We booked a tasting at Black Hills Estate Winery, which usually takes a good couple of hours, and we thought we’d make an effort to try out Le Vieux Pin Winery while we were down there. 2020 is a weird year, and we’ve been staying home way more than usual for the summer. We chose to make a day trip for these two wineries because they were doing tastings by appointment only, and we knew we’d be outside and that it would be easy to observe physical distancing measures.
Oliver and Osoyoos are some of our favorite hangouts in BC. We love the wine, the restaurants, the views, and the vibes in the southern Okanagan. We used to go all out every time we came down to this area, trying to taste as much as possible. In the last few years, we’ve started limiting ourselves to about 2-4 at most. We have to hit some of our favorites, and we try to check out a new-to-us winery.
The Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Association has this “Passport Program” that encourages you to visit all these wineries for tastings and get stamps, and you get entered into a draw of some sort. We used to do it every time we visited the region, trying to taste as much as possible as the stamping system brings out our competitive side.
As we’ve grown over the years, we slowly stopped doing that because it gets pretty tricky after a few wineries. It made sense at first because every winery was new to us. Eventually, some wineries became favorites, and so we’d know what to expect. But when you go to too many wineries in one afternoon, at least in our case, everything starts to taste the same.
It was finally time to try out Le Vieux Pin Winery. We’ve driven by it many, many times because we’re always on Black Sage Road. The wine ambassador was really lovely and let us try everything. All of their wines are French-inspired, and we loved them all! We’ll have to go back and document our tasting more closely.
Black Hills was no different, they were awesome as usual! We’re wine club members and have access to the cabana tastings. We didn’t have the chance to stop for lunch, we typically like to stop by Miradoro, the restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.
We used to take weekend trips to Oliver/Osoyoos when we lived in Vancouver. Now that we live in Kelowna, it’s easy to make a few winery visits into a day trip. In the summer, there are tons of fruit and veggie stands open, so we make sure we start the day on the earlier side, so we can swing by those stands before they close. A good portion of the drive is along Okanagan Lake, so the views are simply stunning.
We’ve seen people cycling from winery to winery around here. We’ve cycled Black Sage Road before. And we’ve participated in the Half Corked Marathon with running from winery to winery. All the power to you, but it’s more enjoyable to drive around for tastings! If you have an electric vehicle, there are a few places and a few wineries that have “free charging”, like Black Hills. However, those chargers charge so slowly, it’s not even really worth plugging in. The temperatures are super hot, so think about bringing a cooler for your wines. And it’s way too toasty to bring a dog during the summer, so it’s best to leave them back at the hotel or at home.