June 17th, 2016
Fly to a West Coast Wine Tours by Air Charter Service
Travelling with purpose is always exciting, travelling to drink wine in an idyllic location can be intoxicating. Whether you’re celebrating a girl’s weekend, or looking to stock your wine cellar with some homegrown wine, hopping from region to region can be a fantastic way to get the best wine that North America has to offer.
Of course, there’s enough to keep you fed and suitably wined on Canada’s West Coast, but further south there are a number of popular and up-and-coming regions that you may also want to consider (or include) for your wine tour. If you decide on an air charter service, however, you’re not just limited to one region — you can extend your trip and visit a few of them!
Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Located just 100 kms from downtown Vancouver, Fraser Valley is home to 30 vineyards, 23 wineries, and 8 breweries. The area is a relatively new area to vineyards, with the first winery opened in 1991, but features rustic tours ending in barnyard settings with bistro dining options.
If you have tickets to the sold out Fraser Valley Wine Festival in November, the gala is easily one of the most notorious nights in the Fraser Valley catered to wine connoisseurs of the area, and the country. Easily one of the best ways to taste local wines, the gala is also perfectly timed to coincide with the harvest of the agricultural epicenter of the province and changing trees and flowers.
Wine Types: The climate lends to the growing of white wines, such as Chardonnay and Germanic, but early-ripening reds such as Pinot Noir, and fruit wines are also possible.
Special Mentions: Chaberton Estate Winery and Bacchus Bistro: a 55-acre vineyard featuring red and white tastings served with authentic French cuisine.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
With over 8,619 acres of vineyards, the Okanagan Valley accounts for 82% of vineyards in British Columbia. There are over 1.5 million visitors to 133 wineries annually, and the varying soil and climate lends itself to wide varieties of grapes. Highly ranked in International competitions, wine tourism in the Okanagan has grown 18% year-over-year, according to the BC Wine Institute — making it the perfect destination for your next wine tour.
A wine tour through the Okanagan Valley is incomplete without food pairings by executive chefs that aim to tantalize your taste buds and awaken the flavours of the different wine varieties. In fact, Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards was internationally recognized as a top winery restaurant.
Wine Types: There are over 60 grape varieties, contributing to both pinot noir and gris, but also chardonnay and merlot, but the Okanagan Valley is known for their ice wines.
Special Mentions: In West Kelowna, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery is world renowned for their wines and stunning setting overlooking mountains, lakes, and orchards. Enjoy a bite to eat in their Terrace restaurant that celebrates beautiful pairings.
Columbia Valley, Washington State
With a wide range of growing climates and soils, Washington State has become one of the United State’s big “top 4” wine-producing regions. There are 13 regions within the state, featuring over 900 wineries with over 40 varieties of grapes.
The Columbia Valley is responsible for 95% of the state’s wine production, with it’s rolling hills and mountain vistas, the area has perfect growing conditions for roughly 200 days throughout the year.
Set along the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, Washington’s wine regions are nestled in around rich biodiversity that will be sure to fill your nose with fresh air, so that you can smell the tannins in your wine tastings.
Wine Types: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and America’s No. 1 producer of Riesling. However the numerous wineries and experimentations have won accolades for the Syrah wines as of late.
Special Mentions: Walla Walla, while the farthest south region in the Columbia Valley, is actually where the region’s most popular vineyards and wineries are located. While the entire of Walla Walla only produces around 5% of Washington’s Wine, Vineyards such as Cayuse have taken the wine world by storm because of their insider’s only mailing list.
Napa & Sonoma Valley
A roundup of West Coast wine regions would be incomplete without mention of Napa and the Sonoma Valley. Featuring Michelin-star restaurants, and more award-winning wineries than any other region in North America, Napa is known the world over as the epicenter of California grown wine.
The difference between the two regions is in the highly trafficked areas. Napa is a tourists destination, featuring refined tasting rooms and easy-to-navigate locations, while Sonoma is smaller, owner-run-and-operated wineries spread out throughout rolling hills
Wine Types: Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnays top the list of wines in the region, but other popular varieties (of the over 20 types) include Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Special Mentions: The Frank Family Vineyards regularly wins awards for the best tasting room in the Napa Valley, thanks to the entertainment value provided in their family party room experiences. Try the champagne, that’s only sold out of their winery.
In Sonoma, the Paul Hobbs Winery has regularly been named the best wine experiences because of their award-winning wines and pairing combinations — small bites that are actually meals.
Whether you’re determined to visit all of the regions on this list, or pick and choose your own, an air charter service can ensure that you can safely get to every spot on your destination. Get in touch with our professionally certified crew at Flightpath, and we can have you set up and ready to head to some absolutely fantastic wine regions.
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