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What to Expect This Summer in Wine Country

It has been a long spring and wine country is excited to welcome you back! We have spent the past month considering at what our 2020 season will look like, and below are some pointers to help you have an awesome visit in the South Okanagan this summer.

One: Travel in small groups

At Black Hills Estate Winery, we are excited to host any groups of six adults or less. Due to new social distancing requirements, many winery tasting opportunities this year will be reflecting a smaller scale. While we’re keeping it small, we want you to have the best experience possible and keep safe!

Two: Call and let us know you are coming

Avoid the disappointment of being told we are fully booked, by letting us know 24 hours in advance that you plan to visit. This way our team can tell you what’s available and we can ensure that your wine experience starts the second you enter our doors!

Three: Bring munchies

Food services, in general, may be limited this season, so we suggest making a reservation with us to enjoy charcuterie with your wine flight. We recommend you travel with snacks and water in your vehicle to stay nourished throughout the day or plan the perfect lunch spot near Black Hills Estate Winery in the beautiful town of Oliver.

Four: Have Nana and Grandpa look after the little ones

Many wineries will be struggling to maintain the new capacity limits as we wish we could host you all! Be as thoughtful as possible, by limiting your personal group size to only those who wish to taste and/or purchase wine. All wineries will have a max capacity of six people to a group.  At Black Hills, we have chosen to host adults only for tastings on our patio space.

Five: Avoid popping by to “just look around”

The Okanagan wine region boasts many artisan suppliers, and the urge to pop in just for a look is certainly strong. That being said, if you only wish to look around, try visiting first thing in the morning, when the wine shops can properly accommodate your requests.

Six: Wondering if you need any personal protective gear when you visit?

It has been recommended by the health minister that we try to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as often as possible. Although we don’t want to drain our healthcare workers of their valuable equipment, we suggest investing in reusable gloves and masks that you can clean at home.

Seven: Weddings/corporate groups/family reunions

As BC regulates that there will be no gathering’s over 50 people, those of us in the wine industry will follow these advisories closely. We hope to plan for larger gatherings in 2021. They will be just as fun, one year from now!

Eight: Can I still “spit” if I am the designated driver?

Of course, and thank you for being so considerate of other people’s safety! We will have as many disposable options as possible, including spittoons.

Nine: If I book with a tour operator, am a guaranteed a reservation?

We would recommend calling every planned winery in advance, personally, for the 2020 season. We’d also recommend getting the tour operator to confirm that they have booked with each individual winery to avoid disappointment.

Ten: How long can I spend at your winery?

As much as we’d love for you to spend the day with us, we are reserving clients for one-hour timeframes so we can host as many wine lovers as possible!  

Some quick facts about Black Hills Estate Winery you need to know:

  • We’re open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week!
  • This year for foodservice we’ll be offering a limited menu between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
  • Please book ahead, as we want to ensure that you have a guaranteed spot.

Be kind and patient, we are trying to host as many people possible this summer!

Time Posted: May 21, 2020 at 12:42 PM