Wine has the ability to transport you to the valleys of the Okanagan, the rivers of the Fraser Valley and the magical seaside vineyards of Vancouver Island. Each sip is a story on your lips, beckoning you to embrace bold notes or light touches, deep histories or contemporary tales.
Canada's vineyards may be resting for the winter, but they're still crafting and pouring wines for visitors at their own pace. With snow-covered vines, this may not be the season you'd usually consider a visit to wine country, but if you have a few days to spare, consider taking a wintery tour around B.C.'s nine wine regions .
This beautiful province is home to acres and acres of vines and quality craft. With low-impact sustainable farms and internationally renowned vineyards, there's an experience waiting for any level of connoisseur — even if your wine knowledge starts and ends at "red" and "white."
The hard-working and passionate wine farmers deserve your support, and what better reason to buy local than the upcoming holidays, celebrations and cozy gatherings?
There's a lot to be said for witnessing viticulture in the off-season. Many wineries offer exclusive tastings, and because it's a lot less busy, you can expect a more customized and intimate experience.
If you're unconvinced, check out Wines of BC's "A Year In The Life" contest, and you could win a three-day, two-night winter wine adventure to see what it's all about.
Each distinct label offers a unique story so you can learn about what's in your glass and all about the people who made it.
Kalala Organic Estate Winery's Harmony Red (2019)
Named after the Punjab village where the owner, Karnail Sidhu, was born, Kalala Organic Estate Winery is in B.C.'s gorgeous Okanagan region and makes 100% organic wines.
Karnail makes award-winning wines like the 2019 Harmony Red, a blend of merlot, zweigelt and pinot noir, with aromas of raspberry and cherry and warm spices.
Pair it with popcorn as you cozy up on the couch, or serve it alongside a warming dinner featuring roast chicken or goat's cheese.
Off The Grid Organic Winery's Inclusive Organic White Blend (2020)
Just like its label, Off The Grid's Inclusive Organic White Blend is fun, fresh, and fruity. By creating a wine that incorporates all the grape varietals grown at this West Kelowna Winery, the family-run business is celebrating its commitment to inclusivity.
"Inclusive" doesn't just refer to the grapes, either. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold goes to an inclusive charity in the surrounding area.
This small-batch winery is a heartwarming place where artisans can sell their goods, visitors can enjoy quality wine and the farm animals get all the cuddles.
Indigenous World Winery's Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin White Blend (2020)
Incorporating Indigenous stewardship of Okanagan lands, this family winery is where B.C.'s history meets modern wine culture.
Indigenous World Winery's owners, Robert and Bernice Louie, are of Syilx descent and named this blend after their son Trenton's traditional name, Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin, which means "elusive high-country stag with large antlers."
Trenton has worked at the winery since he was 15, and when he becomes winemaker, the left-facing stag on the label will turn to face the right, signifying a fruitful future.
This blend of pinot gris, pinot blanc and gewürztraminer has a delicate balance of orange blossom, crab apple and peach and is delicious with salmon, light pasta dishes and dappled sunlight.
Ex Nihilo Winery's Privata Malbec (2019)
Award-winning Ex Nihilo literally started "out of nothing" — the Latin meaning for this Lake-Country winery located in the Okanagan Valley wine region. Planted in 2004 on sloped hills north of Kelowna, the vineyard's story is one of passion and family.
The love between owners Decoa and Jeff is evident with each label, which features a loving reproduction of their children's art. This bottle's design was created by their son Jagger when he was just three years old, which he has since described as "a simple twist of fate."
Rich hints of blackberry, dark cherry and spice make this an ideal winter drop and particularly delicious paired with roast beef, rosemary gravy and duck-fat potatoes.
Backyard Vinyard's Simply Social Cabernet Merlot (2018)
Langley's Backyard Vinyard is a relaxed Vancouver location serving up glasses of award-winning blends, varietals and bubbles since 2009.
A smooth and bold red blend that pairs well with any treat or meal, the Simply Social Cabernet Merlot is the perfect pairing for a cozy night by the fire while surrounded by your most-treasured friends.
Backyard's philosophy is that wine shouldn't be stuffy, so they encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy some of Fraser Valley's best wine.
Okanagan Crush Pad's Free Form
The Free Form range of wines from Okanagan Crush Pad comes from the desire to break out of conventional and commercial winemaking ways to craft organic bottles of vino.
Low-intervention farming methods (signified by the small fingerprint on the label) mean every year yields a unique flavour profile, just like the unique landscape of the surrounding Summerland and Okanagan valleys.
Available in a variety of finishes like riesling, sauvignon blanc and rosé, there's a Free Form wine for any occasion.
Intrigue Winery Social Series (2020)
Accessible, approachable, modern and fun, Intrigue Winery is all about breaking down the gates to the world of wine.
The label's word cloud calls back to how the brand was born, with the four partners of Intrigue Wines imagining the social settings where good wines and vibes flow: date night, book club, weddings, patios and camping, just to name a few.
The series features wines from light-bodied reds and fruity whites to crisp bubbles. No matter the occasion, the SOCIAL series has a wine (and suggested pairing) for you.
Rocky Creek Winery Sirius White (2019)
A premium blend that's not too sweet, the Sirius White from Rocky Creek Winery is full-bodied, perfumed with touches of peach, tangerine, honeysuckle and kissed with vanilla.
An environmentally-conscious operation in Cowichan Valley, the family-run vineyard has handpicked each and every grape since 2005.
With a commitment to being more sustainable, the winery has opted to not use paper labels, instead screenprinting directly onto the bottle with designs loaded with personal touches and meaningful symbols.
BC Wines are ready whenever you are, even if you only visit via your glass while snuggled up a roaring fireplace with your friends or partner.
With over eighty varietals to try, you can experiment with lesser-known and small-batch wines that are winning awards and seducing taste buds across Canada and around the world.
You could even experience the wineries in a completely unique way this winter through the
Wines of BC's "A Year In The Life"
Enter for your chance to win a trip to BC wine country this year through the Award-Winning Wines of BC Explorer's A Year In The Life contest
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