Tag Archives: okanagan valley

FREE TRIP ALERT: British Columbia Wine Tasting Adventure Giveaway


I am giving away a free trip for two to visit the beautiful wine region of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, compliments of the Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Assocation.

How do you win?

First, follow my blog ChasingtheVine. Then tweet me a photo @chasingthevine of you and a bottle of wine somewhere other than your house or a restaurant. Yes, go outside, get on your roof, show me your view. Go to a mountain, shoot it standing in a fountain. Take a bottle to the Top of the Rock or underground on the subway. The most creative location-based shot will win and be featured on my blog. Tweet to @chasingthevine and use #showmewine. Enter as frequently as you like. Contest open from Monday June 24, 2013 until Monday July 22, 2013. Winner announced that week.

Why should you go?

  1. Gorgeous  Wineries & Wines: 200+ in the region, and you can hardly find the wines in the States
  2. Stunning Scenery: lakes, mountains, valleys, vineyards
  3. Outdoor Activities: paddle-boarding for water babies, hiking for mountain lovers
  4. Seriously Friendly Canadians
  5. Local and Organic Food: Similkameen Valley holds title of “organic capital of Canada”
  6. Okanagan Wine Festival in the Fall: October 4-14, 2013

Trip Includes:

  • Travel voucher ($800 value)
  • Dinner for 2 at a member winery restaurant ($150 value)*
  • Lunch for 2 at a member winery restaurant ($75 value)*
  • Car rental ($125 value)
  • 2-night stay for 2 at a local hotel ($400 value)*
  • Private winery tours and tastings ($200 value)

*Exact details regarding restaurants, hotel, and wineries involved will be confirmed once the Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Association knows when you plan to visit.

This contest is restricted to those of eligible drinking age, who hold a valid passport (and can travel internationally), and are legally able to leave the country (sorry, but no criminal records please!) The award has no cash value, and is non-transferrable.


Filed under British Columbia, Trip Giveaway

The Journey? No, the Destination. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

PART 1: Getting There…

The wheels screeched and rumbled, braking, bouncing, striking the runway. Our plane careened forward another few minutes, inertia tugging me against the seat-belt, before coasting to stop at the gate. I peered out the mini-window of the CRJ. Dirty beige plastic framed the striking scene: In the distance sat mountains, stoic, frosted in snow like sifted sugar. Tall pines painted Crayola “forest green” reached beyond my peripheral sight. Fog, stretched like a roll of gauze, gently draped the shoulders of each granitic peak. How lovely, I thought wistfully, taking a mental snapshot. If I lived in Vancouver, this view would greet me when I came home.

But I live in New York City. I had just completed leg one of a long journey home from Penticton, B.C., following the close of the 2013 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. Rather than Pacific Northwest grandeur, my friendly flight-hub of Newark welcomes weary homebound travelers with glimpses of central New Jersey’s local highlights: smokestacks and power grids. But I wouldn’t see that view today. My plane landed at midnight.

The trek to-and-from Penticton proved exactly as I imagined: a trek, especially for those on the East coast. Even with a major hub (Newark) and direct 6-hour service to Vancouver (United), an hour-layover followed by a quick 30-minute hop to Kelowna on a small regional plane (Air Canada), Penticton was still another hour-drive further south.  Flying to London is faster.

Truthfully, the travel time and sequence of connections exhausts. I endured first-time flyers holding up the security line for pocket-change; gruff stewardesses, stingy on the soda pour, refusing to give up the whole can as though protecting a baby cub.  My seatmate wore a crinkly, stiff jacket the entire flight. His coat folded like origami each time he moved, scratching my skin. I scrunched my arm for relief from the itchy fabric, nearly bruising my ribs in retreat, while he smothered the armrest into submission.

Sorry Mr. Emerson, but you never endured the United/Continental merger. Unless one is privileged enough to ride the Orient Express from Singapore to Thailand First Class, the joy of modern travel is no longer about the journey, it’s the destination (plus a little anticipation mixed with relief your plane landed)—so it better be good. And British Columbia is that good. The exercise in patience taxation is worth it. That view I would return a thousand times for; the mountain-fog-and-pine-tree postcard through smudged pane that greets you when plane meets earth. And knowing what lies beyond as you pick-up your luggage in a rush to break out of the airport penitentiary: pristine wilderness, genuinely genial people and the alluring wines of the Okanagan Valley.

Part 2: Coming Soon…


Filed under British Columbia