OKANAGAN WINE 101
Okanagan Wine 101
The Okanagan Valley wine region is Canada's second-largest wine producing area.
The first vineyard planted in the Okanagan was at the Oblate Mission in Kelowna in 1859, planted by French Catholic priest Charles Pandosy and was solely intended for the production of sacramental wine for the celebration of the Eucharist.
There are over 182 licensed wineries in the Okanagan Valley. With over 40 in Kelowna.
Nearly every style of wine is produced across the whole spectrum of sweetness levels that include still, sparkling, fortified and dessert wines—most notably ice wines.
There are more than 60 grape varieties grown in the Okanagan including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Auxerrois blanc, Marechal Foch and Cabernet Franc.
In the 21st century, growers have been planting more warm climate varieties typically not associated with the Canadian wine industry. Recent plantings include Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Trebbiano, Pinotage, Malbec, Barbera and Zinfandel.
The Okanagan has a continental climate that is moderated by the deep Okanagan Lake and its connected bodies of water in the valley. The average daytime temperatures during the growing season months of July and August are hot, often above 30 °C (86 °F) in the southern valley to higher 20s°C in the northern valley. Temperatures may surpass 40 °C (104 °F), often exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) for several days in a row. The region's northerly latitude allows the vines to experience longer hours of daylight than the more southerly vineyards of California, with the Okanagan summer providing some 14 hours daily of direct sun.
References: Wikipedia Winebc WinesofCanada