winery specifically. It is common practice now for most wineries to charge anywhere from $2-10 per tasting flight. Some reserve or special vintage wines may be available to taste in addition to that. Many wineries waive the tasting fee with a purchase on a per person basis. Some wineries do tasting fees by donation to a local charity. Again, it varies from winery to winery, but in our experience it is best to bring some cash along for the day as it seems difficult to find an ATM when you need one.
How Old Do I Have to Be?
The law in British Columbia dictates that you need to be 19 years of age to consume alcohol, so basically you need to be 19 or beyond to try our wines at the winery.
What Kind of Wines Can I Try?
Most wineries pour a selection of their wines depending on availability. Typically many of the white wines are released in the spring around the Spring Wine Festival, with the big reds being released around the Fall Wine Festival, however, there are exceptions to this. Also, while the Okanagan is considered cooler climate, and well suited to grapes like Pinot and Chardonnay, we also get some intense heat and sunshine, particularly in the most southern parts of the valley, so we also have some nice Merlots, Cabernets, and Syrahs.
At Blue Mountain we produce Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sparkling Brut. We typically taste 4 of these wines at any given time depending on availability.
While wine tasting can be a bit intimidating at first, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Wine means many things to many different people, but ultimately we feel it is meant to be a part of a great social experience.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a first time wine drinker, we hope that what you take away from your wine tasting experience is an appreciation of the experience. We want you to have a fantastic time and go home with fun filled memories of your time in the Okanagan. Read our "How to taste wine for beginners".
Our tasting room staff is here to make your experience enjoyable, so please don’t hesitate to ask any questions while you are here. We are always more than happy to help you have the best experience possible.
Yet every year has a tremendous amount of variation. Also it's excellent place to do all the Burgundy varietals. All the things that Blue Mountain does so well.
I guess the problem is that it has a small town. No major airport. No major lakes like Osoyoos. No huge vineyards like Oliver (and Osoyoos). It's just got great, niche wineries that are all doing something special.