Canada probably isn't the first country you think of when it comes to wine production. But British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, and Kelowna in particular, is actually the heart of winemaking in Canada. There are over 120 wineries in the area, so choosing which to visit can be tricky.
To help, I've done a round-up of what I think are the 22 best Kelowna wineries. So grab a drink (or a glass of wine), and sit back, relax, and prepare to read one mighty long wine list that will leave you inspired for your next road trip to Kelowna from Vancouver, or just thirsty for another round of drinks (either is ok)!
The best way to tour the wineries in Kelowna is with a wine tour service. Some of these companies already have the winery stops chosen, but many will drive you to the locations you prefer as well. If you plan to drive yourself with a designated driver, some vineyards are only a short drive apart.
Most wineries offer tastings for under 10 CAD that are dropped with a purchase. And let's be honest, you'll probably be buying some bottles to take home!
Along with high-quality wines, Kelowna offers terrific lake and country views and a relaxed European countryside atmosphere - a great place to escape to away from Vancouver's bustle and one of the best things to do in British Columbia. So start planning your wine country getaway today with my list of the must-see wineries in Kelowna!
You’ll experience some of the best single-vineyard wines in the region at this southeast Kelowna vineyard. Previously Pioneer Vineyards, Tantalus is the oldest continuously producing vineyard in British Columbia.
All its grapes are sustainably grown, and their Rieslings are some of the best in Canada. Tantalus is also known for its high-quality Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Try all they have to offer in their gallery-style tasting room, complete with art by Canadian artists. Sip on four wine samples for 4 CAD with the fee waived with a purchase.
CedarCreek’s 50-acre estate features organic, single-vineyard wines from 30-year-old vines. In fact, their Pinot Noirs are made from some of the oldest vines in British Columbia!
Located on the shores of Lake Okanagan, you can enjoy award-winning Okanagan wine with beautiful lake views.
Tastings are 5 CAD for five samples, which is disregarded with a purchase. Pinot Noir lovers can even try CedarCreek’s entire range for 22 CAD with their Silk & Stone experience.
If you’re in the mood for a snack, try their Home Block Restaurant with Canadian cuisine and perfect wine pairings.
Frequently featured as a top winery experience, Vibrant Vine is a quirky winery not to be missed. Taste their perfectly-crafted wines in any of their nine tasting rooms before relaxing in their two lounges.
Along with high-quality wines, you’ll find a range of fantastic art on display at Vibrant Vine. This artistic vibe is also translated into the wine bottle designs. The bright patterned logos make each bottle an excellent gift or a showy display item in your wine collection.
They even have two outdoor stages that host over 100 events during the summer, a perfect and relaxed place to chill out and enjoy great wine and entertainment!
Fruity wines and handcrafted apple ciders are the stars of the show at The View Winery.
Housed in a 1920s apple-packing house, The View promises an “authentic Okanagan experience.” Sample crisp and fruity whites, spicy reds, and delicious ciders from The View’s Wards Cidery.
Although close to downtown Kelowna, the rolling vines and orchards surrounding the estate make you feel like you’re deep in the countryside.
Try a flight of five tastings of wine or cider for 5 CAD. All tasting fees are removed with the purchase of a bottle of wine, two bottles of cider, or a six-pack of cider.
Centrally located in downtown Kelowna, Sandhill is a must-visit on your Kelowna wine tour. Tastings are available in the Urban Tasting room and include wines from their limited Small Lots Program. These exclusive wines are not usually offered outside the winery, so try them while you can.
Tastings are 10 CAD for Sandhill wines and 4 CAD for their sister Calona Vineyards wines. Along with the standard tastings, they offer a 'Blind Tasting Experience' for 15 CAD. This unique 45-minute experience will test your wine knowledge and focus your senses.
Alternatively, their Beyond The Glass Experience virtually transports you to their vineyards, allowing for a greater understanding of their wine-making process. Of course, it comes with samples to taste!
Try their crisp and delicious reds and whites at 5 CAD for five samples. As the fee is disregarded with a purchase, I highly recommend picking up at least one bottle to take home.
Be sure to check their website before your visit to see if one of their unique events is running. These include food and wine pairing tasting events, and even a relaxed workout class followed by breakfast and mimosas!
As one of the only Okanagan wineries with a biodynamic vineyard, Summerhill Pyramid prides itself on delicious organic wines.
Reds, whites, roses, and Canadian ice wine are all available for tasting and purchase here. Bubbly lovers will also be glad to hear that Summerhill Pyramid is a premier producer of sparkling wines, too.
For a more in-depth experience, try their Pyramid Experience Tour that includes a tour of the vineyard, a visit to the winery’s geometric wine cellar, and finishes off with a tasting of four wines.
