BC Wine

Okanagan Valley

Okanagan Valley Region

The Okanagan Valley extends from the border by Osyoos in the south to just above Salmon Arm in the north for a total distance of approximate 180 km.

The Okanagan Valley is home to the oldest surviving BC winery that has been producing wines since 1934. In 1934 it started out as the Domestic Wines and By Products, to be renamed as Calona Wines in 1936. There is a bit of a joke about their earlier days, something about re-fermenting wines and exploding bottles. But they must have done something right for being able to stay in business for over 80 years and counting. The fact that they managed to get a contract with the Catholic Church to supply them with sacramental wines did not hurt. It is a well-known fact that the Vatican has the highest consumption of wine per capita.

The Okanagan Valley also got the first estate licensed winery in 1978 and the first BC farm gate licensed winery in 1990.


The Okanagan's first commercial vineyard was started in 1926 by JW (Jesse) Hughes in Kelowna. Originally intended for fresh market sales, Hughes signs the first Grower/Winery contract in BC with Victoria Wines in 1930.

Over 90% of British Columbia grapes are produced in the Okanagan Valley and more than 190 British Columbia wine and cider producers are located in the Okanagan Valley.