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B.C. Vacation Rentals
Mar26

Everyone has different wants and needs when picking out which B.C. vacation rentals might be perfect for a long weekend stay or a whole week away. Whether you are on a budget, traveling with family, or planning a big event, we have a vacation property picked out for you.

Vacation Rentals on a Budget   

Who doesn’t love a great deal? These B.C. vacation rentals are budget-friendly.  

  1. West Kelowna Classic Lakeview Cottage 

From $100/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Sweet and simple 1 bedroom plus loft cottage, beautifully furnished with 1.5, 2 queen-sized beds and pullout sofa. Fully equipped kitchen with washer and dryer in the unit. Private sun deck with a gas BBQ grill. Units have air conditioning. This cottage type is available on the lower resort.

  1. Bowser, Vancouver Island Seacroft Cabin 

From $89/night as of writing this (prices subject to change). Cozy 2-bedroom cottage in a serene location with easy beach access. West coast design with character wood ceiling, inviting wood stove, and front porch. Full kitchen, dining area, living room, 1 bathroom, and deck. The location is private and quiet and a short walk to the beautiful Vancouver Island waterfront. Great for the nature lover.  

Vacation Rentals for Families   

These properties have room for the whole family…and Fido, too!  

  1. West Kelowna Barona Beach Condo 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom and den 4th-floor condo with 3 full bathrooms and fully stocked premium kitchen. High-end finish in this waterfront building. Great location in wine country, minutes to Kelowna’s best wineries such as Mission Hill, Quail’s Gate, and many more.  

  1. Pender Island Oceanfront Rental Home 

Comfortably sleeps 6 guests. 2-bedroom oceanfront home with a sleeping den. A comfortable, attractive, oceanfront bungalow featuring cedar siding, a shake roof, beamed ceiling. An appealing, 1640-square-foot house finished with Pender cedar and fir throughout and featuring many works of local artists. Pets okay!   

Vacation Rentals for Events or Large Groups   

Have a bridal shower, wedding, corporate event, family reunion, or other such plan coming up? These properties have room for everyone.  

  1. North Pender Island Ocean View Vacation Home 

Comfortably sleeps 8 guests. Great for “small” gatherings like birthdays or bachelorette parties. Beautiful oceanfront, 3-bedroom Pender Island vacation home, with 2-bathrooms and plenty of space. Equipped with all the amenities and sits right over the water. The marina and boat launch offer kayaks and other boats to rent. A heated swimming pool beckons you during the summer months.   

  1. La Casa Mirador Guest House 

The Guest House has everything: 6 large bedrooms, 1 master suite, and a bunkhouse level just for the kids. A large open kitchen, huge island, all new appliances, and two ovens. Expansive 2400-square-foot deck overlooking Lake Okanagan. The patio has a gas fireplace, lounge chairs, barbecue, darts, and outdoor seating. The games room has a pool table, fireplace, and plenty of board games. A movie theatre with a 10 x 20 ft screen and 15 surround sound speakers is available. Keg fridge with a tap (you bring the keg). Plus, a built-in sound system that connects right to your iPhone.  

Ready to book or continue to browse? Check out Breakaway Vacations’ full property catalogue with reservation forms on each page.   

Bachelorette Party
Mar19

We love weddings and all the fanfare around them. In fact, we love when happy couples consider La Casa Cottage Resorts for their celebrations, maybe even use La casa Mirador Guest House for the ceremony. But planning a wedding from start to finish is tough. So here are some tips and tricks to get the bachelorette party juuuuust right.  

DO: Ask the bride what type of party she wants.
DON’T: Hire strippers and buy penis hats for the lolz 

Every bride is different. Some people want a wild, crazy, go-all-out party weekend. On the other hand, some women prefer something quieter and more elegant. Be sure you are tailoring the bachelorette party to the specific preferences of the bride-to-be. Remember: this party is all for her.  

DO: Take care to respect budgetary concerns for all guests.
DON’T: Surprise people with last-minute expenses.  

Respect how much money people are able or willing to spend. If you are struggling to cover even the bare necessities, consider doing a fundraiser with the bride’s extended family to cover some of the expenses. However, the cost mainly falls upon the maid of honour and the bachelorette party guests. Consider saving money ideas, like picking an “out of season” weekend, making snacks rather than buying them, and implementing BYOB. Here’s a budget spreadsheet to get you started.

