Many Canadians already know British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley as a sunny and scenic destination for wine tourism, but the area is getting new international attention thanks to a shoutout in Vogue.
The fashion and lifestyle publication ranked the Okanagan Valley among 12 “underrated wine regions” worth visiting this fall, as well as places as far afield as Chinon, France and Puglia, Italy.
Explaining the appeal of the Okanagan, Juliet Wine co-founder Allison Luvera told Vogue that the region produces “world-class wines” that mostly stay within our borders.
“It’s a relatively new wine region and much of the wine produced here is consumed in Canada, leaving the region undiscovered by wine lovers from other countries,” Luvera said.
“However, its high caliber wines paired with the region’s stunning natural beauty have attracted top winemakers from France, New Zealand and South Africa, so awareness is on the rise.”
The expert also noted the multitude of outdoor activities available in the Okanagan, including hiking, biking, kayaking and exploring the semi-arid bush often referred to as Canada’s only desert.
Vogue has also dropped a handful of local wineries, including Painted Rock – which came as a welcome surprise to owner John Skinner, who has worked hard to gain new fans around the world.
“I’ve always said reputations are earned, not earned,” Skinner said. “For someone to come here and notice is really flattering.”
While the Okanagan wine industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, Skinner said the publication’s label that it remains an “underrated” gem was right.
“We’re on some radar in the UK, but the US market is tough because they also have a very close and competitive industry,” he said.
“That someone comes to assess for themselves that we are worth it is of immeasurable importance,” he added. “We can say we are good, but someone has to come here and see it for themselves.”
The Painted Rock tasting room is already closed for 2022 — the result of a busy season with high demand, Skinner said — but the winery hopes to expand operations with opening earlier and closing later in the year. next.
Vogue also named Quail’s Gate and Okanagan Crush Pad as must-see places when visiting the area.