Paxton's Grapevine - A Beautiful BC Winery

Just over a week ago I was in Kelowna, British Columbia for my best friend’s wedding – one of the best times of my life! And during my stay I was fortunate enough to visit Mission Hill Winery, one of BC’s largest and most beautiful wineries.

Perched on top of a hill, Mission Hill Family Estate winery overlooks the gorgeous Okanagan valley and lake below. And Mission Hill’s impressive gated entrance, courtyard and bell tower make it an architectural gem. You almost feel like you’re in a California resort winery, due to its grandeur and stunning presentation. My sister Anjie, who was at the winery with me along with her husband and daughter, said that it’s great to have owners who see the value of beautification and quality. It’s truly a must see!

Mission Hill is located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, a place where you’ll find numerous wineries, and also lots of fun things to do. Like water boating, mountain biking, golfing, and skiing just to name a few. The Okanagan Valley has a semi-desert climate, which basically guarantees visitors a nice, sunny day. But it’s also ideal for growing grapes and orchard fruit and you’ll find many vineyards and orchards spread out all over the valley. The Okanagan valley produces 95% of the province’s wine, has more than 70 wineries, and is the largest of five “Designated Viticultural Areas” in BC. These viticultural areas are considered “designated” because they are ideal for growing grapes. In Ontario you will find a similar system of viticultural areas, such as Niagara Pennisula and Lake Erie North Shore. I should also note that BC utilizes the same V.Q.A. wine system as Ontario.

Now to the wine. Visitors to Mission Hill winery can sample three wines for five dollars, but I recommend taking the tour, since it’s the same price and, according to a staff member, you get to try wines not available at the tasting bar. I would also recommend trying a glass of wine on their fine patio bar. Unfortunately, we were short on time and could not take the tour, or sit on the patio, but we still got to taste the wine! We sampled three of their Reserve wines: the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The Sauvignon Blanc was very impressive, due to its full body and rich flavours. The Pinot Noir was easy drinking and had nice cherry notes. And the Merlot was a smooth, medium-to-full bodied wine that would pair well with beef due to its richness and subtle boldness.

So, if you’re ever heading out West be sure to make the effort to visit a winery. Mission Hill is Beautiful BC at its best, but some other wineries worth checking out are Quail’s Gate, Gray Monk and Summerland winery.

To find out more about BC wine please visit:

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