DO: Plan enough activities to keep people entertained. 
DON’T: Over-schedule every minute of the day.  

The bachelorette party should be fun for everyone. Plan enough activities to occupy a few hours a day, if it’s a multi-day event. Leave room for relaxation and conversation. You’ll want to start with games and introductions and gifts. However, as the night goes on, the schedule should loosen up a bit. Give people something to look forward to but also plenty of time to socialize and kick back.  

DO: Have back-up plans in place.
DON’T: Ever assume things will go 100% according to plan.  

Always have a backup plan! You should always assume the best but plan for the worst. For example, maybe the restaurant you made reservations at floods unexpectedly. Seek out a few backup options (don’t book them, just know where they are and what they offer) so that you can bounce back quickly from unexpected hitches. 

DO: Reserve any venues or tables way ahead of time. 
DON’T: Overbook your rooms or surprise venues with extra guests. 

Make sure you have booked all appropriate accommodations, dinner reservations, limo pick-up or other transportation, and anything else that might need to be “held” for larger groups. Get RSVPs before booking and try not to surprise venues with additional guests. Restrictions to, say, room rental occupancy are there for a reason. You don’t want to end up with any unpleasant fines!  

BONUS: Thinking of hosting your bachelorette party in the Okanagan? These accommodations are perfect for 6 to 8 guests, making them a great option for small gatherings. 

Looking for the perfect venue for your wedding, family reunion, or corporate event? Try Breakaway Vacations! We host groups from 8 to 26. 

Simple Baking Ideas
Mar12

Here at Breakaway Vacations, all of our luxury vacation cottages have full-sized, well-equipped kitchens for your personal use. However, it can still be a challenge thinking up what to make in a kitchen that isn’t your own. What ingredients do you buy? Will you have time to use them all? That’s why these simple baking ideas are the perfect holiday vacation treat.   

Easy Chocolate Mug Cake  

  • 1 large egg  
  • ¼ cup half and half  
  • 2 T. butter  
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla  
  • ¼ cup white sugar  
  • ¼ cup flour  
  • 2 T. cocoa powder  
  • ½ tsp. espresso or Turkish coffee  
  • ½ tsp. baking powder  
  • ⅛ tsp. salt  
  • 2 T. white chocolate chips  
  • 2 T. toffee chips  

A mug cake is the perfect low hassle, no mess baking treat that doesn’t stick you with a bunch of leftovers. With this recipe, each makes just one serving so it’s the perfect bite-sized snack to sweeten up your vacation evenings. You can swap out “optional” ingredients like espresso, white chocolate chips, and toffee chips with whatever flavours you want. Try icing the top and decorating it with candy, like M&Ms.   

Learn how to make it at Hilda’s Kitchen Blog 

3-Ingredient Cookies  

  • 2 ripe bananas  
  • ½ cup oats  
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips  

What can be better than something SO easy to make that it only takes 3 ingredients? These chocolate oat cookies are the perfect weekend-away treat and they only take about 20 minutes to prepare. You can swap out chocolate pieces for raisins or other dried fruit if you like. Any extra oats, bananas, and chocolate can be used to make delicious breakfast oatmeal the next morning, too. Zero waste!   

Learn how to make it at All Recipes 

Brownies in a Jar  

Jar  

  • 2 1/4 cup Sugar  
  • 1 1/4 cup Flour  
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa  
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder  
  • 1 tsp Salt  

To Bake  

  • 3/4 cup butter  
  • 4 Eggs  

Brownies in a Jar, sometimes called “Mason Jar Brownies,” are a great way to pack your favourite dessert with you while you travel. Essentially, you pre-mix all of the dry brownie ingredients into a jar and throw the whole thing in your suitcase. Then, it only takes adding a few eggs and a bit of butter to get them oven ready.   

Learn how to make it at Apron Free Cooking.   

