Taste & Terroir


Award-winning BC wineries that will change your life, or at least your next vacation

By Claire Newell – Travel Expert, media personality, corporate spokesperson, author, worldwide wanderluster. Over 24 years of experience on all things travel. Follow Claire on Twitter or Facebook

The Best of BC Wine Country annual awards are basically the people’s choice awards of wine. Every year, tourists and locals vote on their top wineries around BC, making this a true consumer-based award, and not just more expert criticism. Each of these wineries had something special and unique to offer, so let’s take a look at the winners!

Dirty Laundry Winery – winner of the best overall experience, best patio, best place to bring out-of-towners and best Hush rosé, wow! This vineyard started out as laundry for cowboys, but after realizing that they barely changed their clothes… the owners opened a bordello. Nowadays they offer wine and craft beer with a “naughty” theme, so even if you’re not a wine lover, you’ll be sure to have a good time!

Other region winners of overall experience include Enrico Winery (Vancouver Island), Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley), Backyard Vineyards (Fraser Valley) and Fort Berens Estate Winery (Fraser Canyon).

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery – winner of the best tour, best view, and best architecture, this vineyard really has it all! The owner took six years, with the help of a team of international architects, designers, and craftsmen, to create his landmark winery. They even have an outdoor amphitheater with seating for over 1,000 guests and a 12-storey bell tower.

Other region winners of best winery tour include Seven Stones Winery Cave Tour (Similkameen Valley), Backyard Vineyard (Fraser Valley) and Fort Berens Estate Winery (Fraser Canyon).

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery – winner of the best accommodation, this winery features 10 guest rooms, complete with private fireplaces and balconies overlooking the vineyard, an outdoor pool and a fireside lounge. Combined with all the amenities of a winery, I can’t think of a better weekend getaway! Another accommodation winner is Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley) for their Vineyard-suites.

Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery – winner of the best kept secret, this vineyard is perfect for you wine connoisseurs who have already been to many of BC’s wineries and are looking for somewhere new. Overlooking Vaseux Lake in the Okanagan, you can enjoy both Merlots and Pinots thanks to the ridge that runs through the property creating a cooler south-facing slope.

If you’re looking for another area to visit, other winners of the best kept secret were Corcelettes Estate Winery (Similkameen Valley), Backyard Vineyard (Fraser Valley), Enrico Winery (Vancouver Island) and Fort Berens Estate Winery (Fraser Canyon).

Thinking of showing off one of these amazing BC vineyards to out-of-towners, or maybe you’re an out-of-towner yourself looking for a staple BC adventure?

Consider visiting one of these most-impressive winners per region: Dirty Laundry (Okanagan), Enrico Winery (Vancouver Island), Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley), Backyard Vineyards (Fraser Valley) and Fort Berens Estate Winery (Fraser Canyon).

I can’t wait to go back to some of the incredible vineyards I have visited on this list…and of course, try out some of the ones I haven’t yet experienced! We are so lucky here in BC to have so many award-winning wineries in our backyard, so let’s take advantage of them!