Viticulture is a growing and thriving industry in British Columbia, and as a natural result, wine tours are becoming increasingly popular. There are five wine regions in BC which produce over 60 different varieties. A few of the most prominent among the reds are Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Malbec. Among the whites you will find Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc heading the list. For a closer look at the five regions and the varietals, have a look at www.winebc.com/discover-bc.
The terroir varies greatly, thus different regions produce wines with distinctly different notes. Even within a region, there are factors that can influence the taste to such a degree that the Okanagan appellation, for one, has recently been discussing the creation of sub-appellations.
While the overall size of British Columbia is vast, the wine growing regions are fairly closely clustered, making it possible to cover each one quite thoroughly in the course of a motorhome vacation, or even tour through two or three, enjoying a few of the main wineries in each region. Be sure to check out BC's wineries and wine tours before you begin to plan your RV holiday.
The Okanagan Valley region is without a doubt the top producer of grapes and world class wineries in BC. There are wine festivals every season of the year. Go to: www.hellobc.com/thompson-okanagan/things-to-do/festivals-events and click on "Read More" where you will find details of the various events. Although the winters are colder, the hot, dry summers of this semi-arid desert appellation can be even warmer than southern California. As with its southern counterpart, when irrigation is introduced to this desert-like area, it becomes an oasis worthy of being called Canada's Garden of Eden. Visit wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Okanagan-Valley to find out more about this region and its distinctive wines.
The Okanagan region is BC's largest producer of soft fruits, which in turn lends itself to being a prime location for cider brewers. If you can manage to break away from the tempting vineyards and wineries, you might enjoy the "Fest-of-ale" in the spring which showcases the various breweries, meaderies and cideries.
Whether you plan to tour the Okanagan and Similkameen regions, or decide to head west to take in what the Vancouver Island and Gulf Island regions have to offer, the Fraser Valley region is very close at hand. In fact, if you choose to head east, you will be travelling right through it, upon leaving Happy Holidays RV Rentals and the Sunshine Coast. It would be well worth your while to book a couple of nights' stay at Brae Island Regional Park in beautiful Fort Langley www.fortcamping.com and checking out some of the regions best wineries, all within a short drive of the campground.
Fort Langley, also known as the birthplace of BC, is a charming heritage community idyllically set on the banks of the Fraser River. You will find wonderful restaurants, upscale shops, antique markets, museums and a fairly famous book shop. If you enjoy a good nature walk, the Fort-to-Fort trail will supply you with plenty of fresh air and ample vistas to feast your eyes upon while working off the effects of the great food and wine. Have a look at www.hellobc.com/fort-langley for more information on the various attractions Fort Langley has to offer.
In the next installment, we will be highlighting a few places to camp in the various regions you may choose to visit on your wine tour.