Easiest Jello Dessert Ever  

  • 3 Jello cups   
  • 1 TBS blueberries  
  • 1 TBS blackberries  
  • 1/2 TBS raspberries  
  • 2 strawberries large size and sliced  
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream (ready to use)  

This recipe is a bit of a “cheat”—there’s no baking involved and most of the ingredients just need to be mixed together. What makes it special, though, is that it calls for fresh fruit. If you are visiting one of our vacation properties in the Okanagan, fresh and local fruit will be a-plenty! Head to one of Kelowna’s farmer’s markets to hunt down the best-of-the-best produce.   

Learn how to make it at Adrian’s Best Recipes

Are you going to try any of these simple baking ideas next time you are on vacation? If you do, tag us on social media using  #BreakawayVacations.

March Madness Party
Mar05

It’s that time of year again: March Madness! College basketball fans unite. Here is what you need to know to plan the best March Madness party (or parties) this season. 

What’s the #MarchMadness schedule look like this year? 

Here are the important dates for March Madness that you might consider planning a party around. 

  • Selection Sunday: March 14 
  • First Four: March 16-17
  • First Round: March 18-19 
  • Second Round: March 20-21 
  • Sweet 16: March 25-26 
  • Elite Eight: March 27-28 
  • Final Four (national semifinals): April 3 
  • National Championship: April 5  

This means that you have plenty of dates to schedule a get-together. If you are looking to book venues for Elite Eight, Final Four, or National Championships…best get started now! Those dates are always the first to go.  

Brainstorm Session  

First, you will need to sit down and decide on the basics. How many people do you want to invite? Do you want to stay home, go out, or book a private venue? What will the food and drink situation look like? Make a detailed plan about your expectations and goals. You’ll want to consider: 

  • What is being served to eat? Will there be a meal or just snacks? 
  • Is it BYOB or bar provided? 
  • What is the maximum number of people you can host? 
  • Which basketball game are you focusing on? 
  • What is the maximum amount of money you intend to spend?  
  • Will you expect others to pitch in on the cost?  

Create a Budget Plan 

Parties can get out of control quickly so you need to decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and whether the other guests will be expected to pitch in. Do you want to funnel money into a private venue, maybe with a large screen and sound system? Do you want to focus on decorations and accessories? Do you want to spend on a great food spread or bar? Here’s a simple party budget template to use.  

Build a Guest List & Send Invites  

How many people can you feasibly host? How many people were you hoping to invite? Build a list of potential guests and whittle it down if you have too many. A consideration: If you have a large group of people, consider splitting the cost on a private event space. Secondly, decide how you want to invite people. Physical invitations? Facebook event page? Group text? Get RSVPs as soon as possible.  

Source Supplies & Décor 

You’ll probably need bowls, cups, decorations, banners, and so forth. Start figuring out where you want to get them from, giving yourself time to order online if needed. If you are on a tight budget, give yourself plenty of time to shop around and find the best price for each item.  

Do You Need an Event Space? 

If you are hosting a large group, want a big-screen experience, or just want to be the host of a party to remember, you might consider booking a private venue for the party. For example, La Casa Mirador Guest House can sleep 26, hold a lot more, and has everything you need to host a party built-in. We also have a 130 seat private media theatre center with a 10 x 20 ft screen and 15 surround-sound speakers. 

Food for Travelling
Feb26

What is a road trip without a cooler full of snacks for the drive? And why settle for dry cookies and soda if you’re travelling by plane? There must be a better way! Follow this guide to become the master of the Travel Snack. In this article, we’ll cover non-perishable travel food, food to eat while travelling in a car, and meals that travel well. Everything you need to know to stay nourished in motion.   

What is the best food for travelling?  

The best food for travelling will be something compact, something that can last without refrigeration, and something that won’t leak or spill. However, you’ll also want something healthy. Part of the challenge of eating on a trip is finding healthy food items that travel well. After all, you could just pack potato chips and candy…but you’d probably feel pretty sick a few hours in.   

How do you pack food for travel?  

Try to use reusable containers, where possible. Plastic or glass Tupperware with well-sealing lids are best. If you need to wrap something, consider using “beeswax” wrap as a more sustainable option than plastic. If you have room in your vehicle, consider packing a cooler with a few ice packs to keep everything fresh. This will also lessen the likelihood of the food being damaged by a sudden turn or brake.   

