Since 1850, the Okanagan Valley has been producing wine for consumption. Over the past 150 or so years, the Valley has flourished into a top-tier, world-class producer of grapes and wines with a viticulture that is matched only by a select few regions. Why is it that the Okanagan is such a perfect locale and terroir for vineyards? There are factors that affect the flavour and profile of wines and grapes, precisely why there is a science and profession formed around tasting and profiling wines. What can be said for certain is that people love the Okanagan Valley for its scenery, lookouts, entertainment, and especially its wines!
A Bit of Okanagan Valley Vineyard History
The Okanagan Valley has grown exponentially since 1850. Between 1910 & 1915, the construction of the Kettle Valley Railway brought the communities together, allowing passenger transportation to and from Penticton, Kelowna, Naramata, along with other townships. Each community began to grow, primarily growing fruit as the temperate climate was ideal for many fruits to be exported. Wine was original made for sacramental purposes, but the prohibition in the early 1900s led to the dissolution of most wineries. It wasn’t until 1930 or later that wine production began again.
So why did wine production take off, with wine tours being of the top reasons for tourists to visit our stretch of valley? “The grapevine prefers the temperate climate in which it evolved, with warm, dry summers and mild winters. Winters of sustained cold kill grapevines. High humidity promotes vine disease. Tropical temperatures disrupt the normal vine cycle of winter dormancy”, says WinePros, a nearly identical match to this region as it is a semi-desert with Summers that rarely drop below 30°C during the daytime. There is a reason we pay a “Sunshine Tax” living in the Okanagan, as our conditions are just as ideal for Summer fun as they are for grape vines and fruit producers!
The Views and Vistas of the Okanagan: Perfect for a Jeep Tour!
That Sunshine Tax pays off in other ways too. Included with the price of admission to living here is a backyard filled with beautiful rolling hills, steep peaks, and of course Okanagan Lake which is home to a plethora of Summer fun. In the countryside, you don’t need to drive more than a kilometer to find a glistening orchard or winery, complete with rows of trees or trellises that align in symmetrical perfection. We love touring the Okanagan Valley, particularly the Naramata Bench as it is a condensed area brimming with wineries and panoramic vistas that dazzle the eyes.
When you hop in for a tour of the wineries with Open Air Adventures, you are in for the best possible experience! You will be escorted between each destination in our Jeep Wranglers, the ideal vehicle for such trips. Bring your friends and a playlist, that is all you need to get the most out of a day sight-seeing and wine-sipping. Experience the Okanagan Valley the right way, hop in with Open Air Adventures!