After trying Summerhill Pyramid’s wines, visit the Summerhill Organic Bistro for internationally inspired organic cuisine.
This Okanagan Valley family winery with a farmhouse-style tasting room is located on a sprawling estate that the owners call home.
River Stone specializes in Bordeaux varieties, growing five types including Merlot and Petit Verdot. They also feature two types of whites, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, and a Malbec Rose.
Try their offerings as you overlook the surrounding vines and garden. Then take a bottle of your favourite variety to enjoy in their picnic area within the vineyard.
If you are charmed by the quaint setting, you can even stay at the River Stone Cottage.
Located between Oliver and Osoyoos, this estate winery is named after the birds that inhabit the vineyard and the surrounding area. Wildlife lovers will spot a range of creatures on their visit, including the winery’s namesake Burrowing Owl.
You’ll also find a delightful selection of reds, whites, and their fortified port-style wine to sample. Tastings are 5 CAD per person. While the $5 fee isn’t taken away with a purchase of wine, it is given to the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society that has been set up to help conserve the at-risk Burrowing Owls of BC.
Finish off your time here with a bite at the Sonora Room Restaurant. You can even stay at the winery’s Guest House, and don’t forget to say hi to Rusty and Karma, Burrowing Owl’s resident dogs!
This Indigenous-owned winery expresses its culture in everything they do. Not only will you find internationally award-winning wines here, but also local Indigenous artisan merchandise and food and wine-related products.
With their extensive collection, it can be challenging to know what to buy. But not to worry, NK’MIP offers a range of tasting options. Start by trying five wines for 5 CAD in their tasting room (dropped with a purchase).
Then be sure to try their acclaimed Riesling Icewine sample for just 3 CAD, again waived with a purchase. Lastly, for 10 CAD, experience their Qwam Qwmt collection, which translates to “achieving excellence.”
Surrounded by horse ranches, Ancient Hill is a boutique winery in rural North Kelowna. Specializing in European-style wines, they only use grapes from their vineyard with a focus on small lots. Interestingly, their production facility is built into the hillside, which helps keep production temperatures constant all year long.
Visit their tasting rooms to try their wide range of Okanagan wine. Then, choose a bottle of your favourite to enjoy in their picnic area with panoramic views of the surrounding valley.
Food is not served here, but they welcome you to bring your own picnic to accompany your wine.
Mission Hill is an architecturally stunning winery and part of the Westside Wine Trail. The winery promotes experiences to its customers that encompass all that wine country has to offer. Try their affordable Taste of the Estate experience that comes with wine and snacks for 65 CAD per person.
Or a personal favourite is their Garden Lunch Experience. This wine tour includes a guided vineyard tour plus lunch and wine tasting. You can experience all this beautiful estate winery has to offer for just 110 CAD per person. They even have guided sommelier experiences!
Finish off your visit by grabbing something to eat at their Terrace Restaurant while overlooking the lake and vineyards.
Quails' Gate winery has some of the best views, wines, and food in Kelowna. Start by tasting their renowned wines in their indoor or outdoor tasting rooms looking out onto the lake and vineyard. Tastings start at 10 CAD for four samples, dropped with purchases.
Quails' Gate is one of the best wineries for lunch in Kelowna, so I highly recommend stopping here for something to eat as well. The Old Vines restaurant has been featured as one of the 100 best in Canada. Enjoy locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine on their peaceful patio with the perfect Kelowna wine pairings to drink.
Located on Mount Boucherie, a 60-million-year-old dormant volcano, Volcanic Hills is aptly named! The winery’s grapes are grown in the mountain’s fertile volcanic soils, including their Gewürztraminer grapes, which were planted in 1978.
All wines are BC VQA certified, and you will discover a delightful range of reds, whites, and roses. They also have sparkling and ice wines.
Volcanic Hills takes its name one step further with a variety of volcanic-themed blends. These include Eruption, Lava, and Magma, all of which they assure are “erupting with flavour!”
Take a tour or taste their wines for 5 CAD for four samples, waived with a purchase. Finish your visit with a snack at their Blu Saffron Bistro.
This Lake Country vineyard mixes delicious Okanagan wine with sweeping lake views and tasty Italian food. At Blind Tiger, you’ll find certified organic wine and the Okanagan’s best woodfire pizza. Enjoy the two on their Italian-style garden patio as you take in the scenery.
Along with the great wine and food, their bottle designs are some of the best I’ve seen. This includes their trademark modern blind tiger design logo, a charming vintage design, and their fun “Giggle Water” design for sparkling varieties.