What can you NOT eat on a road trip?   

You’ll want to avoid any food that sloshes, sticks, or otherwise makes a mess. Also, food that might get damaged by the journey is a no-go. Food to eat while travelling in a car needs to be sturdy, well packaged, and hearty. Some people made ahead meals for travelling…and sometimes this works! Often, though, you’re plagued by big messes and cold leftovers. Stick to something simple, like sandwiches!  

What should you eat on a flight?  

Depending on the length of the flight, you might not need to eat at all. Or you might be served an in-flight meal. However, if you feel like you will need food with you, consider options that will make it through security (no liquid) and won’t bother the other passengers with strong scents. Focus on non-perishable travel food if you are packing for longer than a day’s trip.   

A sample road trip grocery list might include:  

  • Trail mix, dried fruit (apricot, banana)
  • Granola bars, pretzels
  • Fruit that doesn’t crush or bruise easily (apples, plums, mandarin oranges)
  • Breakfast shake or smoothie
  • Snacking vegetables (sliced carrots, sugar snap peas).  

Sample food to pack when traveling abroad:  

  • Anything from the above road trip grocery list
  • Dried oatmeal packets for quick meals
  • Wrapped sandwiches for the plane (nothing smelly, no eggs!)
  • Homemade baked goods that remind you of home 

It’s never too early to start planning your next trip. Think Breakaway Vacations for a luxury vacation experience right here in British Columbia.   

Travel Green
Feb19

The realities of climate change are something we in the travel industry cannot ignore! That’s why we encourage our guests to travel green when they visit us at Breakaway Vacations. Here are just a few ways that you can do so:   

1. Don’t Litter (and DO Recycle)  

Whether you are road tripping, sitting at a beach, or hiking…never drop your garbage on the ground. It’s a good idea to carry a receptacle that can temporarily hold garbage until you can dispose of it. Additionally, take time to sort paper, plastics, bottles, and cans and deliver them to an appropriate recycling location. Ask your host for suggestions or do a quick Google search.   

2. Respect Wildlife  

Listen to all signs telling you to stay off the path, don’t feed wild animals, and so on. Keep your distance if you see wildlife in their natural habitat and respect food storage requirements so as not to attract them. Don’t approach them for any reason, especially not selfies! Pack binoculars so that you can observe them from a safe, respectful distance.   

3. Use Reusable Water Bottles (not plastic)   

It’s tempting to purchase a beverage in plastic cups on any long journey. Instead, bring a few reusable water bottles and refill them when you can. You can also pack tea bags and instant coffee to resist the urge for a coffee run that might result in additional waste.   

4. Cut Back Meat Eating   

Worried about the impact of your travelling? Cut back on eating meat while you are away or the month before or after. This simple action offsets a ton of carbon emissions and can “neutralize” any additional impact you might have during your vacation.   

5. Carry Reusable Bags Everywhere   

During your trip, you are likely going to pick up a few souvenirs or stop somewhere for snacks. Make sure you have a reusable bag with you so that you don’t have to waste paper or plastic. You can even get reusable bags that fold into tine squares or rolls that fit right in your pocket or purse.   

6. Use Public Transit Where Possible   

Skip cabs and Uber and opt for public transport instead. It’s more environmentally friendly and cheaper, too. You can also try bike rentals, walking tours, and other green methods of sightseeing.   

7. Eat Local Food   

Eating locally is a trip to be green anywhere you are and that carries over into any trips you take. This includes looking for drinks, like beer and wine, that are made in the area. Perfect if you’re travelling to B.C.—AKA Wine Country.  

8. Skip Daily Room Cleaning   

Do you wash your bed sheets and towels after every use at home? No? Then why do it when travelling? It’s a huge waste of water so keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and skip daily cleaning.  

9. Unplug your home  

Before you go anywhere, unplug and power down everything in your home. Removing plugs from sockets can save energy, as can turning heating and hot water off. Tripple check that no lights are left on and power down any electronic devices.   

Valentine's Day Cocktails
Feb12

Ahh, Valentine’s day—love is in the air! And it can also be in your best martini glasses with these 5 Valentine’s Day cocktails!   

