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Calgary Herald Travel BC Insertion:Here, in the South Okanagan, between Osoyoos and Oliver, BC, is a distinctively different destination.Framed by spectacular arid hills, cerulean lakes, verdant orchards and picture-perfect vineyards, the beauty is remarkable, and so is the eco-system. This is Canada's one true desert, and like its climate- counterpart in California, the cool nights, hot days and ideal elevation produce excellent conditions for growing grapes, and producing outstanding world-class wines.
The climate and soils here make this region one of the best areas for growing vines in Canada, states Tim Martiniuk, president of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, representing 24 vineyards in the area. It's no coincidence that more than 50 per cent of all grapes in BC are cultivated here in this 20 kilometre stretch. The long hot days are ideal for the red, and the cool nights deliver the unique fresh fruity flavour in both reds and whites.
Indeed, within the region, which features three distinct winery areas, including Golden Mile, Black Sage and the benches around Osoyoos Lake, a wine adventure may include visiting internationally-renowned larger wineries as well as artisan boutique wineries. To experience the best that the wineries have to offer, visitors may amble along the quaint and quiet rural roads to tour wineries and their wonderful tasting rooms, or may opt to be part of one of the exceptional local wine festivals. Sip and savour complex rich reds, fruity whites, organic varieties, fruit wines and delectable ice-wines, with a backdrop ofstunning vineyard vistas and one of the most unique eco-systems in Canada -- this is an unforgettable visitor experience.
Beyond the vineyards, you will discover that this area is the ultimate getaway, with our country's warmest lake and hottest, driest climate.
Indeed, there is something for everyone, every season of the year. In and around the small friendly resort town of Osoyoos, a growing number of stylish resorts have technology-equipped banquet and conference rooms accommodating up to 400 people “ perfect for business meetings, conferences or weddings. These resorts offer a ˜paradise' setting for special events such as the Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival, drawing hundreds of people every year “ the 2012 event is slated for September 14 - 16. Other distinctively unique events including the Â½ Corked Marathon, the Tumbleweed Film Festival, and the Cherry Fiesta and Fireworks. And there's more. Golfing on spectacular championship Four Star must-play courses. Skiing steep and deep on local champagne powder. Basking on the soft sand of the sun-drenched beaches. Swimming in the clear warm waters of Osoyoos Lake. Learning the fascinating legends of the First Nations culture while studying the desert ecology at a world-class centre “ don't miss the live rattlesnake shows! Savouring fresh and innovative local culinary creations. Eating juicy sweet fruit just picked at an orchard's quiet countryside stand. Exploring the surrounding hills and mountains by foot or horseback. Experiencing complete bliss in a health and beauty spa. Romance, adventure, relaxation and inspiration “ it's all yours to experience, year-round in Canada's hottest destination, with Canada's warmest welcome. Book your place in paradise now!