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Okanagan Wine Festival in Osoyoos: Buy Bottles from the Vineyard and Go on Wine Tasting Tours

Published by Iona Thurn

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The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival happens annually in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Vineyards like Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs, Nk’Mip Cellars, See Ya Later Ranch, and Sumac Ridge Estate Winery treat guests to a wonderful variety of their finest wines from the Okanagan Valley.

Okanagan Wine Festival at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa

Start at Spirit Ridge, where you can stay in a room or a villa and be right beside the Nk’Mip Cellars vineyard and winery. Tours go through at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm for $5 CDN per person. You’ll get to see the fermentation rooms, the oak barrel grottos, and equipment like the crusher-de-stemmer, Bucher grape press and pumps.

This is also where the closing night event was held in 2018, called “Fire & Ice.” Although attendance was low, they mixed fire dancing entertainment and tapas-like dishes with delicious ice wines (as well as reds and whites, of course) from the Great Estates of the Okanagan (1-877-433-0451).

For $125 CDN, canapés sat at wine stations for a grazing event that will hopefully gain in turnout next year. Vegetarians and those who eat only fish will need to eat before showing up, as most of the wines were paired with meat. Check before you go next year.

Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs

By far the highlight of the festival was the Icewine tours at Inniskillin (1-800-498-6211; Rd #11 W, Oliver), labelled the Icewine Discovery Series. A guide takes groups to the vineyard while explaining the Icewine process, then into the barrel room for a tasting and food pairing component. It’s much easier to sip the incomparable Vidal Icewine while nibbling on blue cheese and dried apricots than it is to think about the staff who must pick the grapes at a minimum of -8° Celsius.

On a slightly different note, the tastings at the sleek Jackson-Triggs (250-498-4981; 38691 97th St, Oliver) winery show off a larger production centre with many award winning selections to take home. Started in 1993 with only a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Jackson-Triggs brand will also soon be found in the United Kingdom and Asia.

Okanagan Wine Festival

With over 100 wine-related events in the area, it’s hard to choose a route. If you don’t mind driving further out of Osoyoos and Oliver, head almost to Okanagan Falls to See Ya Later Ranch (250-497-8267) and just north of Summerland to Sumac Ridge Estate Winery (250-494-0451).

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