15 of the best wineries in Canada


Nichol Vineyard, Naramata Bench, British Columbia

With their first vines planted in 1989, this family-run establishment was one of the first three wineries in the region, and is refreshingly “true to their roots” as their slogan says. Complete with childrens toys and swing sets in the backyard, this vineyard looks more like a small estate than a winery, save for the surrounding vines and orchards. Most sources say that Nichol was the first to produce a Syrah in the region, but if you visit the winery yourself, you will probably hear that it was a pioneer of the variety in North America. Either way, Nichol Vineyard is still one of the best, and somehow, one of the cheapest. In 2013, I got a bottle for $13. While the vineyard doesn’t offer actual “tours” of the facilities, a self-guided walk to their humble tasting room offers a nice breath of fresh air from overcrowded gift shops. There is a tasting counter, a record player, hilltop views, and the only souvenir they have are old vines to be sold as kindling. You can either start or end your road-trip at Nichol, as it is the farthest from Penticton on the Naramata route.  More info: www.nicholvineyard.com

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