Next month when I touch down in Penticton, British Columbia, it will be my fourth Wine Bloggers Conference. I’ve been to Walla Walla, Virginia and Portland – all great wine regions. This year’s location will certainly be the most exotic.
I’m just an hour away from the Canadian border here in Toledo, my adventures have all take place in Ontario. There are a multitude of sensational wineries in the Niagara Peninsula region – but I’ve always been told that there are two great wine regions in Canada – Ontario and the Okanagan Valley. Time to check out the land of sunshine and mountains that has given birth to 121 licensed wineries.
Penticton is a perfect city for adventurers, offering kayaking, rock climbing, biking, hiking and birding. The city is a popular summer destination and is known for its beautiful beaches and lakes. Penticton is right in the middle of two scenic lakes: Okanagan and Skaha.
There are 50 wineries within a 20 minute drive – and for those with more endurance, there are 125 within an hours drive. The first winery in the region opened in 1931 and there are more than 8,000 acres of vineyards in the Okanagan Valley with 60 different grape varieties.
Merlot is the most widely produced grape in the region, so I'm looking forward to sampling some great reds. I understand that Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are also top grapes here.
One thing is for sure, I’ll be working up a powerful thirst. In order to get to Penticton we need to drive to Windsor, Ontario, then fly to Calgary. From there we’ll catch a connecting flight to Kelowna (another great wine town!) and from there travel another 70 or so miles to Penticton.
TWAV will be reporting from the Wine Bloggers Conference June 6-8 via this blog and Twitter. I’ll be joined by tasting team member the Cabinator, who undoubtedly will be seeking out the most hearty reds north of the border.
Photo Credit: bulliver via Compfight cc