Every day is wine day, right? Well maybe not, but May 25th is. It’s National Wine Day! Take this opportunity to learn about all things wine, and grab an idea or two on how to responsibly commemorate this special day.
Just how was wine invented?
Statista defines wine as, “an alcoholic beverage produced by fermenting grapes and sometimes other fruits or plants”. It is really hard to pin down exactly how and when wine came to be, but it is believed by some that wine may have been invented by accident between 6000 and 3000 B.C. or earlier, in the area that is now modern day Iran and Georgia, when stored grapes were fermented by wild yeast.
Christian monks had a role in making France one of the best wine making countries in the world. They took detailed notes on different varieties of grapes, growing methods & practices. In the new world region, i.e the Americas, it is believed that the Indigenous people may have played a part in wine’s emergence. However it came to be, it appears to have been a bit of a group effort and a happy invention, as people all over the world continue to enjoy this staple beverage.
History of the Okanagan Valley Wine Region
Ex Nihilo is located in the Okanagan Valley wine region of B.C., which has an interesting history, starting with Father Pandosy, a Frenchman who recognised the fertility of the land. He grew and produced wine for sacramental uses at the Oblate Mission in Kelowna in 1859. Following this, more wineries emerged until prohibition slowed down the growth somewhat. As time went on however, wine makers in the valley began experimenting with hybrid grape varieties. This resulted in a marked increase in the quality of wine in the area and a vibrant industry and scene began to take hold.
The rest is history as, according to Forbes, 85% of B.C.’s wine is produced in this magical area, which resides between the 49th and 50th parallel, the same latitude as Champagne, France and Rheingau, Germany. Consisting of about 9,000 acres of vineyards, it is Canada’s second largest wine region with over 185 wineries.
The Wine Industry in Canada and British Columbia
The wine industry is certainly substantial in Canada. According to Statista, red varieties are most consumed, but of course Canadians’ enjoyment of this diverse drink does not stop there. Retail sales of wine in Canada are forecast to exceed 13.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, showing that Canadians like their wine. According to per capita sales, consumers in Quebec purchase the most wine and those in Saskatchewan purchase the least. What's more, due to its colder climate, Canada is the top producer of Ice Wine in the world.
Below are the Top 10 white and red wines produced in B.C. according to the Wine Growers of BC:
How to Commemorate National Wine Day
It may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but here are some creative ideas to capitalise on the day!:
- First and foremost, come enjoy Happy Hour with us at Ex Nihilo if you are in the area.
- Do a wine tasting or two and discover something new. Use this occasion to try a new wine that you may not normally have considered.
- Visit a winery restaurant and pair tasty culinary bites with premium wine choices.
- Pick up your favourite wine to enjoy it with a friend.
- Plan to host your own wine tasting party.
- Learn more about wine making processes, tasting, pairing, and more. You can start by reading through previous articles in this blog.
- Book yourself a future tour or wine tasting to look forward to.
- Sign up to be part of a wine club, like ours at Ex Nihilo. And while you are at it, sign up for our newsletter below!
- Try a wine and yoga class in your area.
Additional Wine Days
Believe it or not, there are quite a few days throughout the year to celebrate wine, included on the National Day Calendar:
1. National Drink Wine Day – Feb. 18
2. National Mulled Wine Day – March 3
3. National Bubbly Day – First Saturday in June
4. National Moscato Day – May 9
5. National Rosé Day – Second Saturday in June
6. National Strawberry Rhubarb Day – Third Saturday in July
7. National Wine and Cheese Day – July 25
8. National Prosecco Day – August 13
9. National Orange Wine Day – October 6
The Legacy of Wine
Wine is considered by some to be a symbol of transformation, a concept which we can observe throughout all stages of the growing and winemaking process. What’s more, it has influenced cultures throughout time, and connected people from all different walks of life. A much beloved and diverse beverage of choice, the world of wine is one that could take a lifetime to fully explore as there is always something new to learn. So take a moment today to join those around the world and raise your glass!
Not only is British Columbia undeniably beautiful, it is a bountiful region teeming with abundance. A lush paradise with almost everything you could desire, it boasts friendly family farms, fruitful orchards, vineyards, & more. Coupling all this with passionate artisans who take great pride in their one of a kind treasures, supporting local is not hard to do in the Okanagan.
Why Support Local?: Creating Vibrant Communities
Supporting local establishments helps to build communities and the local environment. Not only does it stimulate the local economy, keeping money in the community, it employs locals. What's more, local businesses have a vested interest in the communities that they are a part of, and when we support local, we tend to enjoy more variety and diversity. What is not to like about that?
