Wines from Okanagan Valley – James Melendez

Originally, I was going to write about Wines of Canada–a huge subject matter. I had to trim and focus on a great subject: Wines of Okanagan Valley. Okanagan Valley is a new world wine region that is both new and old. Okanagan Valley history begins in 1859 with French Catholic priest Charles Pandosy planting what is believed to be Vitis labrusca. A large part of the 1900s was devoted to hybrid wine grapes–there are old vines of Vitis vinifera but the majority of vines were hybrid grapes up until 1988. NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) was a call to replant with Vitis vinifera to be the dominate wine grapes to produce the highest quality wines.

The Okanagan Valley has approximately 60 varieties and going from North Okanagan Valley to South is a demarcation of white wines and Pinot Noir in the North to Bordeaux, Rhone and other red varieties in the South. The Okanagan Valley looks like no other wine country I have visited before. The Valley both creates and captures many microclimates and the lakes are a great reason for wine country being here. They are a moderating influence.

I completed my first ‘Foot on Ground’ tour–you can view Okanagan Valley online but without visiting it is hard to capture the amazing food and wines, the people, hearing from producers what they are doing and where they are going. A compelling wine country with all of the amenities that you might not expect but are certainly here.

I will return to visit more wineries and recapture such a great state of mind.

Travel and Wine Resources to Okanagan Valley:

British Columbia Wine Institute –
Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association –‎
Wine Capital of Canada –
TourismBC –
Destination Osoyoos –
Tourism Kelowna –

Wineries Featured in this video:
Haywire Winery –
Tinhorn Creek –
Fairview Cellars –
Seven Directions Wine –
Cedar Creek Estate –


Read more of my wine reviews: © 2013 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy — All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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