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Here’s why Osoyoos and Oliver should be on your fall road bucket list

As written by Simran Singh for DailyHive.com , October 25, 2019

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Living in BC means you’re never too far from a local getaway, and if you’re hoping to take a fall road trip before the winter weather settles in, look no further than Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country.

While this may seem like more of a summer trip, South Okanagan offers some of its very best attractions in fall.

From festivals to flourishing fall harvest and plenty of wine, here’s why Oliver and Osoyoos should definitely be next up on your fall road trip bucket list.

The Stay

Surrounded by rugged rolling hills and spectacular views of Osoyoos Lake, Spirit Ridge Lake Resort is filled with the natural beauty for which BC is so well known. Located on the sacred land of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Spirit Ridge pays homage its Indigenous peoples and tradition with the 9,000 sq. ft. Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (pronounced in-ka-meep).

With a spa, two fitness centres, seasonal yoga classes, two pool facilities with hot tubs, and a golf course, there are plenty of ways for guests to relax and rejuvenate during their stay.

Don’t skip out on the resort’s dining experience at The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry, where Executive Chef Murray McDonald and his team serve up incredible dishes.

Osoyoos Oliver

Hailing from Newfoundland, McDonald previously served as the founding executive chef at the Fogo Island Inn, which was named one of Canada’s best new restaurants in 2013 by enRoute Magazine. Prior to The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry, McDonald was the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto.

Murray’s talent shines through in each dish as he incorporates the local harvest and takes inspiration from his Indigenous roots and the Indigenous people of the Okanagan.

The local farmers’ markets

The Okanagan is filled with local fruit and vegetable stands that showcase the local harvest. On the drive between Oliver and Osoyoos, be sure to stop at one of the stands and grab freshly picked apples, wine grapes, or pumpkins for Halloween.

A trip to Osoyoos and Oliver wouldn’t be complete without visiting a vineyard — or several. If you don’t know where to start, check out the official Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Map, which outlines 43 vineyards in the region. The major upside of touring the vineyards in the fall is being able to beat the summertime rush and crowds. This allows you more time to taste-test local offerings and learn more about the winemaking process.

The Festivals

October is festival season in Oliver, making it a great time to plan your visit.

The beginning of October marks festival weekend. It kicked off with Cask & Keg Festival, which highlights the region’s local breweries, distilleries, and cideries.

The festival features live music, food trucks, and multiple booths where you can sip on everything from Moscow Mules to hot apple cider with gin.

If wine is your drink of choice, you’ll want to stick around for the legendary Festival of the Grape, which is typically held the next day.

Osoyoos Oliver

Image: Festival of the Grape

The family-friendly event attracts over 4,500 visitors each year. The festival showcases South Okanagan’s incredible selection of regional wines. There’s plenty to check out while you sip on reds, whites, and rosés, including entertainment, locally made crafts, vendors, and the legendary grape stomp.

One of the best parts of the Festival of the Grape is chatting with the vineyard owners and employees and getting to know what goes into their passion for what they do. It’ll make you appreciate every sip of that wine just a little bit more.