What is a Valentine’s Day cocktail exactly? Well…anything that feels romantic. We know that’s broad, but Valentine’s Day drinks are a “you’ll know it when you see it” kind of deal. Typically, they will be sweet, maybe pink or red in color, and will have a feminine flourish.   

Here are our picks:  

The Pink Rose  

  • 50ml French dry vermouth  
  • 25ml Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)  
  • 1 tsp Natural raspberry syrup  
  • Garnish: Brandied cherry  

Roses are a common theme around Valentine’s Day. They are given as gifts and adorn hallmark cards celebrating the season. This drink plays on that theme with its pinky-red hue. Raspberry syrup and a brandied cherry will make it as sweet as your S.O.   

See how to make it at Taste Cocktails 

Seductive Strawberry Cocktail  

  • 2 Strawberries  
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice  
  • 1-1/2 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon  
  • 1/2 ounce Bénédictine liqueur  
  • 1 barspoon simple syrup to taste  
  • Strawberry for garnish  

Made with strawberries and champagne, this cocktail screams Valentine’s Day! The luscious red colour pairs well with the season. Plus, you’ll have strawberries left over for chocolate fondue. The bourbon gives it quite a kick and makes it something that everyone will enjoy.   

See how to make it at All Parenting.   

Sparkling Frosé  

  • ½ Bottle of Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade  
  • 8 Rosé Ice Cubes  
  • 1oz lemon juice  
  • Mint, for garnish  

Rosé slush is just a great idea all around. This rich, sultry cocktail can be easily adjusted for potency by adding or removing the number of rosé cubes before you blend it together. The Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade can be substituted for your favourite sparkling fruit beverage if you don’t have any on hand.  

See how to make it at Moscato Mom 

Blushing Geisha  

  • 4 ounces Ty Ku Liqueur  
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice  
  • 4 ounces rose nectar  
  • Garnish: lime wedge  

This drink is as beautiful as it is tasty. The main ingredient, Ty Ku Liqueur is made with pomegranate, honeydew, yuzu, and Asian pear and is considered an aphrodisiac. Replace the rose nectar with rose simple syrup if you can’t find any (hint: your best chance is probably a natural food store).  

See how to make it on The Spruce Eats 

Chocolate Cherry Delight  

  • 6 ounces chocolate almond milk   
  • 4 ounces cherry juice  
  • 3 ounces vodka  
  • honey for garnish  
  • dark chocolate sprinkles for garnish  

Chocolates are a traditional romantic gift so why not have a cocktail to match? This rich, scrumptious drink is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Use honey or simple syrup on the rim of your martini glasses to make the chocolate sprinkles stick.  

See how to make it at One Country 

Give these Valentine’s Day cocktails a try and let us know what you think!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the only time you celebrate your love. If you’re thinking about a spring or summer romantic getaway, maybe an anniversary or birthday, book with Breakaway Vacations. We have luxury vacation rentals that will make any trip special.   

Staycation blog
Feb05

COVID-19 has changed how we think about travel. Vacationers are sticking close to home and putting a pin in international travel for now. That’s why a “staycation” is such a great idea—it lets you enjoy some time to yourself without the hassle of crossing farther distances.  

But what exactly does a 2021 staycation look like and how can you make the best of it this year? First, let’s cover some basics.  

What is the difference between vacation and staycation?  

Vacation means you are traveling abroad, maybe taking a cruise or staying at a resort. A staycation means you are closer to home, maybe exploring attractions in your own city or taking a quick road trip to a neighbouring community for a long weekend.  

Why is #Staycation popular this year? 

Thanks to the Coronavirus, people are wary about unnecessary travel this year. That’s why staycations are becoming more popular. Not to mention they are often cheaper, less of a time commitment, and much easier to plan.  

How can I spend my staycation in B.C.? 

Considering a staycation this month? Here are some fun staycation ideas that you can try.  

