Wine tasting and touring wineries often top the list of things to do come summer. From May through October, wine enthusiasts, and those eager to learn more, seek out new wineries, new regions and new wines to learn about, taste and take home.
If you are one of those wine lovers looking to find a new wine experience this summer, we’ve got you covered. The Kamloops Thompson Valley is one of the newest of BC’s 9 designated wine regions. Home to the Kamloops Wine Trail, and four local wineries, this exciting boutique wine region is a not to be missed stop on the BC wine tour scene.
Other than wanting to discover something new in your glass this summer, here are a few more reasons why you will want to make the Kamloops Wine Trail your next wine tasting destination.
1. The Wines
Vibrant, crisp and fruit-forward, the wines from this area are trip worthy in themselves. There is a wide range of wine options planted and produced in the Thompson Valley, but Riesling and Pinot Noir, in particular, are regional standouts and are ranked amongst the best in Canada. Check out all the medals they brought home last year.
Monte Creek Winery’s Reserve Riesling won Best White Wine in Canada in the 2020 All Canadian Wine Championships.
2. The Gardens at Privato Vineyard & Winery
The Gardens at Privato are one of the most beautiful and idyllic settings for a winery and worth planning a bit of extra time to enjoy. Sip a glass as you stroll through 1.5 acres of beautifully manicured gardens. A clever display of red begonias that spill out of a wine barrel, and the elegant limelight hydrangeas that surround a natural garden altar in white blossoms are a few highlights to enjoy. Complete your visit on the wine garden patio with a charcuterie board and a flight of wines to sample.
3. Al Fresco Dining at Monte Creek Winery
Serving Oceanwise certified and locally inspired food, the Terrace at Monte Creek Winery offers the ultimate casual wine dining experience. Savour a variety of food and wine pairings while enjoying a spectacular one-of-a-kind view of the river valley and both the Lion’s Head and Monte Creek’s home block vineyards. Don’t miss out on the Buddha Bowl with lemongrass chicken paired with Riesling. It is sublime.
4. Outdoor Tastings & Picnics at Harper’s Trail Winery
The covered outdoor tasting lounge and grassy vineyard side picnic area at Harper’s Trail offer a ‘close to nature’ wine tasting experience with a lively flight of wines and dramatic hoodoo views. Sunsets are also spectacular. Pack a blanket, pick up some snacks, and purchase a bottle of wine to enjoy in the picnic area. A delicious assortment of charcuterie items and snacks can be purchased in the tasting room to enjoy outside.
5. The Kamloops Hospitality
The laid-back vibe and truly welcoming hospitality – a norm on the Kamloops Wine Trail – creates an unrushed, friendly environment where you will genuinely feel like an important guest. Visitors who frequent various wine regions on a regular basis often comment that Kamloops wine country has such a relaxed and much-appreciated experience. If you’re looking for flash and pomp, you are in the wrong valley.
Throughout the summer there are a host of special events going on at the wineries. From outdoor concerts to yoga retreats, to craft markets and comedy, you may want to plan your wine touring around one of these. Be sure to check the calendar of events on regular basis to help you plan accordingly. Tickets sell out fast.
6. Family-Owned Wineries
All the wineries in the Thompson Valley are family-owned and/or operated and that sense of entrepreneurship, hard work, and deep pride really shine through. From the wine in your glass to the conversations and personal stories you may hear, you will feel like part of the family while touring along the Kamloops Wine Trail. Here, tasting with the owner is the norm, not the exception.
7. Winery Events
From live music and fitness classes to runs and more, there’s always something happening at the wineries in Kamloops. Many wineries offer live music on weekends or special events. Fitness classes like yoga and spin are often held on vineyard grounds, offering a unique and serene experience. Monte Creek also hosts the annual Get Corked Fun Run every September. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, fitness buff, or just looking for a unique experience, Kamloops’ winery events are sure to impress.
Book a reservation in advance to guarantee a tasting spot, and avoid a wait.
8. More Things to Do in Kamloops
It’s not uncommon for wine travellers to seek out other experiences to enjoy before or after a day of wine tasting. Over and above some of the best golf courses around, the hiking and biking trails in Kamloops are top-notch. And if exercise or outdoor activity isn’t high on your list, there are a host of unique boutique shops and some great local eateries along Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops.
Wine is all about the place, and by all accounts, this place is pretty special. This summer, discover something new in your glass. Plan a wine tasting adventure to the Kamloops Thompson Valley. You won’t be disappointed.
Author: Trish Morelli
Trish Morelli is a marketing consultant specializing in wine brand development, strategic planning and wine based agritourism. With a passion and focus on the BC wine industry, Trish has spent more than 25 years helping to market and bring to life countless BC wine brands.