Of all the reasons that money, residents and investments have been pouring into Kelowna, British Columbia in recent years, the wine industry is at the very top of the list. Kelowna is located in the arid Okanagan Valley near the United States border, which began its wine industry in the 20th century. It did not occur to wine aficionados to create vineyards in the area before that time because of Canada’s winter freezes. However, it was discovered that the Okanagan Valley actually has the perfect climate for wine grape growing because of its dry desert landscape with water not far away in the valley’s incredible lakes and streams. The summers are hot without being scorching and the winters are cold without being too hard on crops. These ideal conditions were confirmed when Kelowna wines started winning the title of “Best in the World.”
A great deal of money is generated for Kelowna because of its wine industry and a number of ways to profit off the wine country have already emerged. Wine tours are offered by the dozens. A designated driver takes a group of people from vineyard to vineyard so that they can safely sample the wine selection without driving. Wine tastings are offered through out the summer months daily, and even on into the winter months. Kelowna vineyard owners even discovered that grapes can be made into wine when they freeze. The Okanagan Valley is home to the world famous sweet ice wine which can cost up to $1,000 for a bottle. Wine festivals are another regular feature of the Okanagan Valley, with major festivals occurring in Kelowna and Penticton. These festivals celebrate all local varieties of wine.
With the global climate patterns changing, areas like Kelowna are only going to continue to grow in quality of wine production. Kelowna has a long future of wine creation ahead of it and a long future of accommodating wine patrons. There are, of course, instances when people become too enthusiastic over wine consumption in the Okanagan and need to seek out an Okanagan alcohol treatment program to straighten out. But the average wine connoisseur thrives and has a meaningful life in the Okanagan Valley. It is because of the wine industry that Kelowna’s population is growing at an exponential rate and investors are seeking new opportunities to buy up land that can become vineyard property. It is no wonder that this city is being called a gem among wine regions.
People come to Kelowna for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the food. Kelowna is building a reputation for itself for having some of the best food in Canada. There are even master level nationwide cooking competitions that take place in Kelowna every year. It is no accident that Kelowna is becoming the place to visit in Canada for a great meal. The tourists are coming to Kelowna in droves and the local residents are in the market for fine dining. There are three primary reasons for Kelowna’s culinary success:
Nature’s bounty is plentiful in Kelowna. As an agricultural capitol of Canada, Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley have an abundance of fresh produce, as well as farm fresh dairy, meats and proteins. The arid desert environment and glacial soil matched with the enormous lakes and numerous streams for irrigation in the Okanagan Valley make the conditions ideal for growing produce. One of the Okanagan’s main industries is its agricultural crops. This means that the culinary industry is supplied with the freshest ingredients possible and in great abundance.
Kelowna’s residential population and tourists are in a higher income bracket than the average person, which undoubtedly has an effect on the quality of the cuisine. The quality of the food industry in any particular region is directly related to the income bracket of the people within it. Because Kelowna has a great deal of money, its restaurant scene caters to wealth. Kelowna also has its share of fast food chains and discount food items like any city, but the high end restaurants are the kind that are praised in food editorials and culinary journals, attracting some of the best professional chefs in Canada.
Pairing foods with wines may not seem like a cause for a booming culinary industry, but a thriving wine industry can certainly be the impetus for a thriving food industry. Highly acclaimed wine country brings some of the most cultured tourists and residents to the region, and they will expect the food to match the wine. For this reason, Michelin star chefs have been attracted to Kelowna and have opened restaurants in the city.
It is no secret that Kelowna is one of the hottest places to vacation in Canada right now. People from all over Canada, and the world, have taken an interest in what Kelowna has to offer and have made it a prime tourist destination. In fact, tourism is one of Kelowna’s main industries. Particularly in the summer time, the produce is remarkable and the sandy beaches of Lake Okanagan are packed with people. In town, the restaurants, bars and clubs are at maximum capacity. The reasons for this influx are as follows.
The wine industry of Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan Valley is officially the number one wine destination of North America. It ranks as one of the most desirable wine destinations in the entire world, in fact. The main tourist draw to Kelowna is by far the wine industry. The forested high desert of the Okanagan Valley, with its arid summers and damp winters, makes for ideal vineyard growing conditions. Several varieties of wine that come from the Okanagan have been named best in the world in international wine competitions.
Outdoor recreation is another huge tourist draw to Kelowna. The city is known for its proximity to recreation lakes. Most of Kelowna is situated right on the massive Lake Okanagan which is home to a huge marina and a plethora of summer water sports. The lakes are situated in former glacier carvings and are cold, but the intense heat of a Kelowna summer makes the water temperature refreshing. There are incredible hiking and biking opportunities in and around Kelowna, including across the Myra Canyone trestles, which are another huge draw to the area. In the winter, local ski hill Big White brings winter sport enthusiasts to Kelowna from across the world.
Culinary tourism has an incredible draw to Kelowna. National food championships are held in Kelowna annually, and the restaurant scene is booming. The agriculture of the region is one of the best in all of Canada, and the farmed proteins and dairies are all local and fresh.
A large number of events are held in Kelowna as well, ranging from music festivals to alcohol tastings to sporting events to markets. These bring in an incredible amount of tourists.
Kelowna, British Columbia is a beautiful city located within the Okanagan Valley, near the United States border. Kelowna is known for many things, including its beautiful scenery, its enjoyable recreation and its vineyards. One of Kelowna’s chief industries is its agriculture. A large majority of British Columbia’s produce comes from the Okanagan Valley, which is technically desert but contains considerably more water than a traditional desert. The heat of desert summers combined with an abundance of water creates ideal growing conditions, and with a valley floor rich with the silt of past glacial activity, the soil is fertile enough to sustain large, equitable crops.
Kelowna is known for its rich variety of produce, some from general farmer’s crops and some from specialty farms. A range of vegetables, fruit and herbs is grown in Kelowna. The average farm has vegetables such as tomatoes, leafy greens, peas, squash, carrots and onions for sale, as well as many other varieties. Kelowna is known for its fruit orchards and vineyards more than anything and is home to several major cider breweries. Specialty orchards, such as “pick it yourself” cherry and peach orchards, are a hit among the tourists and residents.
The agricultural industry of Kelowna exports to a range of places. Every part of Canada receives agriculture from Kelowna or somewhere else within the Okanagan Valley. There are some hot weather produce items that will only grow in the Okanagan region of Canada. Not all produce can grow here naturally of course. The Okanagan is still too cold to support citrus crops or mild weather plants like avocados. But despite its handful of imports, Kelowna exports a hugh volume of produce to the rest of Canada.
Within the local community, retailers and farmers markets have an abundance of produce to offer customers at low prices. The farmers markets of the Okanagan Valley and of Kelowna are a big tourist draw and a local celebration of nature’s bounty. At a Kelowna farmer’s market, one can find the most local, natural products for the cheapest prices.