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The Okanagan’s Best Kept Secrets

Published October 10th, 2019

USA TODAY released its 10 Best List for the category of Best Destination for Fall Foliage with the Okanagan Valley ranking sixth and proudly representing as the only Canadian in the line-up.

But that’s not all. The Okanagan is also representing Canada as one of the best wine regions on the planet. Matador Network, one of the world's biggest independent travel publishers recently released their recommendations of the "most exciting places to travel to drink wine in 2019" and we made the list.

These are two Okanagan secrets that are out of the barrel and attracting shoulder season travellers from around the world - but they’re not the only ones. We’ll bet you haven’t heard this multi-million-dollar secret.

A Royal Reason to Visit – Year Round

Driving on Route 97 travellers don’t often recognize Peachland for its wineries but little do they know that high on the hillside overlooking Lake Okanagan is one of the regions oldest and most prestigious wineries.

Peachland is where you’ll find Canada’s first producer of certified organic wine and BC’s 8th estate winery and undeniably - one of the Okanagan’s best kept secrets.

Original owner and winemaker Walter Hainle produced the first 40 litres of icewine after an early frost threatened his crop. He carefully collected frozen grapes from his vineyard and using traditional German techniques produced the first 178 bottles of commercial ice wine in North America making Hainle Estate Winery the birthplace of Canadian Icewine.

Two and a half years ago Huber was notified by a London Auction house that one of the original 153 bottles had surfaced and sold for 1.5 million pounds. It is rumored that two bottles of the wine are owned by the winery and remain in climate-controlled conditions - we’re not sure where.

Walter Hainle Came from The Austrian German border near Bavaria to Peachland in 1970. He passed away over 25 years ago with the family selling the shares of Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery in 2002 to Deep Creek Wine Estate Ltd. That same year Walter Huber joined Hainle Vineyards Winery taking over the reigns of the operation.

The Huber family has a long and rich tradition of winemaking dating back 1167, in Austria. With over 850 years of excellence, the Huber family has perfected the art of growing grapes and winemaking and we’re not the only ones to make this claim.

Hainle Vineyard Estate Winery has been named “Best Rated Winery in Canada” by Vivino for three consecutive years and is renowned for being one of Canada’s best cult-wineries. Visitors delight in the authentic Bavarian chalet style tasting room and old world charisma of this charming character.

Drop by and sample the wines of Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery and Deep Creek Estate Wine Estate in the newly renovated tasting room, they’re welcoming visitors year-round.

1972 - Hainle Vineyard Estate Winery was founded

1978 - First Icewine Producer in North America

1988 – First certified Organic Winery in Canada

2008 – Served at the 80th Annual Oscars Academy Awards

2010 – Awarded Best in the World with their 2007 Pinot Noir receiving 99/100 points in France against the Pinot Noir Region

2011 – Served their Icewine and Pinot Noir at Andrew and Kates Royal wedding.

2016 – Granted the LUX Award for Icewine Experts

2017 – Granted Global Excellence Award for Best Icewine Experts

2018 – Granted the LUX Award for Best Range of High-Quality wines in BC

And in case this wasn’t enough, they also sell some of the worlds most exquisite vinegars. If you have time book a vintage wine tasting and winery tour and share your experience on social media #onthebeadtrails – we love to share a good secret.