October 2 – 7, 2014: We departed Jasper and, after spending a night in Blue River, British Columbia (which was a pretty creepy town), arrived in Oliver, British Columbia. Oliver is south of Kelowna and the entire area is known as Canadian wine country. Amazingly, we arrived just in time for the annual wine festival.
Prior to immersing ourselves in wine culture, we had dinner at a local brewery – Firehall Brewery – and settled in at our campsite which was situated on a small peaceful lake.
The next few days were all about wine; the winery we visited and our activities included:
- Jackson-Triggs / Inniskillin: larger winery where we sampled both wine and Inniskillin ice wine. I don’t particularly care for ice wine as it is a bit too sweet for my palate but Michael really enjoys it. We purchased wine and ice wine.
- Hidden Chapel: small lovely winery run by two women; there’s a super cute small chapel on the property. They provided large samples and I very much enjoyed their white and rose wines, which typically isn’t my preferred style. We purchased some of each.
- Covert Farms: we purchased some vegetables and picked our own strawberries and blackberries before noshing on a charcuterie plate and sampling more wine. Before departing we made friends with a cow and jumped on a huge jumping pillow.
- Hester Creek: larger winery that was hosting a garlic festival. Numerous vendors were selling their goods and we purchased some local jelly and, obviously, some more wine.
- Platinum Bench: small venue were we sampled some wine and purchased cheese.
- Church & State: this was our last winery of the first day were we sampled more wine and purchased yet another bottle.
- Festival of the Grape: this festival was held locally in Oliver (thankfully we could walk there and back) and was a great deal of fun. There was an entrance fee that provided you with three 1oz tastings. Additional tickets could be purchased for additional tastings. Between this festival and our winery tours, between the two of us, we must have tried almost all of the 50-60 local wines.
Clearly we had our fill of wine and fantastic local produce and products whilst in Oliver. What an amazing find on this journey!