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Okanagan Wine Tours: Why 2015 Will Be a Vintage Year

August 21, 2015

Okanagan Wine Tour at Arrowleaf Cellars

Okanagan wine tours are more popular than ever thanks to this fall’s highly anticipated grape harvest, with several award winning wineries continuing to prove their track record.

Photo source: Arrowleaf Cellars

The Okanagan Valley has already proven itself to be a sensational destination for wine-lovers. Over the past few decades, the region has built a reputation that has convinced many visitors to partake in Okanagan wine tours. And they keep coming back for more.

However, if ever there was a year to come and check out the area’s local vineyards, this is it. According to a Global News report, the 2015 harvest is expected to see some of the best wines produced in this region in the last century. Thanks to an early start to the warm, sunny weather, some grapes are as much as three weeks ahead of schedule.

 

Vineyards Expecting a Bumper Crop

These favourable conditions—long stretches of warm days, followed by cool nights—have resulted in fruit that’s ripened sooner, meaning it’s producing:

  • Larger yields
  • More mature fruit
  • Higher sugar content in fruit
  • More juice

As the harvest approaches, vintners are hoping Mother Nature will cooperate the rest of the way to make this truly a year to remember. After all, the longer the grapes hang and ripen, the fuller, more balanced flavours they develop.

 

Wine Connoisseurs Taking Note

Okanagan wine tours are expected to be bustling this fall as visitors clamour to see the abundance of grape varietals growing on the vines. It also means those seeking Kelowna wine tours accommodation should book sooner than later.

 

Kelowna-area Wineries Wow at National Competition

If you needed another reason to go on some Okanagan Wine Tours, the results of the 2015 WineAlign National Wine Awards should be enough to wet your whistle.

This prestigious competition involves 205 wineries and 1,408 wines from across the country, and West Kelowna’s stunning Mission Hill Family Estate Winery ranked No. 1 in the country for the fourth time in the last 15 years. They grabbed:

  • 1 Platinum Award
  • 4 Gold
  • 6 Silver
  • 10 Bronze

 

Here are some of the other nearby vineyards that scored big at WineAlign:

Arrowleaf Cellars: Located just up the road from Kelowna in Lake Country, this boutique winery punched well above its weight in securing second overall nationally, finishing with:

  • 5 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 2 Bronze

 

Quail’s Gate Estate Winery: Another West Kelowna entry, this well-established winery features 20-plus-year-old vines planted on volcanic slopes. The resulting elixirs earned them fifth in the province:

  • 3 Gold
  • 3 Silver
  • 5 Bronze
     

Cedar Creek Estate: This Kelowna winery finished sixth in the province after recording:

  • 3 Gold
  • 3 silver
  • 10 Bronze
     

If you’re interested in checking out some of the area’s wonderful wineries, you should read our post: The Ultimate Guide to Okanagan Wine Tours.

 

Get In the Festive Spirit

One of the best ways to take in the regional wine experience is to visit the annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Oct. 1-11. Now entering its 35th year, the festival features more than 120 events throughout the valley. It draws more than 20,000 visitors each year.

 

Does your visit to the Kelowna area involve Okanagan wine tours? BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites partners with Okanagan Wine Country Tours to offer both full-day and half-day options. Call us to plan your next outing: 1-888-860-1212


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