The Best of BC Wine Country Awards are back! Voting open July 23 – August 17

By Claire Newell: Travel Expert, media personality, corporate spokesperson, author, worldwide wanderluster. Over 25 years of experience on all things travel.” Follow Claire on Twitter or Facebook

The Best of BC Wine Country annual awards is back! Here in BC they are essentially the people’s choice awards of wine. Winners are voted on by consumers – not wine experts. The fact that tourists and locals vote on their top wineries around BC, makes this a truly consumer-based award.  My friends and I vote every year, typically over a glass of our favorite BC wine with our tablets or smartphones in-hand.  However, this year I expect more of my friends will join our annual voting party.

That’s because just for voting there is chance to win one of 3 prizes:

(1) Best of BC wine gift basket or

(2) An overnight stay at a Best of BC Winery accommodation or

(3) Dinner for two at a Best of BC winery restaurant.

Seriously worth voting before the contest ends on August 17 for a chance to win one of the great prizes – and be sure to share your excitement on social media using the hashtag #BestofBC18!





We are so lucky here in BC to have so many award-winning wineries in our backyard. No matter where you live, there is an amazing winery within a few hours drive. There’s even a winery in Prince George! The best part of the wine industry in BC is that each of the wineries has something special and unique to offer.  I have visited many on the list, but still have a lot to experience.  The way that I pick new wineries to visit is by looking at the winners from the previous Best of BC Wine Country Awards. Here are some of last year’s winners that are inspiring me:

Best of BC Wine:

RED: Painted Rock Estate Winery Red Icon 2014 (Okanagan Valley); Enrico Winery Cabernet Foch 2015 (Vancouver Island); Orofino Winery Scout Syrah 2016 (Similkameen Valley); Backyard Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2015 (Fraser Valley); Fort Berens Estate Winery Meritage 2014 (Emerging Regions).

WHITE: Tantalus Vineyards Riesling (Okanagan Valley); Unsworth Vineyards Allegro & Unsworth Vineyards Sauvignette (Vancouver Island); Orofino Scout Vineyard Riesling (Similkameen Valley); Backyard Vineyards Nosey Neighbour White (Fraser Valley); Fort Berens Estate Winery Dry Reisling 2016 (Emerging Regions).

ROSE: Dirty Laundry Vineyard Hush Rosé (Okanagan Valley); Blue Grouse Estate Winery Rosé (Vancouver Islands); Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Rosé (Vancouver Island); Seven Stones  Winery Pinot Rosé (Similkameen Valley); Backyard Vineyards Rosé 2016 (Fraser Valley); Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 (Emerging Regions).

SPARKLING WINE: Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut (Okanagan Valley); Averill Creek Vineyard Brut 2010 (Vancouver Island); Corcelettes Estate Winery Sante (Similkameen Valley); Backyard Vineyards Blanc de Noir Brut (Fraser Valley); Harper’s Trail Sparkling Chardonnay 2015 (Emerging Regions).

Best of BC Place:

ACCOMMODATION: Burrowing Owl Estate Winery (Okanagan Valley); Vineyard Suites at Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley).

RESTAURANT WITH LOCAL FOOD: RauDZ Regional Table (Okanagan Valley); Unsworth Vineyards (Vancouver Island); Grist Mill and Gardens (Similkameen Valley); Bacchus Bistro, Domaine de Chaberton (Fraser Valley); The Kitchen at Fort Berens (Emerging Regions).

WINE PET: Buddha from Bella Wines (Okanagan Valley); Cooper the golden retriever at Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley); Chickens at Fort Berens Estate Winery (Emerging Regions).

Best of BC Experience

WINERY TOUR: Mission Hill Estate Winery (Okanagan Valley); Seven Stones Winery Cave Tour; Backyard Vineyards; Fort Berens Estate Winery

TASTING ROOM: Painted Rock Estate Winery (Okanagan Valley); Enrico winery (Vancouver Island); Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley); Fort Berens Estate Winery (Emerging Regions).

VIEW: Mission Hill Estate Winery (Okanagan Valley); Blue Grouse Estate Winery (Vancouver Island); Corcelettes Estate Winery (Similkameen Valley); Fort Berens Estate Winery (Emerging Regions).

Consider visiting one of these OVERALL MOST IMPRESSIVE 2017-winners per region: Dirty Laundry Vineyard (Okanagan), Enrico Winery (Vancouver Island), Orofino Winery (Similkameen Valley), Backyard Vineyards (Fraser Valley) and Fort Berens Estate Winery (Fraser Canyon).

No matter where you are around our province, there’s always a winery nearby. If you’re not sure what to do this weekend, drive out to the closest one for the day! Whether you make it a weekend getaway or just a quick afternoon activity, you’ll find something unique at all of them during your visit. And while you’re at it… fill out their survey for a chance to win one of these experiences too!

The 2018 Best of BC Wine Country Voting Survey link can be found below until August 17: