British Columbia: born here, raised here, now living back here. Needless to say, this isn’t my usual A Broad Abroad post.
Both of my parents were born outside of Toronto, and moved west days after getting hitched. Years later, on a particular trip back to Ontario after having kids, an opportunity to move “home” came up. For two young parents with three kids and no family around to help raise them, you can imagine how tempting that offer must have been. Was it time to finish their adventure? I’ll take full credit for us staying in Vancouver, because on our flight back over the Rockies a very persuasive, much younger version of myself exclaimed, “The mountains!” And, that was all it took for my parents to realize that BC had become home.
I may have oversold my persuasive abilities, BC speaks for itself. Vancouver is continuously voted one of the most livable cities on the planet. Our landscape boasts world-class mountains to deserts, and rain forests to fjords. You’re hard-pressed to find cleaner air or drinking water. And, the diversity of our races, lifestyles and religions aren’t just accepted, but celebrated.
But, as I said, I won’t make this a normal Abroad post with recos based on my experience. I’ve left the tips to a few local BC Broads, based on a favourite British Columbian activity: winery hopping.
The winery that I’ll be celebrating this BC Day is Nk’Mip Cellars, which is nestled on a hillside overlooking Osoyoos. It’s the first Aboriginal-owned winery in North America – how much more local can you get than that? They’ve won dozens and dozens of international awards for their wines, including being named Intervin’s Canadian Winery of the Year in 2016, and their vineyard, restaurant and cellars are a must-visit if you’re in Osoyoos; for the stunning views, innovative architecture, and celebration of local culture. My picks are the 2016 Rosé for a casual Friday night pick-me-up, and the Qwam Qwmt (that means “excellence” in the Okanagan language) 2014 Riesling for a special occasion or date night.
– Danielle Lemon, Lawyer by day/Burlesque Dancer by night
Rolling vineyards on a clifftop, overlooking the mighty Okanagan lake as families of quails scamper at your feet? This endearing feat alone is enough to make West Kelowna’s Quail’s Gate winery a BC favourite. But it’s not the wild charm that has me stopping at the vineyard each time I’m in the Okanagan – it’s the unparalleled fine dining and perfected wine that stands alone. Try a glass of their Foch over a hearty, locally-sourced salad and you’ll be back for the bottle.
– Kristi Alexandra, Co-Editor in Chief, Loose Lips Magazine
– Lanie McAuley, Actor
So hard to choose! But, Burrowing Owl Estate is my #1. Although, I haven’t made it to the vineyard yet, it’s next on my list. I’ve enjoyed their wine for years and respect their commitment to environmental sustainability.
– Nikki Laing, merchandise manager, Aritzia LP
Raise a glass to our beautiful province this long weekend. Cheers!