Lifestyle & Parenting

Experience a Hands-on Harvest in B.C. Wine Country

October 29, 2015

The famous “vendange,” or grape harvest, is something I’ve always wanted to do.

So, when Oliver Osooyos Wine Country invited me up for a couple of days of harvesting, crushing, juicing and tasting, I was warming up my picking hands right away. View the annotated slide show of my "Hands-on Harvest," below.

Cheers! —Sarah Bancroft


Vineyard Vanity

By Vitamin Daily

We began grazing in the vineyards at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, whose owners spearheaded the new Golden Mile Bench sub-appellation. Tour goers also got lunch with wine pairings in this stunning amphitheatre.

  • Jeff Van Geest: Culinary Extraordinaire

    By Vitamin Daily

    Jeff Van Geest is one of my favourite BC chefs, and these days he’s foraging native plants, like pineapple chamomile, from the vineyards. His way with a pig is legendary (as in this wild boar carbonera). He’s also teamed up with Campagnolo’s Chef Robert Belcham (another of my faves) to fire-roast a pig’s head for crown bacon, and bread baked with the lard.

  • Winemaker’s Wonderland

    By Vitamin Daily

    Stirring the lees at Tinhorn Creek (can you imagine having this backdrop in your office)?

  • Truck Tours

    By Vitamin Daily

    Proprietor Gene Covert leads informative tours of his Covert Farms from this vintage Mercury truck.

  • Natural Beauty

    By Vitamin Daily

    Just some of the stunning views of rock formations from the certified organic vineyards at Covert Farms.

  • Strawberry Sweet

    By Vitamin Daily

    Picking strawberries at Covert Farms as part of the hour-long tour and tasting offered with Watermark Beach Resort for just $40.

  • Serene Seclusion

    By Vitamin Daily

    Our lake-front townhouse at Watermark Beach Resort Hotel welcomed us with this serene view after a busy day in the vines. A former fruit packing house, local fruit was shipped from here to the U.S. from the ’40s to the ’60s.

  • Fresh Pickings

    By Vitamin Daily

    Freshly harvested syrah at Moon Curser Vineyards. There would have been more on this day, but the harvest was a full month early and pickers were in high demand.

  • Moon Curser Vineyards

    By Vitamin Daily

    Watching the grapes being destemmed, juiced and pumped into fermentation tanks at Moon Curser Vineyards. Tasting the juice at different stages (and of course the final result in the tasting room) with the winemaker, was a rare experience.

  • Pinot Perfection

    By Vitamin Daily

    Specializing in pinots, Stoneboat Vineyards is named for the vessel that gets pulled through the vines picking up glacial rocks that give the grapes their mineral-y flavour. Punching down the pinotage in this malolactic fermenter was tons of fun.

  • Tantalizing Terrafina

    By Vitamin Daily

    Terrafina, the charming Tuscan restaurant at Hester Creek, is an ideal lunch spot. Their spectacular antipasto board is worth the stop alone. Tip: there’s a $25 wine shuttle to whisk you to and from the restaurant and nearby resorts.

  • VinPerdu Cellars

    By Vitamin Daily

    VinPerdu is just five months old (although they’ve been selling their grapes to other wineries for 18 years). Their charming tasting room has a view overlooking their entire five-acre vineyard and they serve delicious treats like rabbit rillettes and duck terrine alongside their now-sold-out Gamay Noir.

  • Have Your Own Hands On Harvest

    By Vitamin Daily

    Measuring brix with a refractometer at River Stone Estate Winery in Oliver was super fun (hint: 2015 is going to be a big juicy year)! There’s an original farmhouse right on the vineyard that you can rent for your own Hands on Harvest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


get social


get more out of


Want the best, curated headlines and trends on the fly?

get more out of vita

Sign up for one, or sign up for all!