Y’all ready to learn about some wine stuff? Cool, us too. There’s not a whole lot of grape action happening here, but thankfully we do have some AB & BC wineries that are more than willing to share their sips. Might take a bit of a roadie to get there, but we’re pretty sure it’s worth the car time.
Now let’s get down to drinking. Here are some of the best wineries in Alberta & BC!
Alberta soil doesn’t really mesh with grapes. But what we can do is fruit, like berries, apples, and wild cherries! Head over and frolic through 50 acres of orchards, taste the fruit wines, and even enjoy a U-pick! So wholesome.
Again, grapes are no bueno. But fermentation of honey, rosehips, flowers, and berries is muy bueno in Alberta! If you’re not feeling too uppity then it may be time to dive into Saskwatch, Dande, Wild Rosy, YeeHaa! or Bonfire. Yes, there’s a wine called YeeHaa!. We’re feeling very Albertan, folks.
Alrighty, off to BC we go. 8 hours on the road is nothing right? Especially when you’re headed to a winery that’s practically on the lake. Apparently, the grandmother (an architect) had a vision for this place’s future, while the grandfather saw it as a potential ‘white elephant’, that is, an impractical purchase. The resulting area was lovingly referred to as ‘Elephant EYE-land’, and the name stuck.
A family run winery that is literally down the street from Elephant Island. They’re producing a variety of wines, but the standouts are the Syrah and Malbec. Feel like you need a go-to wine for your next steak or pork chop? Deep Roots might have your answer.
Established in 1996, using vines planted in 1985, Lake Breeze remained quite small until being purchased by the MacIntyre family in 2001. We’re really big fans of one of their original varietals, the Pinot Blanc, which is still in production today. Also, this should be your lunch stop, since it’s arguably the prettiest patio in the region.
As you continue south, you’ll come across another absolutely gorgeous winery. Bench 1775 has been winning numerous awards for a wide variety of wines, so maybe a flight is your best bet here as you explore the lineup. You could also do lunch here, it’s a toss-up.
Bet you didn’t think we would throw a curveball like this, did you? Well, don’t be too alarmed. We’re only recommending Poplar Grove because they function as the tasting room for Lock & Worth next door. We have two favourites from these guys- the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend and the Merlot. Trust us- it’s worth locking down.
These guys were named the Best Performing Small Winery of the Year 2017 at the National Wine Awards of Canada (fun fact- Lake Breeze won that in 2016). That’s a mouthful of a sentence, but it’s as good of a mark of distinction as anything else. The focus here is on Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
The final stop on the wine tour, and the most southern BC winery we’re going to recommend. This family affair only began in 2003, with the winery coming a couple of years after the vineyards. Now, the vineyards stretch over 150 acres throughout the region, and the wine has entered into the upper echelons of Canada. It’s a fun switch up, too- Tempranillo and Chardonnay are their best.
And there you have it! Seven of our favourite wineries in the Naramata Bench, and a handful near home. Now that you know where to go, the real challenge is finding someone who doesn’t want to join in on the drinking. We say good luck to that- we’re just going to Uber everywhere.