Tastings can be elevating

Have you noticed this trend? Seated tastings, vineyard tours, wine-paired long table lunches and dinners, cooking classes, and booking your tastings in advance.

Whether it’s at a winery, brewery, distillery, or cidery, the options for an “elevated” experience are expanding. While dropping by an establishment with a few friends is, and has been, the norm in B.C. (and other regions in Canada) for years, as the industry changes, so do the options.

A sign, in my opinion, of a few things:

  • Tasting rooms are busier than ever, and booking in advance or “by appointment” ensures that you won’t have to jostle your way through a crowd.
  • Wineries, as one example, are keen to educate visitors on where the grapes come from, and how the wine is made. Vice versa, consumers want to learn more.
  • Matching flavours on the plate to what’s in the glass, especially highlighting local ingredients, is an excellent way to promote the Okanagan (or B.C.) terroir.
  • Want to take a tour of a distillery, or visit behind the scenes at a brewery? See if they offer an option or two, or call ahead to book, especially if you have a group or guests who have never been here.

It’ll leave a lasting impression.

A few options to consider this season…

Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos offers several tasting experiences, vineyard and cellar tours, and food and wine pairing tour.

In Oliver, Intersection Winery has The Vinstitute, a “wine school for everyone”. Most classes are two hours or less, with a variety of topics.

Township 7 in Penticton and Langley has just started its Elevated Wine Tasting Experience, with exclusive wines. https://www.township7.com/events/

Okanagan Spirits in Kelowna and Vernon doesn’t require advance bookings except for groups, but it does now have a whisky experience: 

Mission Hill in West Kelowna has a wide selection of tours, culinary classes, and an exquisite long table dinner series. 

And also in West Kelowna, Quails’ Gate has multiple options, and a new wine-paired five-course lunch: https://www.quailsgate.com/visit/tour-tastings/

Kamloops has Iron Road Brewing. Grab a beer, a bite, and watching the brewing process in action. I haven’t been, but I have heard more than a few “you gotta go” comments.


May 25, Okanagan Falls: Catch the Vineyard Stage Concert series performance with Susie Vinnick at Wild Goose Vineyards. 

Through till October, Keremeos: The Grist Mill hosts Sunday Night Suppers, each one with a different culinary theme.

Through May, Okanagan Falls: Visit Liquidity Winery and Bistro to see the work of artist Tim Okamura.

June 1, Oliver: Tinhorn Creek hosts its 25th Anniversary celebration with a five-course dinner.

June 1, Penticton: Ruby Blues has a vintage pop-up shop and fashion show. 

More Okanagan Taste articles

About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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