The environment fares better too when we support businesses in and around our neighbourhoods, as products do not need to be transported as far, reducing fossil fuel usage significantly. Plus smaller businesses tend to have a reduced carbon footprint compared to big corporations. Supporting small local businesses not only gives them the boost they need, it benefits Mother Earth as well.
As a small local vineyard, the owners of Ex Nihilo know firsthand the importance of giving back to local businesses. When you visit the restaurant, tasting room, and online store, you will be supporting many individuals within the community.
Local at CHAOS
Taste the region within a farm to table framework at CHAOS Bistro with these local suppliers:
Tanto Latte Cheese - Salmon Arm
This family-owned business produces artisanal Italian cheese using Okanagan sourced whole milk. Their most popular product is their fresh bocconcini mozzarella, commonly enjoyed as a topping for pizza or on a gourmet sandwich!
Image Credit | Tanto Latte Cheese
Dueck Falkland Farms - Falkland
Started in 2011, Dueck Falkland Farms strives to ethically raise happy chickens, and they only partner with local family farmers (within 90 mins) when stocking their store. Their high standards are reflected in the meat they sell, from free-run chickens, to award winning sausage, and grass-fed beef.
Image Credit | Dueck Falkland Farms
Mycro Greens - Kelowna
Offering organic and non-gmo microgreens, this small business was founded by a group of friends. Coming to the business from a sustainable and environmentally conscious standpoint, they wanted to explore a way of offering a nutritionally dense superfood, as not only do microgreens look great on the plate, they pack a nutritional punch as well.
Image Credit | Mycro Greens
Lake Country Gourmet Mushroom Farm
Offering fresh and dried mushrooms, as well as tinctures and mushroom grow kits, this unique Lake Country mushroom grower also advertises a weekly chef mix. Their Facebook page is picturesque with oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms galore!
Two Rivers Specialty Meats - Vancouver/Abbotsford
Couple Margot and Jason Pleym proceeded to dream up Two Rivers while living in a yellow school bus in Golden, BC. They meticulously choose small farmers, mostly in BC to collaborate with to ensure the quality of their meat.
Image Credit | Two Rivers Specialty Meats
Local in the Tasting Room
Encounter unique items from these local gems while visiting the Tasting Room:
KARAT Chocolate Boutique & Cafe - Kelowna
KARAT found its start in the basement kitchen of West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery. Founder Julian has since grown the company with the help of her team and much support. Using local high quality and ethically sourced ingredients, & the best single origin and beans and couverture chocolate possible, it is no surprise that KARAT has won various prestigious awards and is often featured in notable publications, such as Chatelaine & WestJet Magazine.
Image Credit | KARAT Chocolate
Hairbrained Schemes Greeting Cards - Kelowna
Hairbrained Schemes Greeting Cards came to fruition when a stay at home mom combined her passion for design and her desire to work from home. Her clever cards are blank inside so you can add your own special message. Some of the cards are available as prints as well!
Image Credit | Hairbrained Schemes Greeting Cards
Vancouver Candle Company - Vancouver
A Vancouver-based “corporate couple” took their fascination with the power of scent and started Vancouver Candle Company after experimenting with premium natural waxes. Their goal was to create a quality luxury candle with truly unique fragrance blends. The business has since grown and they enjoy a cult-like following.
Image Credit | Vancouver Candle Company
Okanagan Candle Company
Okanagan Candle Company creates custom clean burning candles. They utilise beautiful essential oils for fragrance, and 100% soy wax. Not to mention they are hand poured and packaged with love in the Okanagan.
Image Credit | Okanagan Candle Company
Só Luxury Bath & Body
Close friends Amanda & Shylah run Só Luxury Bath & Body together, providing you with what you need to pamper yourself and your loved ones. Só actually means luxury in irish. They are not only dedicated to providing gentle and effective products but to giving back to the community as well.
Image Credit | Só Luxury Bath & Body
Karen Wentzel Jewellery - Kelowna
Hailing from Westside Road in Kelowna, Karen’s handcrafted stunning one of a kind jewellery features such premium materials as sterling silver, 14K gold fill, semi-precious gemstones and freshwater pearls. Her pieces are often inspired by the changing seasons.
Image Credit | Karen Wentzel Jewellery
Everybody wins when we give back to the community!
So be sure to take it all in while visiting Ex Nihilo. Simultaneously sip, shop, & explore what the region has to offer; and leave knowing that not only have you delighted your senses with a plethora of unique one of a kind offerings, you have done your part to support the local hard working small businesses that help make the community just a bit more vibrant!