Lots is happening in the vineyards at Blue Mountain, Okanagan Falls during this time of year. Days are consistently warm and the grapes are going through a process called veraison.
Véraison is a viticulture (grape-growing) term meaning "the onset of ripening". It is originally French, but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of veraison is "change of color of the grape berries." Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur at veraison.
Pinot Noir clusters proceeding through the ripening process.
If you get a chance to visit the wineries in the Okanagan during mid to late August see if you can spot the transformation taking place in the vineyards.
Before long we will be harvesting these beautiful globes and making the 2013 vintage of the wine you love!
Avenue Bistro is the second restaurant venture in the Comox Valley for husband and wife team Trent McIntyre and Sandra Viney. As with their first restaurant Atlas Cafe, they have compiled a team of staff as passionate about great food & service as they are.
Trent's culinary talent shines in the kitchen, collaborating with Chef Aaron Rail to consistantly serve up fresh and exciting flavours. Sandra is the consummate host: her lively and personable approach warms the restaurant.
They have called on the talent of fomer Atlas Bar Manager Torrie Howlett to create the beer, wine and cocktail selections. In collaboration with local farmers, wine makers & brewers they continue to provide memorable dining experiences in the Comox Valley.
There is a new attraction in Vancouver that you won't want to miss on your next visit. Celebrating the incredible diversity and beauty of Canada be sure to visit FlyOver Canada at Canada Place. You might even recognize a certain Okanagan Falls Winery!
Buckle up your seatbelt and prepare for the flight of your life! FlyOver Canada incorporates state-of-the-art technology to bring you some of Canada’s most thrilling sights like you have never seen them before. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, immersed in a huge 20m spherical screen while our film takes you on a thrilling journey from east to west across Canada. FlyOver Canada and our production team from Sherpas Cinema spent over a year travelling from coast to coast capturing some of Canada’s most spectacular locations. Special effects like wind, mist and scents combine with the ride movement to create an incredible experience.
Dip into deep valleys where wild rivers rush by. Feel the wind in your hair as you fly over magnificent prairies. Gaze at snow-capped mountains that tower over the land. Seek the thrill of urban environments that buzz from morning to night. By the end, you will find yourself in awe of this amazingly diverse country.
This incredible journey of discovery covers over 6000 kilometers from coast to coast, all the while never leaving Vancouver! It is unlike any ride experience you will find anywhere in Canada. We can’t wait to see you!
On Sunday, July 7th, 2013 approximately 2700 cycling enthusiasts and racers will take to the roads in the South Okanagan to complete a race that is fast becoming a must do on any cyclist's bucket list. Weaving through beautiful lakeside vistas and lush orchards and vineyards the Valley First Granfondo is now in its third year and is drawing participants from all over North America.
If you are not participating cheer on the riders from any of the magnificant vantage points along the route. Here is a video clip of the section of road near Blue Mountain that the Granfondo riders will cruise along before stopping for lunch at Le Vieux Pin.
Cyclists leaving the starting point near Okanagan Lake heading towards Skaha Lake.
Here is the full route including some information on road closures for those of you still wanting to get out and tour some local wineries.
This long weekend, whether you’re heading up to the lake or hanging out in town, you’re going to need wine. The weather forecast points to right about average for July, so bring on the patio lounging and barbecues.
With the char-grilled flavour effect and often spicy or zesty sauces, a good rule of thumb for BBQ wine is not to go too delicate. An often overlooked wine, Okanagan Gamay Noir is the quintessential BBQ wine, not too heavy but still packed with buckets of lush fruit and just the right balance of smoke and spice. Whether you are grilling some artisan burgers or your family’s secret recipe ribs, Gamay is sure to be a hit on a hot summer day. Enjoy your Gamay chilled when the thermometer starts rising.
For your whites at the barbecue, Oaked Chardonnay is a solid match for grilled chicken or in season halibut right off the grill and Sauvignon Blanc is great with rich sable fish or a local artisan cheese board. You can never have too much Pinot Gris for when friends stop by. Marry the Gris with some oysters on the half shell or prawns on the BBQ and you will really win some points with family and friends.
