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Swirl and Sip at 7 Unique BC Wineries

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7 Unique BC Wineries 7

British Columbia offers myriad ways to swirl and sip. Here are a few unique BC wineries where the tasting experience is anything but ordinary.

Note: This story (originally published in March, 2019) was updated specifically for the unique travel circumstances of 2021. Information is accurate at the time of publication; we recommend you contact businesses directly to confirm availability and familiarize yourself with their COVID policies

 

Orofino Winery in BC’s Similkameen Valley | Orofino Winery

Strawbale Construction: Orofino Winery

BC’s Similkameen Valley is home to Orofino, the country’s first strawbale winery. Powered by solar energy, the ecofriendly design ensures consistent insulation for barrel-room temperatures, and relief from the summer heat. Sip a dry Riesling or Cabernet Franc Rosé at an indoor or outdoor tasting. Another option? Stay for the night at Orofino’s one- and two-bedroom vineyard suites, atop the barrel room.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna | Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Pyramid Power: Summerhill Pyramid Winery

The winemakers at Summerhill Pyramid Winery age their wines in a geometrically precise pyramid. Here, grapes for organic and biodynamic wines are grown in Kelowna’s semi-desert valley, a site chosen specifically for its location (both surveyors and astrologers were tapped for their input). Sample the winery’s lineup, including an impressive array of bubbles. While you do, ask your hosts to explain the pyramid’s structure, its invisible energy, and its all-important life force.

The tasting room at Tantalus Vineyards. | @corytography

The Bee’s Knees: Tantalus Vineyards

Tantalus Vineyards is BC’s first Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED)-certified winery. Translation: the winemakers here value both land stewardship and quality vintages. Check out the beehives (a partnership with Arlo’s Honey Farm) that pepper the landscape just outside the tasting room. Vital to the Kelowna-area vineyard’s natural ecosystem, the bees also ensure that nearby orchards and vegetable farms stay productive. Along with an old-vines Riesling or Pinot Noir, consider purchasing a pot of honey to take home.

Liquidity Winery showcases reds and whites alongside stunning art displays | Lionel Trudel Photography

Modern Art Gallery: Liquidity Winery

Set between Vaseux and Skaha lakes near Okanagan Falls, Liquidity Winery is a modernist gem with a seasonally inspired bistro and an impressive lineup of rotating artwork. Paintings, sculptures, and whimsical indoor and outdoor installations are all on display—a prized personal collection curated by the owner himself. While these visuals delight, it’s the winery’s reds and whites that shine. Savour Liquidity’s full-bodied Dividend, sample the fruity Chardonnay, and take home a bottle of their spectacular Pinot Noir for your cellar.

Take a tour of Covert Farms Family Estate in a vintage 1952 truck | Gabriel Cabrera

Wines, Naturally: Covert Farms Family Estate

Situated on 263 hectares north of Oliver, Covert Farms Family Estate is home to fourth-generation farmers and a first-generation estate vineyard. Here, wines are crafted with minimal intervention with focus on natural fermentation; expect fruity, crisp whites and luscious reds. Once you’ve sipped, you can wander through dozens of different U-pick crops (field tomatoes, sweet corn, and more) or take a tour of the farm in a vintage 1952 truck.

Nk'Mip Cellars in BC's Okanagan | Joann Pai

Indigenous Vintages: Nk’Mip Cellars

Nk’Mip Cellars, overlooking Osoyoos, is North America’s first Indigenous-owned and -operated winery. Sample a few wines from the Nk’Mip Winemakers Tier and the premium Qwam Qwmt collection (Qwam Qwmt translates to “achieving excellence” in the Okanagan language spoken by the Osoyoos Indian Band). Enjoy lunch at the winery’s seasonal patio restaurant, and head to the nearby Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre for a glimpse into a traditional pit house and sweat lodge.

 

The view from the patio at Northern Lights Estate Winery | Kelly Bergman

Fruitful Tastings: Northern Lights Estate Winery

When people think about winemaking, they often think of sunny, southern climates. Situated at a latitude of 53 degrees north, Northern Lights Estate Winery shattered that stereotype when it opened in 2015, becoming the province’s northernmost winery. Here in Prince George, winemakers grow local fruits (think: apples, blackcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb, and more) and turn them into fruit wine. You can sample the vintages with a view of the Nechako River and the city centre.

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