Top Wineries in Osoyoos

The Best Wineries in Osoyoos

By <a>{authorName}</a> on {date} in Food for Thought

Osoyoos is the perfect spot for a wine-tasting vacation in sunny lakeside paradise! We’ve put together a list of the best wineries in the area to visit.

Known for their robust reds and full-flavoured whites, wineries in the Osoyoos area are quickly gaining international attention.
Visitors come from all over to enjoy the semi-arid desert climate, warm lake, and excellent resorts in the area. Osoyoos is also becoming increasingly popular as a destination for wine-based vacations, drawing crowds who come solely to tour the nearby award-winning wineries and sample some of the best wines in the region. Wine tours and tastings are perfect for all kinds of occasions, and are growing increasingly popular with couples looking for a – especially stagette parties.
Although the wine industry in the Okanagan region is still relatively young, many critics have already praised the vineyards here for their innovative products. Two particularly productive spots are the Golden Mile and Black Sage Bench areas, located just north of the town of Osoyoos. Both are great places to begin your journey through B.C. wine country.

A young industry turning heads
The first grapevines were planted in the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country in the 1970s, and included an array of experimental French hybrids. By the 90s the industry had blossomed and today there are 29 wineries in the Oliver-Osoyoos region, with more than 5,000 acres under cultivation.
The industry continues to grow, producing world-class wines and earning plenty of acclaim.

Ideal conditions for amazing wine
The South Okanagan region receives more than 240 hours of sunshine per month during the peak summer season. Plus, areas like the Black Sage Bench provide the optimal conditions for late-ripening premium grapes that thrive in arid conditions. It’s a recipe for one spectacular wine-producing region.
In and around Osoyoos you’ll find a mix of both large-scale commercial wineries and smaller, cozier estates that are full of character. The vineyards themselves are equally as diverse, with a mix of plantings that range from Pinot Noir and Tempranillo to Riesling.
Here are a few of our favorite vineyards in the Osoyoos area:

1. Nk’Mip Cellars

Nk’Mip Cellars is a one-of-a-kind winery and is North America’s first Aboriginal owned and operated vineyard and winery.
The Nk’Mip (pronounced in-ka-meep) vineyard, of which the Osoyoos Indian Band owns 340 acres, is a veteran compared to most of its grape-growing neighbours in the Okanagan. The Nk’Mip vineyard was first planted in 1968 and the winery’s Cellar’s Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir have won a landslide of accolades. In 2011 and 2012, these wines won more than 120 international awards!
Overlooking Osoyoos Lake, the valley and the surrounding mountains, the unbeatable view from Nk’Mip Cellars adds to the experience of tasting these award-winning wines.
The winery’s interior is spacious, and beautifully designed to be bright and inviting. The native art and artifacts on display remind guests of this winery’s cultural history. Guided tours of this huge facility (18,000 sq.ft) are offered daily. Dine on the outdoor patio and enjoy native-inspired cuisine while taking in the view.
Details

  • Winery Hours:
    • Spring: 9am – 6pm
    • Summer: 9am – 9pm
    • Fall: 9am – 8pm
    • Winter: 9am – 5pm

The Cellar’s patio for dining is open from May through October. Daily guided tours of this huge facility (18,000 sq.ft) are offered.
Location
1400 Rancher Creek Road (Spirit Ridge Resort)
1-250-495-2985
www.nkmipcellars.com

