- 1 / 6Vancouver Dining Paired with Okanagan Wine TastingsDine at any leading restaurant in Vancouver, and you’ll likely see many names from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley on the wine list. Shelby Donley of Camelback Odyssey went on a mission to find the source of these remarkable wines, and discovered a sunny region of inviting vineyards overlooking a long fjord lake, three miles wide and 84 miles long. Her itinerary is an oenophile’s dream, letting you retrace her steps as you explore what is emerging as one of the world’s leading wine regions.
- 2 / 6Day 1With its embrace of multiculturalism and bounty of fresh products both from the sea and the farms of British Columbia, Vancouver is perhaps not surprisingly a foodie’s paradise. After you get settled at your hotel, the Loden in downtown Vancouver, you’ll get an overview of the city’s food culture on a visit to the Granville Island Public Market. More than a hundred food vendors can be found here each day, along with several restaurants when you are ready for lunch. After you are done exploring the market, backtrack and head to the sprawling Stanley Park where fresh air and sea breezes will rebuild your appetite before dinner. Before your meal, however, you may want to visit one of the city’s many artisanal breweries that make the city, along with its rival, Victoria, a contender for the title of Canada’s craft beer capital.
Ask any Vancouver resident what is the city’s best restaurant, and be prepared for an animated discussion and range of answers: Vij’s for Indian, West Restaurant for innovative Northwest seafood dishes, Chambar for sustainable seafood and Belgian cuisine. Shelby will reserve you a table at the perfect restaurant that suits your preferences.
Accommodations: Loden Hotel, Vancouver
- 3 / 6Day 2After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for the 45-minute flight to Kelowna, on Okanagan Lake. A guide will take you on a scenic tour with stops at wineries along the Westside Wine Trail that includes some of the oldest wineries in the Okanagan Valley. The intense summer with their warm temperatures and long days, as well as the remarkable soil in the valley, provides ideal conditions for a remarkable range of varietals from chardonnay to zweigelt. Wineries you will visit include Little Straw Vineyards, Hatch Winery, Quails' Gate Estate, and Mission Hill Family Estate. An exceptional vineyard culinary experience is offered at either Quails' Gate Estate Winery's—Old Vines Restaurant or the world-renowned Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill. At the end of your tour, you’ll arrive at the Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna.
Accommodations: The Cove Lakeside Resort
- 4 / 6Day 3After breakfast, you’ll cross Okanagan Lake and travel along its eastern shore to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Shelby will set you up with a local outfitter who will provide bikes and helmets, or you can contact one on your own, like Monashee Adventure Tours. Constructed in 1915 and abandoned in 1989, this line constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway has been converted to a multi-use recreational trail. As it follows the path of the old railway, the grade never exceeds 2.2%, making it ideal even for visitors who are only the most casual of bikers. You’ll begin your exciting journey back in time with a brief historical interpretation of the Kettle Valley Railway. Bikes, and helmets are fitted to riders, and then you are off, pedaling back in time along 12 miles of the trail, passing over 18 restored railway trestles, and through two tunnels. There are frequent stops along the way for water, lunch, and wildlife viewing. You’ve earned your dinner and Shelby will direct you to options in Kelowna, like RauDZ (frequently named the area’s best restaurant) and Waterfront Wines, and the best options at different wineries.
Accommodations: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
- 5 / 6Day 4On your final full day, you’ll travel the picturesque rural roads of the South Okanagan and visit a selection of the top wine producers in the valley. You’ll start your wine connoisseur journey in Naramata visiting the crown jewels of the Naramata Bench. For millennia, this area lay beneath the surface of Okanagan Lake and today its soil is rich with sediment. Combine that with cooling lake breezes, and you have an ideal terroir. You’ll continue along the popular Eastside Road to some of the valley's international wine stars, including the elite Blue Mountain Winery world renowned for its sparkling Blue Mountain Brut. Lunch is served at Liquidity Wines where the patio opens up with a panoramic valley view serving up gastronomic delights.
Accommodations: Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa
- 6 / 6Day 5After all this wining and dining, you deserve to sleep in. After a leisurely breakfast, take a stroll around the town of Naramata, before your transfer back to the Kelowna airport and then to Vancouver for your flight home.