Try Walking, Biking or an Electric Car
Destination sustainability has many factors. Whether it be socio-cultural or environmental, there are many ways in which operators in the Thompson Okanagan are working towards a responsible tourism system.
One of my favourite ways to experience the Thompson Okanagan is through wine touring. Here, I want to highlight a few ways to support wine tourism while promoting long-term use and enjoyment of the region.
TAKE A WALKING WINE TOUR
In Kelowna, Sandhill Wines and Ricco Bambino are both located within walking distance of most downtown hotels. TIME Winery is located right in downtown Penticton or Perseus, Monster Vineyards and Poplar Grove make for a 5 km round trip walk starting from Penticton Lakeside Resort.
For an even shorter commute, check out a winery that has accommodation on-site like Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Hester Creek Estate Winery, Silver Sage Winery, Therapy Vineyards & Guesthouse, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Vineglass Vintner’s Resort, and Crowsnest Vineyards.
BOOK A WINERY BIKE TOUR
There are a variety of different bike tours available throughout the region. I have taken excursions with Monashee Adventure Tours and HooDoo Adventures - both of which I can highly recommend. Next time I’m in the South Okanagan I’d like to check out G.O. Cycling Experiences - their Cycle and Savour trips sound wonderful.
TRY A UNIQUE TRANSPORTATION OPTION
Visit an Eco-Friendly Winery
Many wineries have been recognized for environmental actions throughout the province. Green Tourism Canada put together a list of Movers and Shakers in Sustainable Tourism who have provided leadership in the industry. A few of these businesses include Summerhill Pyramid Winery whose Kelowna vineyard is certified Organic and Biodynamic, Burrowing Owl who commits 100% of their tasting fees to their namesake Owl Conservation Society, and Saxon Estate Winery who extracts their grape seeds from wine production to produce local Grape Seed Oil.
Visit an Indigenous-Owned Winery
Celebrate the land and rich culture of the Syilx people by visiting Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos and Indigenous World Winery in West Kelowna. Both wineries celebrate authenticity and a long-standing commitment to the land and remarkable history of which their wines are inspired by.
There are so many ways to experience the bounty of the Thompson Okanagan. Reach out on social media if you have any questions about visiting this robust and thriving wine region.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghan Reading is a Canadian travel photographer. She grew up in the rocky mountains of Alberta but now calls British Columbia home. While she looks forward to continuing to explore the world with her camera, her favourite destination will always be her own backyard.