The Times of London features Okanagan wine culture in travel feature

Okanagan gets UK love

The Okanagan got some ink in England's venerable The Times of London newspaper this past weekend.

In an article headlined 'British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,' author Fiona Sims praises the valley during a visit hosted by Destination BC.

The Times describes the Okanagan as "Canada's up-and-coming wine region where vineyards are part of the scenery."

"You might not have heard of or tasted wine from the Okanagan Valley. Canadians, wisely, drink pretty much all of it themselves, exporting only five per cent, but it deserves to be more widely enjoyed," writes Sims, who visited B.C. pre-pandemic.

En route from Vancouver, Merritt's Brambles Bakery gets a shout out, where the party stopped for coffee and cinnamon buns.

Descending from the Coquihalla, "we got our first glimpse of the Okanagan Valley and its glittering string of lakes" writes Sims, whose final destination was Osoyoos.

Following a visit 20 years ago, Sims notes "fundamental changes had occurred since my previous visit ... Back then it was a sedate kind of place. These days it’s populated by hipsters. Add a number of artisanal coffee shops, a serious chocolatier (Karat), a gin distillery (Okanagan Spirits) and more than seven craft breweries, and you get the picture."

Sims praises Kelowna's Waterfront Wines and gives shout-outs to Quails’ Gate, Summerhill, 50th Parallel and Mission Hill wineries.

The author also cycled the dramatic Myra Canyon section of the Kettle Valley Railway, and visited Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland before heading south to Time winery in downtown Penticton.

Other South Okanagan stops included Culmina and Tinhorn Creek wineries before reaching Osoyoos' Nk’Mp Desert Cultural Centre and Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa.

Returning to Vancouver for the flight home, the author took the Hope-Princeton Highway home through the Similkameen, "which everyone says will be the next big thing."

"This pocket of small-town charm follows a namesake river and is the country’s organic farming capital."

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