Staycation at Home 

You don’t even need to leave your house for some of the best staycations. Here are a few things you can try:  

  1. Do a spa night with a face mask, long bath, nail treatment, and anything else you can think of 
  2. Enjoy some summer-themed cocktails with a partner and order takeout  
  3. Buy a cheap projector and watch films set in your dream destinations around the world  
  4. Treat yourself to a home-visit masseuse, if there are any ones in your area  
  5. Give yourself a whole “day off” to just lounge at home with no responsibilities  

Staycation in Town 

A staycation can also mean exploring your own backyard in ways you hadn’t thought to do before. Here are some ways you can do so: 

  1. Go out for a fancy dinner somewhere you have never tried before 
  2. Take a day trip to an outdoor market and sample new, local foods  
  3. Check out a tourist “hotspot” in your city that you’ve never visited before  
  4. Go for a walk in a park or hiking trail that you’ve never been to before 
  5. Stay overnight in an Airbnb just to get away from home life for a night  

Staycation Quick Trip  

Sometimes a staycation means taking “stay” lightly. Traveling to a neighbouring town or city can be a safe faux-vacation idea this year: 

  1. Book a cabin or yurt somewhere a few hours away from home for some new scenery  
  2. Visit a friend or family member in another city within the province 
  3. Go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing for a long weekend  
  4. Stay overnight in an Airbnb the next town over to get away from it all  
  5. Plan a road trip somewhere scenic, stay the night somewhere fun, and then try a new route back home 

Thinking about booking something this spring or summer? See what we have to offer in the B.C. area at Breakaway Vacations. And if you’re already a local, might we suggest a #staycation?  

19 Best Travel Apps
Jan29

Travel is easier and safer than ever thanks in part to technology. From in-your-hand maps to easy translating capabilities, travel apps have redefined how we move through the world together. Traveling should be all about the experiences: seeing the sights, meeting new people, broadening your horizons.  

Let these travel apps streamline the heavy lifting of your vacation plans so that you can focus on making memories.  

Organization and Packing 

AKA “the boring stuff.” Every great trip starts with a great plan. These organizational apps can help you spend less time on packing and planning. 

PackPoint – Access premade packing checklists by selecting locations and activities that are relevant to your travel plans.  

TripIt – The freemium version lets you log all your itineraries in one place to create a handy master list. 

Packing Pro (iOS only) – Lists for groups who require multiple packing checklists under one account, like families with young children. 

Trip Advisor – Pick out local attractions, sights, and restaurants and see how real travellers rated their experiences at each location.  

Culture and Maps 

Need a digital “guide” in your vacation location of choice? These apps will help you find your way around, access public transport, and learn about the area. 

Google Translate – Help translate text, handwriting, photos, and speech in over 100 languages. 

City Mapper – Your guide to local public transit systems all over the world, including insider tips like the best train car to be in, etc.  

Roadtrippers – Map up to 7 waypoints per driving route and keep abreast of local sights and food options as you travel.  

GPS My City – A self-service “walking tour” app with guided tours for over 1000 different cities across the world.  

Money and Budgeting  

Ahh…budgeting. Totally unavoidable yet such a vibe killer. These apps can help you track how much you are spending, on what, and arrange payment splitting if you are travelling in a group.  

TravelBank – A professional travel budget app for business trip cost tracking and submitting expenses. 

Trabee Pocket – Travel spending and budget help with multiple currency support and a visual pie chart to check frequent spending themes. 

Spendee – Travel planning and budgeting in one place, featuring automatic updates directly from your bank (if connected). 

Splitwise – Cost splitting app for travel partners who will frequently need to exchange funds between one another. 

Rentals and Lodging 

Dayuse.com – Book a day-time room for fast amenities like WIFI and bathroom access before “typical” check-in times open up.  

Airbnb – Find private, by-owner rentals that are more personable and usually cheaper than hotels (and YES, Breakaway Vacations properties are on Airbnb but you can book with us directly, too!). 

HotelTonight – Last-minute hotel deals wherever you are with budget-conscious choices where possible. 

Airport Help and Flights  

Everyone needs somewhere to stay. Whether you are booking ahead or looking for last minute hotel deals, these apps will help you get oriented.

Finding flights can be a hassle. These apps make it a bit easier to bear! Find great ticket deals, build an itinerary, and even prevent jet lag!

AirHelp – Assists in filing compensation claims if something about your flight goes horribly wrong; a great safety net to have installed on your device.  