2. LaStella Winery

Inspired by Italy, LaStella Winery is a gorgeous taste of Europe in the heart of the Canadian Okanagan.
At LaStella, they believe in celebrating “la Dolce Vita”, namely the enjoyment of good food, fabulous wine, soulful music and the rest of life’s blessings. Their proprietary wines are named after Italian musical notes, such as Allegretto, Vivace, Fortissimo and Maestoso. We’re particularly fond of their wine shop and tasting room with its beautiful Venetian hand-blown light fixtures. And, according to John Schreiner, wine connoisseur LaStella’s Vivace 2010 “is a Pinot Grigio that nails the Italian style precisely”, which to us means it goes nicely with a lovely grilled fish on the patio back at your vacation rental!
With a romantic location near Osoyoos Lake, this winery is absolutely beautiful! Along with their “sister winery” (Le Vieux Pin), LaStella has about 50 acres of vineyards in the Osoyoos Lake district and Oliver’s Golden Mile and Black Sage Bench. LaStella practices low-input viticulture and uses deficit irrigation. In other words, their yields are low, which allows them to concentrate the flavours in the fruit. LaStella doesn’t believe in being a wine producer that is focused on quantity. Their approach works marvelously and has brought them many awards.
Details

  • Tasting Room Hours:
    • Spring/Summer 10am – 7pm
    • Fall/Winter: 11am – 5pm Weekdays

Contact the winery directly for an appointment on the weekends.
Location
8123 148th Avenue, Osoyoos
1-250-495-8180
www.lastella.ca

3. Moon Curser Vineyards

Moon Curser’s name stems from a famous story connected with the history of Osoyoos.
During the gold rush, hundreds of criminal-minded miners smuggled gold across the border at night, obviously trying to avoid being discovered by customs agents. Often, the light of the moon would work against them, illuminating their shady activities. Hence, the name Moon Curser. The names of some of Moon Curser wines reflect this rich history, such as “Dead of Night” or “Afraid of the Dark”.
Based on their unique branding and their sense of humour, the Moon Curser people strike us as quirky guys who joke and take life lightly, but don’t mess with sub-standard product. They grow luscious grapes and make unbeatable wines. This winery has won many international awards for their “contraband”, as they refer to their wines, and they are constantly featured in the media.
Details

  • Open May to October: 10am – 5pm

Location
3628 Highway 3 East, Osoyoos
www.mooncurser.com

4. Black Sage Vineyard

Located at the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, the Black Sage Bench offers perfect conditions for the types of late-ripening premium grapes that thrive in hot and arid conditions.
The soil, climate and light combine here to create exceptional growing conditions. Black Sage is a tier of wines from the very reputable Sumac Ridge Estate Winery. The wines are crafted by master winemaker Jason James, who is passionate about creating superb flavours with the right vines planted in the right location.
Black Sage Vineyard wines are made in small lots, so that they can be carefully monitored. For example, their superb 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in French and American oak for more than 12 months and offers bold flavours of currant and black cherry. If you love dessert wines, try the Pipe 2008, which is a Port-style wine with decadent flavours of fig, blackberry and cherry. With such great quality wines, you are sure to find one that you love at Black Sage Vineyard.
Details
Black Sage Vineyard is an offshoot of Sumac Ridge, which is open:

  • Spring: 10am – 5pm
  • Summer: 9:30am – 6pm
  • Fall: 10am- 5pm

Location
The winery is nestled in the Southern Okanagan, near the town of Oliver on Highway 97.
P.O. Box 307, 17403 Highway 97N
Summerland, BC V0H1Z0 Canada
1-250-494-0451
www.blacksagevineyard.ca

5. Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, a beautiful caramel-coloured building with a small viewing tower, is perched on a hill, keeping watch over infinite vineyards and a calm river below. With its elevated position and stunning architecture, Burrowing Owl resembles as a modern-day castle. Of course the royalty housed here are not people, but barrels of extraordinary wine.
If there is one winery on the Black Sage Bench that is renowned far and wide, it’s Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, which receives more than 100,000 visitors every year. It’s no secret that Burrowing Owl creates some of the best wine in the world, with a mile-long list of awards to prove it. The name Burrowing Owl stems from the adorable owls that have sadly become endangered species. The winery donates its tasting fees to burrowing owl conservation and rehabilitation organizations, helping to raise $50,000 per year. To the delight of guests, their dollar stretches to both sampling glasses of renowned wine and aiding in the conservation of these birds!
Details

