The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is home to some of the world’s best wineries, and Kelowna is no exception. Kelowna is 1 of 11 sub-regions in the Okanagan Valley, and home to over 200 wineries that have gained recognition globally for producing some of the finest wines. The region is located at the same latitude as some of the famous wine regions in Europe, such as Bordeaux and Burgundy, making it ideal for growing grapes. The region's warm climate, long growing season and unique terroir including, sandy soils, clay, and gravel, create a diverse range of wines with distinct characteristics. With its stunning landscapes, fantastic restaurants, and amazing wineries, it’s no wonder that Kelowna has become a popular destination for wine lovers.
We’ve rounded up our top 10 best wineries in Kelowna to help you plan your visit to this beautiful region. From family-run vineyards to award-winning winemakers, each of these establishments offers something unique and special that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or just want to sample some delicious wines, these are the places you should check out! From Quails Gate Estate Winery to Summerhill Pyramid Winery, there's something for everyone when it comes to finding the perfect spot for your next wine-tasting adventure in Kelowna.
- Quails Gate Estate Winery is one of BC’s original Wineries, family farmed and operated by the Stewart’s since 1956. Their winery offers visitors a truly exceptional experience. From its stunning location overlooking Okanagan Lake to its beautiful vineyard and winery, it provides an unforgettable getaway. The estate offers a variety of activities for visitors including wine tastings, tours of the property, and educational seminars. The winery is also home to the Old Vines Restaurant which serves delicious meals made from local ingredients and breathtaking views of the surrounding area. On top of all that, they have been producing award-winning wines since 1989, so you can be sure you’re getting some of the best wines in the region. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or just want to explore one of the most beautiful places in Canada, Quails Gate Estate Winery is the perfect destination for you.
- Summerhill Pyramid Winery is one of the best places to visit for a variety of reasons. They were the first winery in BC to get organic certification which means they aren’t applying herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, or anything synthetic in the vineyard or during their wine making process. The winery offers an unforgettable experience with stunning views, delicious wines, and unique events that are often open to the community. The grounds are filled with beautiful vineyards and picturesque gardens that make it the perfect spot for a romantic outing, an outdoor picnic, or a showstopper wedding. Visitors can enjoy live music performances on select days, organic cuisine from the Bistro, and even private tours of their impressive Pyramid Cellar. With so much to offer, it's no wonder why Summerhill Pyramid Winery has become one of the top destinations in the region and the most visited winery in BC. Enjoy Imagine Al Fresco dining overlooking Summerhill’s organic estate vineyard offering breathtaking views of Okanagan Lake. This beautiful venue is also home to one of the Okanagan’s’ most iconic winery wedding destinations. You can choose from the expansive outdoor patio seating or enjoy your meal and take in the views from a table inside the restaurant. Plates feature organic and locally sourced fare that’s always seasonally inspired and freshly made to order. Try the Cipes Sparkling Brut or Ice Wine that they are well know for.
- Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of British Columbia's wine culture. The winery is situated on a stunning estate in the heart of West Kelowna, surrounded by lush vineyards and beautiful views of the Okanagan Valley. It is home to some of the finest wines in Canada, offering an impressive selection of reds, whites, and sparkling wines. Visitors can take part in a seated patio tasting to learn more about their favorite wines, as well as attend special events such as wine-pairing dinners and winemaker dinners. The winery also features a new modern restaurant the Modest Butcher, which offers an ideal setting to gather with friends, family or that special someone for amazing food and their award-winning wines. With its amazing views, friendly staff, and world-class wines, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is truly an unforgettable experience for any wine lover!
- One of the best things about Cedar Creek Estate Winery is its rich history dating as far back as 1930’s when they planted their first grapes. The property offers an exclusive and memorable experience for visitors. The winery boasts beautiful scenery, with lush vineyards, rolling hills, and views of Lake Okanagan. Visitors can take part in guided tours of the winery or stroll through the vineyard to learn about the history, terroir, and winemaking process. They can also sample some of the award-winning wines produced onsite in the tasting room built with floor to ceiling glass windows and doors to showcase the surrounding beauty. Afterward, visitors can enjoy a wine paired meal in the Home Block Restaurant that’s tucked into the hillside immersing you in the natural landscape. Cedar Creek Estate Winery often hosts special events like live music, yoga and food tastings, making it an ideal place for special occasions or just an enjoyable day out.
