Exploring Canada’s Wine Country

I woke up knowing today would be a good day. And if you follow me on Instagram, you may see why.

Because good days usually start with sunshine and breakfast buffets. After stocking up on enough scrambled eggs and the crispiest bacon to last me a lifetime (ok, at least until the next day), we set off in search of another reason that I knew today would be a good day: wine.

If you’re not familiar with the area, the Okanagan Valley is renowned for its world-class wines. Located a thousand miles north of California’s famous Napa Valley, Canada boasts its very own wine region. And it is beautiful.

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Welcome to the Mission Hill Winery! Our first stop of the day.

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Row upon row of vineyards sprawl towards the sea, and the pretty gardens are scattered with English roses for a little reminder of home.

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Enjoying the gorgeous European architecture and stunning views across Lake Okanagan, we soaked up the sun before heading inside for a tour of the vineyard.

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Looks like the vineyard was good enough even for Kate and Wills!

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The tour was genuinely really interesting – we started off with a video and learnt all about the region’s wines and grapes, as well as the history of the vineyard and how it’s grown into the facilitator of some world-class wines.

The vineyard was even architected to give it a European feel akin to the French wood that produces the barrels for wine storage; and the international awards it won in England for its outstanding Chardonnay.

Taking a break from the heat of the outdoors, we cooled off in the wine cellar, and took a peek at the owner’s prized vintage bottles of wine. I can only imagine how good they’d taste!

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After being teased with the promise of wine for the duration of the tour, here came the fun bit: tasting. Our lovely tour guide taught us everything we needed to know about examining, smelling, and tasting wines, no matter what variety you pick.

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With this new knowledge behind our belts, we were fully prepared for the final part of our tour, the Tasting Bar!

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At just $10 for 4 varieties of wine from their extensive menu, we tried all sorts of whites, roses and red, of all different prices. The standout wine for me was undoubtedly their 2014 No. 5 Tranquil Pine Chardonnay – sourced from a small vineyard in nearby Oliver, with a vibrant structure, ripe fruit flavours, and good acidity. It was delicious!

For someone like me who is admittedly one of those to pick a wine by the prettiest label, it was such a good opportunity to learn more about what I actually like.

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We enjoyed a few more glimpses of that gorgeous view before setting off for a place to swim.

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Taking a short drive further south along the Okanagan Valley, you’ll find yourself in the most adorable town with an even more adorable name: Peachland.

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Stripping off in the hot sun, we plunged into the cool water for a refreshing dip, and even found some feathered friends.

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Evidently, it was meant to be!

We hit the road to get back to the reality of the city life that we’d escaped for the weekend – but when you’re in Vancouver, it’s never so bad!

There was just time for one more dip in a private lake on our way home.

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We’re already planning our next visit back!

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