  • Hours
    • Spring: 10am – 5pm
    • Summer & Fall: 10am – 6pm

Location
500 Burrowing Owl Pl
Oliver, BC V0H 1T1 Canada
(250) 498-0620
www.burrowingowlwine.ca

6. Desert Hills Estate Winery

Desert Hills Estate Winery is owned by three brothers who are highly passionate about the wine business. Garnering over 400 awards, their passion lies as an undernote in their wine selection, making their bold flavours stand out above the rest.
The Toor brothers first learned to excel in this business by growing grapes for several decades for other vineyard owners. Their winemaker boasts 45 years of experience. Under his expertise, Desert Hills holds their red wines back for three years (longer than most wineries) before releasing them to the public. This means one thing — exquisite wine that is wholeheartedly ready to be consumed upon purchase.
Details

  • Open everyday from 10:00am to 5:30pm
  • Tours and tastings are available from 10am to 4:30pm, but guests interested should call for pricing and options
  • Tastings are available by donation to a charity of Desert Hills Estate Winery’s choice

Location
4078 Black Sage Rd
Oliver, B.C. V0H 1T1
(250) 498-6664
www.deserthills.ca

7. Church & State

Featuring a stunning wood ceiling, lustrous concrete floors and an ultra sleek bar, this chic space resembles a trendy city lounge. This state-of-the-art facility gives guests a feel of tasting rooms of the future. Massive windows behind the bar offer a view of dozens of wine barrels in storage. Sliding glass doors open to the vineyard and a comfortable outdoor sitting area. Although this beautiful tasting bar is what initially demands your attention, it’s Church & State’s award-winning wine that turns visitors into lifelong fans.
Kim Pullen, the owner of Church & State, is a former tax lawyer and fish farm entrepreneur, who eventually turned his dream of owning a winery into a reality through years of hard work and dedication. In 2010, he opened the contemporary tasting bar that dazzles visitors today. Impressively, he designed the fabulous space himself.
Details

  • Church & State closes during the winter months, and reopens for the summer; please check their website for up-to-date opening dates.

Location
Address: 4516 Ryegrass Road
Oliver, BC, V0H 1T1
250-498-2700

8. Silver Sage Winery

Take a wine tour at Silver Sage winery and you’ll be met with a unique personality and light-heartedness. Guests are instructed that “your glass of wine should be as big as your problems”. The owner herself mischievously warns that the wine tastes like “someone slapping you and kissing you at the same time”, to brace guests for the hint of chili pepper notes about to hit their palettes.
Behind the curtain of jokes is a passionate woman who worked hard to manifest her dream. Anna Manola and her husband Victor (who unfortunately passed away in an accident in 2002) emigrated from Romania in 1996 and bought land in the prime grape-growing valley between Osoyoos and Oliver. They worked hard, clearing and planting a vineyard. The name, Silver Sage, stems from the bounty of sagebrush that originally covered the land.
Anna and Victor were both raised in families with ample experience in growing grapes and making wine. Although just one third of the size of British Columbia, Romania is the 11th largest wine-producing country in the world. Wine is an integral part of the Manolas’ history and culture. Wine is who they are.
Details

  • Open daily 10am-5:30pm

Location
32032 87th Avenue
Oliver, BC, V0H 1T0
(250) 498-0310
www.silversagewinery.com

Visit Osoyoos Wineries!

Planning an extensive wine vacation in this region is simple, and highly recommended for those who dub themselves wine connoisseurs or simply want to learn more about wine and winemaking. Visiting the different wineries is a great way to view the stunning Osoyoos region, while treating yourself to some of the best wine selections in all of Canada and gaining first-hand experience in how it’s made. If you would like to take a wine vacation to Osoyoos, or simply would like more information, call our Destination Experts on 1-877-902-1616. They are available 7 days a week and would be more than happy to tell you more about our fantastic accommodations in the Osoyoos and Okanagan Lake area.