Take your choice of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They even have Canadian ice wine, a perfect souvenir for those visiting from abroad!
Established in 2016, Indigenous World Winery is the first 100% indigenous-owned winery in British Columbia. Visitors can taste Indigenous World’s world-class VQA wines in their modernly-designed tasting room. The facility also has a native-themed gift shop for some unique souvenir shopping.
Grab a bottle of your favourite wine to enjoy in their picnic area with beautiful Lake Okanagan views. Or, try the Red Fox Club restaurant for modern, Indigenous-inspired cuisine.
Located near to downtown, this easy to access, one-of-a-kind estate is a must-visit winery in Kelowna.
The Hatch is a must-visit on both the Westside Wine Trail and in Kelowna in general. Head here for a super relaxed, modern, and fun hipster atmosphere. And of course, incredible wine!
Choose from a vibrant range of reds, whites, roses, and sparkling wines. Tastings are 5 CAD for five samples, dropped with a purchase that I’m sure you’ll make.
Each bottle features a unique label, including octopus, narwhal, and dinosaur designs. Pick up a bottle for your next dinner party or get together as a great conversation starter.
Finish your visit relaxing on their patio with a glass of wine or even a beer if you want a little change.
Kelowna is actually the native Okanagan name for Grizzly bear. Although a Tuscan-inspired winery, Grizzli takes its name from this translation and North America’s native brown bears. Even their logo features a brown bear and the Canadian maple leaf.
As one of Canada’s largest boutique wineries, you’ll find a range of BC VQA wines and ice wines. Grizzli uses traditional and modern winemaking techniques to produce these world-class wines, with all grapes harvested by hand.
Explore the award-winning designed winery and vineyard with a tour. Or, attend one of their many events and workshops, such as the annual ice wine festival or art and wine workshop.
Gray Monk is a beautiful estate winery housed in 75 acres of vineyard which overlooks Okanagan Lake. The winery is named after the Gray Monk grape used to make their famous Pinot Gris. In fact, they are the first winery to have planted Pinot Gris grapes in British Columbia.
As “home of the Pinot Gris”, Gray Monk offers tastings of their acclaimed variety plus other whites and reds. Tastings are 5 CAD, waived with a purchase. You can also tour the winery and vineyard for 20 CAD per person.
Visit The Lookout Restaurant for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Enjoy seasonal dishes made with local ingredients accompanied with any of their wines, a cocktail, or frozen rose.
Mt. Boucherie Estate is named after the extinct Mt. Boucherie volcano, a geological landmark in West Kelowna. This Westside Wine Trail stop is also home to some of the oldest estate vines in the Okanagan. On arrival, you’ll be able to taste award-winning whites, reds, and ice wines for 6 CAD per person.
Meat lovers will want to stay to eat at The Modest Butcher restaurant. Using locally-sourced meats only, choose from a range of steak cuts as well as ribs, charcuterie, and more. Despite the restaurant's name, vegetarian and fish options are also available.
As one of the most cosmopolitan wineries in Kelowna, I recommend 50th Parallel for lovers of modern architecture and great wine. This uniquely-designed winery features floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout and a modern tasting room.
Pinot Noir is a leading variety at 50th Parallel, making up 40% of the estate vineyard plating - one to try for sure. You can also taste Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer here.
Tastings are 10 CAD, and the fee is dismissed with purchases. After tasting, I’m sure you’ll find one (or more!) bottle you’ll want to take home. Finish this luxury visit with lunch or dinner at 50th Parallel’s Block One restaurant.
This family-owned and operated estate is named after the Okanagan Sunflower, also known as Arrowleaf Balsamroot. Visit the winery, housed in 16 acres of vineyards in Lake Country, for delicious wines and food to accompany.
Arrowleaf prides itself on producing the highest quality terroir-driven wines. From Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Pinot Gris to Zweigelt and Petite Arvine, sample them all in their contemporary tasting room. Tastings are 5 CAD, which is dropped with purchases.
Be sure to get something to eat here too. Arrowleaf specializes in French-style pastries, including their signature and must-try cream puffs. If you’re after a savoury snack, try one of their authentic charcuterie boards with meat, vegetarian and vegan options available.
With over 200 vineyards and 120 wineries in the Okanagan, these are just some of my personal favourites. But hopefully, this list has given you some good options to plan out your Kelowna winery tour!
No matter which Kelowna wineries you decide to visit in the end, or however long you spend in the Okanagan, you're sure to be trying some of the best wines you've ever had! Add in the mesmerizing country and lake views and relaxing beaches, and it's one of my favourite weekend trips to do in British Columbia from Vancouver.
This article was edited by Loredana Elena and was first published on May 8, 2020 20:39 UTC.
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