This is the year for exploring locally and glorious, wind-in-your-hair road trips. As the weather warms, British Columbia’s nine breathtaking wine regions beckon. There are almost 300 wineries to discover, many with outdoor experiences, and with new safety protocols in place.
Planning for a trip like this can seem a bit daunting, especially if you aren’t familiar with the wineries or regions. But dip into the Wines of BC Explorer App and you’ll find a definitive guide to your sipping adventure. To confirm that safe travel during the pandemic is on the horizon, check here.
One of the most exciting features is the Taste Test option. Wines are matched with flavour preferences, gleaned from your answers to a list of questions. You can then track the location of these wineries and get listings of unique wine-tasting experiences, accommodations, restaurants, family outings and pet-friendly venues.
When Christina Chandra took the test, she got some unexpected results. “Normally, I am a red wine drinker,” says the Vancouver-based content creator and blogger. “However, when I input my personal tastes via the quiz, it provided a number of white wine options that I now love.”
Not only does the app point her in the right direction when she’s ready to buy a new wine, it will help her to pinpoint where she wants to go on her next trip. “My family loves to visit the Okanagan Valley annually, so I’ve marked which hotels are near the wineries on my bucket list.”
‘I get suggestions right at my fingertips. It makes selection so simple and exploring wine so much easier’— Christina Chandra, Vancouver blogger
The app also provides advice for last-minute purchases, whether you’re pairing wines for a meal at home or for your picnic basket. “I get suggestions right at my fingertips. It makes selection so simple and exploring wine so much easier,” explains Chandra.
The comprehensive app lets people in on hundreds of choices from British Columbia’s 284 licensed grape wine wineries and more. It’s like having a personal Sommelier in your back pocket. “There are so many varieties and endless options of excellent wine in the province,” notes Chandra. “People who don’t know about them are missing out.”
Michael Littleford, restaurant manager and assistant wine director at Vancouver’s popular CinCin Ristorante + Bar, agrees. “The best aspect of this app is that it includes all B.C. grape and other fruit wines, meads and cider products too. Everybody is on there. There’s something that appeals to everyone.”
Littleford has been using the app since it was launched last summer and finds it has helped increase his knowledge of B.C.’s wine industry, a major goal when he took on the role of assistant wine director two years ago. Today, CinCin Ristorante features 100 labels and four pages of B.C. wines on its extensive wine list.
“I use the organic search filter to help make purchases for the restaurant,” says Littleford. “If you’re looking for a certain grape or style, it gets you there with quick, efficient research.”
Littleford also recommends doing the app’s Taste Test. “I have wide preferences. The first few wines that came up I had tried and enjoyed. To make it work, you have to be honest about what you like and don’t like.”
On buying trips to B.C. wineries, Littleford’s time is carefully determined by the property owners, but the personal trips he’s planning are a little different. “The first chance I get, I’ll be going to some new wineries and I’ll check the app to see what is going on at the venue beforehand. I like to arrive unannounced and experience the day-to-day operations.”
The Wines of BC Explorer app provides information that previously took many different searches to uncover. “[Visitors] can check restaurants and pet policies and see if it is family-friendly without sending a lot of emails and making a lot of phone calls,” says Littleford. “It’s a valuable tool for the average consumer who wants to plan a trip but doesn’t know where to go.”
What are you waiting for?
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Wine Growers British Columbia. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.