We always like to think that wine tasting in the Osoyoos region is a good decision, no matter the time of year, but autumn brings its own unique benefits.
Whether you are stopping through Osoyoos during a road trip, taking a workcation away from home, visiting for an elopement or honeymoon, or just simply looking to get away for a few days, you should set aside some time to go wine tasting.
Now, for most people, one good reason is usually enough to convince you, however, we thought we may as well give you 9 just to be safe.
Stunning Fall Foliage
At this time of year, Osoyoos boasts breathtaking fall foliage. Over the next two months, the vineyards and surrounding landscapes will transform into a sea of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wine-tasting adventure. The stunning colours are something that you will not see at any other time of year!
Autumn in Osoyoos typically offers pleasant weather with cooler temperatures compared to the scorching summer months. Averages throughout September remain just above 20 degrees Celsius and in October they sit at around 16 degrees Celsius, meaning outdoors remains extremely pleasant for sitting on a patio and sipping some vino — a much more comfortable climate for a tasting than the sweltering heat.
It’s Harvest Season!
Autumn is the harvest season in Osoyoos, and many wineries are actively picking grapes during this time. During any given tasting, you might have the opportunity to witness the winemaking process up close, which can be an educational and exciting experience.
Less Crowded than Summer
Osoyoos can get quite busy during the summer, but in the fall, the crowds tend to thin out. This means you’ll have a more intimate and relaxed wine-tasting experience with fewer tourists, making it easier to engage with winemakers and staff. This also allows you to further ask questions about the ongoing harvest (see above) and advance your winemaking knowledge.
Access to New Releases
Wineries often release new vintages in the fall, so you might have the chance to taste fresh and exciting wines that have been recently bottled. Winemakers are usually enthusiastic about sharing their latest creations with visitors, which will add to your overall tasting experience as well!
Fall Food Pairings
Many wineries in Osoyoos offer special food and wine pairing experiences during the fall season. The harvest during this time of year doesn’t just include grapes, and the wine and food pairings that are available for tasting are unique to the autumn months and worth seeking out. These pairings can elevate your tasting experience as you savour delicious local dishes alongside their wines.
Wine Events & Festivals
Another thing to consider when making any of your fall travel plans is the wine events and festivals that happen throughout the Osoyoos area during this time. Individual wineries often have long table dinners or special fall gatherings that will walk you through some of their vintages, paired with seasonal foods. On a bigger scale, however, one of the biggest festivals of the year happens during fall in Oliver — Festival of the Grape. The highly-anticipated Wine Capital Weekend brings wineries, breweries, distilleries, artisans, musicians and eateries together for 3-days of family-friendly fun, culminating in the 24th annual Festival of the Grape. Recognized as an iconic wine-tasting event in the South Okanagan, this grand affair promises an unforgettable experience for wine enthusiasts. Guests can immerse themselves in the VIP section, where they will have the opportunity to learn from local winemakers and savour exclusive tastings. Additionally, attendees can’t miss the exhilarating chaos of the Grape Stomp Competition presented by Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country.
As the evenings start to cool down, wineries often provide cozy spaces with fire pits, blankets, and heaters, making it a perfect setting for sipping wine and enjoying the crisp autumn air. The last thing you want to do in summer is sit by a warm heater, so that alone is a unique experience exclusively experienced in the cooler months of the year.
Scenic Drives Around the Vineyards
Re-visiting the stunning fall foliage that you can enjoy during a tasting, the scenic drives throughout the area can’t go without mention. The drive to Osoyoos through the Okanagan Valley is amazing during the fall season. You can take leisurely drives through the vineyard-laden countryside, soaking in the beauty of the golden hills that surround you. Sometimes the drive to and from a tasting can be equally as amazing!