Hopper – Watch for airfare deals according to when and where you want to travel using AI to predict upcoming prices to help you save money.  

Skyscanner – Track airfare prices and discover destination by time frame and budget tags and source flexible car rentals, if needed.  

Timeshifter – Prevent extreme jet lag with scientist-proven methods built into this app; perfect for frequent time-zone hoppers.  

Planning a trip soon? You might also be interested in packing tips or our favourite reasons to #TravelBC this year!

BC Winter Wines banner
Jan22

One thing you should know about travelling to B.C. is that we are called “wine country” for a reason! We grow and produce many wine varieties right here in the Okanagan, some of which have won international awards for their quality. It’s always wine season in B.C! Now that it’s cold out, there are just certain wines that hit better. Here’s everything you need to know about winter wine in British Columbia.    

What is a “Winter Wine”  

Simple! Any wine that you enjoy drinking in winter. Sure, this can be applied to almost anything. But certain varieties pair well with in-season foods like hearty stews, bold spices, and red meat meals.   

Does B.C. Make Wine in the Winter?  

Yes! Ice wine (sometimes spelled icewine) is made with grapes that are frozen on the vine. Ice wine can be made with Riesling and Vidal grapes (most popular), Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. The Okanagan is one of the best places in Canada to grow such grapes, as the climate is perfect for these unique fruits. Ice wine is traditionally quite sweet and pairs well with desserts.   

Which B.C. Wineries Make Ice Wine?  

B.C. wineries that have produced ice wine in the past include: Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Inniskillin Winery, Jackson-Triggs Winery, K Mountain Vineyards, Mission Hill Estate Winery, Mount Boucherie Estate Winery, Nk’Mip Cellars, Peller Estates, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Soaring Eagle Estate Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Winery.   

Ice Wine VS Winter Wine: What’s the Difference?  

Simply put, ice wine is made in winter; winter wines pair well with popular winter-season food choices. Ice wines can be winter wines and winter wines can be ice wines but there doesn’t have to be a correlation! Ice wine can keep for 10 years (corked), so you can drink it year-round. Meanwhile, many wintertime wine favorites are bottled in Spring or Summer.   

What Makes a Good Winter Wine?  

Winter used to be considered a “red wine” season (except, of course, Champaign for New Year’s). However, the truth is that white wine can be a winter wine, as well. A good winter wine pairs well with the hearty, spiced, red meat-centric meals of the cooler season. Acidic wines, for example, tend to work best with the typical dish served around the holidays. Any wine with a big, bold flavor will do (thick: full, oaky chardonnay).   

What are the Best Winter Wines in B.C.?  

Here are a few of our favourite B.C. winter wines. If you are travelling to the Okanagan to stay at La Casa Mirador (our season-round rental), then you should endeavor to check these out!   

Shiraz/Syrah   

This dark and full-bodied red makes for a perfect cold season wine. It pairs well with beef, venison, and lamb dishes. You can expect flavors of blueberry and blackberry along with ripe tannins.   

  • Hester Creek Syrah-Viognier   
  • Quails’ Gate The Boswell Syrah   
  • Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank   
  • Stag’s Hollow Syrah   
  • Black Hills Syrah   

Chardonnay  

Surprise! White wine can be a winter wine, too. Look for chardonnays with buttered, oak influences. Chardonnay, with its trademark fruity sweetness, will pair well with almost any dessert.   

  • Mission Hill Family Estate’s Grand Reserve Chardonnay  
  • 50th Parallel Estate Chardonnay   
  • SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95  
  • Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay  
  • Quails’ Gate Chardonnay – Stewart Family Reserve  
  • Tinhorn Creek – Chardonnay  

Cabernet Sauvignon  

With Cabernet Sauvignon, you may detect hints of green pepper, tobacco, cassis, dark fruits, and vanilla. Some varieties will be opulent and fruity and others will be savory and smoky.   

  • Cassini The Aristocrat Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Nk’Mip Cellars (Inkameep) Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Painted Rock Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burnt Timber Estate Winery Monarch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Quails’ Gate Cabernet Sauvignon  

Want to experience B.C. wines first-hand? Our luxury Okanagan cottages are booking for summer 2021—and they fill up fast! Contact us for a reservation today.