Best time to travel to British Columbia

Okanagan Grape Harvest in British Columbia

Explore the province's best and most picturesque wineries

Best time: mid-August–early October

Okanagan Grape Harvest
Okanagan Grape Harvest

The Thompson Okanagan is the oldest, largest, and most popular wine-producing region in British Columbia which includes more than 120 wineries.

Winemaking in the Okanagan Valley began in 1859 with Father Charles Pandosy, who was the first European settler in this area. As Pandosy discovered the land was fertile, he planted the first vines in the region for religious purposes of the Church. Although he was the first, Pandosy was surely not the last to have the valley planted with vines.

In the 20th century, Okanagan wineries started eventually experimenting with vinifera vines and hybrid grape varieties. The selection of high-quality vinifera grapes has led to the Okanagan competing for wine awards.

Catch the grape harvesting season in Kelowna from mid-August to the first week in October!

Practical info

When was Father Charles Pandosy associated with winemaking in the Okanagan Valley?

Winemaking in the Okanagan Valley dates back to the era when Father Charles Pandosy arrived in the area in 1859. He is associated with planting the first vines in the region, and thus often regarded as the founder of winemaking in the region. While he wasn’t the first to plant vines in Okanagan, he was still the most famous and influential in the initial years of the industry's development. Show more

Which province is home to Thompson Okanagan, and how many wineries are operating in the region?

Thompson Okanagan is situated within British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province. Spanning over 69,000 square kilometers, this region is home to more than 120 wineries. It's the largest, oldest, and most renowned winemaking region in British Columbia. Visitors to the region can taste the wines and learn more about the winemaking process at the numerous vineyards and wineries spread across the region's picturesque countryside. Show more

What is significant about vinifera grapes grown in Okanagan Valley?

The vinifera grape varieties grown in the Okanagan Valley are known for their exceptional taste and quality. The unique climate of the region, with its warm days and cool nights, provides perfect growing conditions for these grapes. Winemakers use these varieties to produce complex and elegant wines that are loved by wine enthusiasts. Popular vinifera grape varieties grown in the region include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Show more

What is the grape-picking season in Kelowna and what activities can visitors enjoy during this time?

The grape-picking season in Kelowna starts in mid-August and continues until the first week of October. Tourists can participate in some of the harvest seasons' activities at various wineries throughout the region and experience the complete vine-to-wine process. Visitors can also enjoy freshly pressed grape juice and indulge in some wine-paired cuisine that complements the taste of the region’s wine offerings. Show more

What are some grape varieties produced by winemakers in Thompson Okanagan, and how can visitors experience these varieties?

Winemakers in Thompson Okanagan produce over 60 grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Gris. The region's unique terroir and climate allow winemakers to create diverse wines, making it a haven for wine enthusiasts. Wine lovers can visit any of the numerous wineries and vineyards located throughout the region to taste the wine produced by these grape varieties and experience the richness of the winemaking culture in Thompson Okanagan. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin