She loves the city’s laidback lifestyle and the family-friendly activities available for her two young children. But the reason Kayla Bordignon moved from Vancouver to Kelowna had less to do with its vibe and variety, and everything to do with its vineyards.
“I moved here a year ago to pursue my passion for wine,” says Bordignon, a wine ambassador with her Level Two certification in the Wines of British Columbia Ambassador program. “The whites and rosés in the Okanagan are fruit-forward and have a nice crisp acidity that makes for perfect patio sipping in the summer.”
While Bordignon is partial to Viognier, a full-bodied white wine with “beautiful texture and aromatics,” she likes a lot of what’s being poured in the Okanagan Valley. Her goal is to make B.C. wines accessible to everyone.
As a content creator for Tourism Kelowna, Bordignon will be showcasing the city’s food and wine scene — with a focus on wineries and winery restaurants — along with family-friendly activities she can do with her three-year-old and her baby. Expect these two interests to intersect at the region’s many wineries that welcome children, such as Off the Grid Organic Winery in West Kelowna.
After her Instagram posts @uncorkbcwine and @tourismkelowna inspire you to try the local varietals, this wine entrepreneur makes it easy to get sipping. Bordignon launched the uncorkBC Wine Passport, which grants pass holders stops for complimentary tastings at 66 wineries in the Okanagan, Thompson, and Similkameen regions of the province. The uncorkBC Wine Passport also gives discounts such as 15 percent off an e-bike rental with Kelowna E-Kruise — a fun option for wine touring around the city’s hilly southeast bench.
“At the end of the day I want people to go into wineries, go into tasting rooms, learn about wine, and fall in love with wine like I have,” she says.
Where to go first? Bordignon has a soft spot for CedarCreek Estate Winery and its sit-down tastings. “I love that they have a sommelier and wine guide who leads you through a tasting,” she says. She also loves the wine-paired lunch and dinner menus at their restaurant, Home Block at CedarCreek, which change daily depending on what’s fresh and in season.
A new favourite is Niche Wine Company, which just opened in West Kelowna. Customers can enjoy a tasting flight paired with charcuterie, cheese, and valley views, says Bordignon.
When she’s not sipping Viognier on a sunny patio, you’ll find the family hiking to Paul’s Tomb at the base of Knox Mountain Park followed by coffee and snacks at Sprout. Summer Saturdays send them over to Gyro Beach Park, where there’s plenty of shade, picnic tables, and a playground in the sand.
“Kelowna has been amazing,” says Bordignon. “I also love that the weather is so nice here year-round. You can even drink rosé in the winter!”
Cheers to that!