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The Okanagan Valley has 86 per cent of British Columbia's vineyard acreages. The Okanagan Valley stretches over 250 kilometres across sub-regions, each with unique conditions suited to growing a range of grape varietals.Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

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The Okanagan Valley was recently singled out as one of 12 underrated wine regions to visit this fall by “This region produces world-class wines that are difficult to find outside of Canada – the easiest way to taste them is to travel there,” Juliet Wine co-founder Allison Luvera explains in the online article.

“It’s a relatively new winemaking area and much of the wine produced here is consumed within Canada, leaving the region unknown to wine lovers in other countries,” Luvera continues. “However, its high calibre wines coupled with the stunning natural beauty of the region have attracted top winemakers from France, New Zealand, and South Africa, so awareness is on the rise.”

For the Oct. 4 piece, writer Nicole Kliest surveyed international experts to determine a diverse selection of enchanting wine regions around the world that are ready to have their moment. Places such as the Okanagan, Chinon, France, Puglia, Italy, The Pedernal Valley, Argentina and Mendocino County, California “remain lesser-known for a mixture of reasons, from a shortage of international awareness to recent improvements in winemaking practices.”

Okanagan Crush Pad, Painted Rock and Quails’ Gate are suggested as wineries to visit, while the Osoyoos Desert Center is mentioned as a noteworthy stop to experience the unique landscape of Canada’s only desert.” Readers are also advised to “dedicate some time to enjoy the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, bicycling, or kayaking on Lake Okanagan.”

In B.C., Blue Mountain faces a vintage gone up in smoke

The American style bible’s mention is sure to be welcome news for the wine and tourism trade in the Okanagan Valley, which hopes to see traffic return to pre-pandemic levels. The tourism season remains seasonal, with most activity taking place between May and October.

In the hopes of stimulating a recovery, Wine Growers British Columbia has developed a B.C. Wine Tourism Strategy as a path for the wine and tourism industry over the next five years (2023-27). Traditionally, most visitors to the Okanagan come from British Columbia and Alberta. The remainder are from other parts of Canada or the United States. Tourism groups suggest just one per cent of visitors to the Okanagan came from outside of North America.

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