- Hatch Wines is the perfect place for wine lovers and connoisseurs alike to take in a unique and quirky wine tasting experience. Not only do they offer a wide selection of wines, the knowledgeable and friendly staff are always happy to answer questions about their wines or provide recommendations on food pairings. I promise, you are guaranteed to learn about a new food pairing after this stop! You may also try something you haven’t, including an Orange Wine which has developed a cult like following. With this spot, it’s all about the chill vibe that will have you ordering a bottle, grabbing a picnic table, and soaking up the views of the surrounding countryside. If you’re an art fan, the lively and imaginative labels captured on every bottle are often the conversation piece. The Hatch Winery is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
- Mission Hill Estate Winery is Canada’s only five-time winner of the 'winery of the year' award, making it a must visit for any wine enthusiast. Since 1981, the Von Mandel family has been committed to crafting quality wines. In 1994 their pursuit of quality was acclaimed when their 1992 Grand Reserve Chardonnay won the Avery Trophy for 'Best Chardonnay' at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. This was a huge accomplishment for BC Wines and the Okanagan Valley as a whole. They are also committed to natural farming techniques and are leading the Valley in the transition to organically farmed and certified vineyards. During your visit, experience a seated wine tasting or immerse yourself in an underground cellar tour built into a 60-million-year-old dormant volcano, here you will learn more about their winemaking process and vibrant history. The Terrace Restaurant offers seasonal dining with open-air seating, regionally inspired dishes paired with estate crafted wines and breathtaking views of Okanagan Lake and the Valley.
- Crown & Thieves Winery is the perfect destination for wine lovers who appreciate quality and variety. The concept is like nothing you’ve seen before a new yet old looking, wrecked castle awaits you! The concept is the brainchild of Jason Parkes Customs, the in-house Wine Maker at this location and many others. Imagine a massive cement structure that looks like a castle perched on the side of a mountain. It’s weathered a few good storms, and inside this 4-story castle is a massive tasting room with a full ceiling mural aimed to provoke, walls filled with art, photos of criminals and it wouldn’t be complete without floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with wine. Most basements aren’t meant to be showcased but this one is, boosting a 1920’s era Speakeasy with live performances and hosted events. To top it off, the Angel Share Restaurant offers a range of delicious food options to accompany your beverage of choice on the first outdoor rooftop kitchen in Western Canada. Whether you're looking for a romantic evening or an afternoon with friends, Crown & Thieves Winery has it all!
- Frind Estate Winery is not just any winery, it is the first beachfront winery in North America. Located in West Kelowna, this winery is accessible by boat, car and foot and offers a unique wine tasting experience. Marcus Frind, the founder of the famous dating site 'plenty of fish,' has put his technological expertise into crafting some of the best Okanagan wines. The winery is situated on the historic Bennett Family Estate and offers a friendly menu at Annie's Café & Lounge. From wood-fired pizza to salads, baked goods and more, there's something for everyone. In the summer months, enjoy live music with your family - kids and dogs are welcome too!
- The View Winery is an absolute gem located in the heart of Southeast Kelowna. If you're a wine or cider lover, this is the ultimate destination for you. The winery boasts a 1920's era vintage cellar that offers a truly authentic tasting experience. As you sip on their award-winning cool-climate whites and fruit-forward reds with a touch of spice to them, you can take in views of the valley and vineyards. If cider is more your thing, don't worry - they also make Wards Cider in honour of their apple growing history. With a variety of tours, beverages, and experiences to choose from, The View Winery is the perfect place to step back in time and enjoy some of the best wines and ciders Kelowna has to offer.
- Indigenous World Winery, is the first and only 100% Indigenous family owned and operated winery in West Kelowna. Robert Louie – Chief of the West Bank First Nations and his wife Bernice Louie opened the doors in 2016. They've now expanded their family owned and operated business to include a distillery, Indigenous World Spirits, where they produce vodka, whisky, and gin. The Louies' son, Trenton, is being trained under Jason Parkes to take over the wine making one day. At this location, you can experience art, wine, spirits, and culture all in one place while surrounded by stunning mountain, Okanagan Lake, and Valley views. It's truly a unique destination that showcases the best of indigenous owned and operated businesses found right here in the Okanagan Valley.
Wine Tasting: Tips and Tricks
First and foremost, wine tasting should be fun, but it's also an art that requires practice and patience. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you make the most of your wine tasting experience:
- Start with white wines and then move on to red wines. Red wines will always leave a thicker taste in your mouth so start with light, crisp white wines.
- Look at the wine. Take a visual inspection of the wine under neutral lighting or in front of a white background.
- Smell the wine before you taste it, the aroma can give you clues about the wine's flavor. Our tongues only differentiate between sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The first step in smelling your wine is giving it a good swirl. The swirling releases aromas into the air.
- Take small sips and swirl the wine in your mouth to allow it to coat your palate. The main goal is to let the wine linger in your mouth so that you take a moment to think about it.
- Take notes about the wines you taste, including their flavor, aroma, and texture. This will help build your personal wine preference and perhaps lead you to new wines you hadn't considered.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley offer a unique wine tasting experience that is not to be missed. The region's stunning scenery, warm climate, and excellent wines make it a must-visit destination for wine lovers. With this guide, you can discover the top 10 wineries we recommend in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley and raise your glass to an unforgettable wine tasting experience.