Tours 59 is located in the Central Okanagan, strategically to cover the very best area.
Breathtaking scenery to drive through and stunning views will await you. Our historical cars offer an unforgettable experience while you relax in the back seat and we do all the driving. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff will guide you on your adventure.
The Okanagan Valley, located in the Sonoran Desert, offers one of the very best that the Western Province has to offer. Mild winters and warm summers allow for a multitude of fruits and grapes.
The climate and topographic features support wines that can revel the very best in horticulture world wide.
The wineries of the Central Okanagan comprise of all sizes, from small family owned over boutique wineries to large scale operations.
Our classical cars have been specifically selected for their historical significance and the comfort they offer for our passengers as we travel through the beautiful Okanagan.
Where is the Okanagan, and how long has it produced the wine that we have come to love??
The name derives from the Okanagan language place name ukʷnaqín. An alternate explanation from Washington proposes "People living where you can see the top".
The Okanagan Valley is a Canadian wine region located in the southern region of British Columbia. Along with the nearby Similkameen Valley, the approximately 4000 hectares (10,000 acres) of vineyards planted in the Okanagan account for more than 90% of all wine produced in British Columbia and after the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario is Canada’s second leading wine producer.
The history of wine production in the Okanagan dates back to the 1850s with the establishment of Okanagan Mission and the planting of grapevines to supply sacramental wines. In the early 20th century, prohibition in Canada wiped out many of the Okanagan's earliest wineries and the commercial wine industry in the area was not revived until the 1930s. From this time, till the mid-1970s, the Okanagan wine industry was based entirely on the production of fruit wines and those produced from hybrid grapes. The first commercial plantings of vinifera came in 1975 when the Osoyoos Indian Band established Inkameep Vineyards.
The first vineyard planted in the Okanagan was at the Oblate Mission in Kelowna in 1859, planted by French Catholic priest Charles Pandosy and was solely intended for the production of sacramental wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Several small vineyards, planted mostly with Fox grape (Vitis labrusca ) sprang up until prohibition encouraged the uprooting and replanting with other agricultural crops.
For most of the 20th century after prohibition, what limited wine production that took place in the Okanagan was mostly fruit wines made from berries, apples, cherries or even table grapes. One winery, Calona Wines founded in 1932, still remains from that period and is the oldest continuously running winery in British Columbia. Eventually the use of French-American hybrid grapes, such as Marechal Foch and Vidal Blanc took hold.
In the mid-1970s, several growers began experimenting with plantings of Common Grape Vine (Vitis vinifera) .The Osoyoos Indian band established the first commercial vineyard dedicated to Common Grape Vine with plantings of Riesling, Ehrenfelser and Scheurebe. In 1976, notable German viticulturalist and grape breeder Helmut Becker visited the Okanagan and encouraged more growers to consider planting German grape varieties and provided clones of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and and Gewürztraminer that were developed at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute and bred to withstand the cold, winter temperatures of the Okanagan. Further impetusfor the planting of vinifera came in the late 1980s when Canada entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement that opened up the Canadian markets to American wines from California, Oregon and Washington. The competition from imported wines spurred the Canadian government to implement a vine pulling scheme with grants for growers who uprooted their hybrid and abruscavines and replaced them with vinifera.