For salads or lighter fair a crisp and refreshing Pinot Blanc hits the spot.
Our country is 146 years old this year and that is something to celebrate. Have some BC Sparkling on hand for when the fireworks get going or to kick start your party. After all sparkling goes with everything…even the red and white!
Happy Canada Day everyone!
Congratulations to all of the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. Here are the Okanagan Falls Winery Association wines that won:
Stag's Hollow Winery
Cachet No. 03 Limited Edition 2010
Storm Haven Vineyard Riesling 2011
Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery
Mystic River Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2012
This year was the largest competition in the 11-year history of the awards, with 402 wines submitted from 109 wineries across the province. For a full list of the 2013 winners, check out the website.
Back for it's second year the Okanagan Falls Winery Association's Party in the Park kicks off summer on Friday July 12th, 2013. The event runs from 5pm till 9pm at Kenyon Park and tickets are going to go fast.
Get your beach party groove on with the great sounds of The Gal Avanters.
Meet the elusive winemakers and owners of the 12 OK Falls Winery Association wineries and enjoy the excellent southern BBQ prepared by The Chef Instead. Dinner and dancing with a live band at Kenyon Park seems like an awesome way to kick start an Okanagan summer! Tickets are $50 and are available at
So tell your friends, to come celebrate summer and the wine of Okanagan Falls on the beach, along with the personalities that make up the OK Falls Winery Association. Summer never felt so good.
Penticton is located in the centre of an amazing agricultural area. From May through October some of the best fruit, produce, and grapes in the country can be found here. This has of course led to a burgeoning culinary scene set against the perfect backdrop and paired with some delicious Okanagan wines.
Here are a few of our picks for places to eat in Penticton:
Lunch / Dinner
- The Cobblestone Restaurant and Wine Bar at Naramata Heritage Inn
- The Patio at Lake Breeze Winery
- Hillside Estate Winery Bistro
- Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery
- The Kitchen at Misconduct Winery
- The Hooded Merganser at Penticton Lakeside Resort
- Theo's Greek Restaurant
Of course there are many other great restaurants throughout the Okanagan Valley.
If you have any other suggestions, or if there is somewhere that you've particularly enjoyed, please feel free to comment below!
In the spirit of the 2013 Wine Blogger's Conference being held in
Penticton this weekend, we thought it appropriate to create a series
of blog posts highlighting some of our favourite things to do here in
Whether you're joining us locally from the Okanagan, or from abroad in
Canada and the US we welcome all of our cyber wine friends to this
amazing part of the world.
We hope you'll enjoy a sunny weekend here along with some fantastic
wine and great people. Should you require any information while you're
here, or would just like to stop by for a glass of bubbly please
contact us in the tasting room and we'll be happy to assist you.
If you're just tuning in and wondering what's happening for the
conference, or would like to attend, you can find full details at the
Wine Blogger's Conference website.
From vineyard rookies to those connoisseurs who need a new angle on the Okanagan wine scene, try a Heli-Wine Tour. This is a one of a kind experience tailor-made by you which combines scenic helicopter flights around the Okanagan with stops at your choice of several participating wineries to enjoy the beverage that has made the valley so well-known. Valhalla Helicopters has agreements to land at approximately 30 vineyards around the Okangan, Shuswap and Similkameen.
A full day Heli-Wine tour is a 6 hour experience - starting at 10am and ending at 4pm - where you select about 4 wineries to visit. There are over 30 participating wineries from the Shuswap in the North to the US border in the South.
You may choose to go north with winery options in Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm, or select a southern route with vineyard choices in Lake Country, Kelowna, Summerland, Naramata, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Cawston and Keremeos.The helicopter can seat up to 4 people (weight restrictions apply), but some wineries are only accessible with one couple onboard.
Most wineries have picnic spots and several have restaurants or will do a special catered lunch if you'd like to add that on.