The Okanagan is known as Canada’s wine country, and with so many wineries to choose from it’s hard to know which ones to visit during your vacation. That is why we have made our guide to the best Okanagan wineries.
The Okanagan Valley is Canada’s premier wine-growing region. There are more than 200 vineyards in the area, making it nearly impossible to even scrape the surface with just one trip. There’s even a long list of what are regarded as the best Okanagan wineries, but we have compiled a short guide to our favourites making the decision-process that much easier.
The sun-drenched vineyards and remarkable soil quality create the ideal growing conditions for outstanding grapes, resulting in world-class wines. The Okanagan attracts winemakers from across the globe, although many of the most successful wineries have deep roots in local communities.
Okanagan wineries offer their guests far more than wine tastings! Many local wine estates are also home to acclaimed restaurants that have earned accolades for their stunning views and fine food. You’ll also find some wineries with quirkier attractions, like SpierHead winery’s chipping mat for golfers.
And of course, vineyard tours are often the main attraction. There are a number of different tour operators in the Okanagan Valley, which makes it easy to explore different estates. Take the time to visit a few vineyards and experience the difference between the small boutique wineries and some of the larger producers in the area. There’s a nice mix of both smaller and larger producers in the Okanagan, and here are just a few of our favourites:
One of Kelowna’s flagship attractions, this winery has achieved notoriety for its iconic 12-storey bell tower and sweeping views of lush vineyards with Okanagan Lake in the background. Tour underground cellars and sip fine wines by the glass while taking in the stunning scenery.
Wander through on-site vineyards and then take a closer look at the intricate architectural details showcased at the property. Curved entry arches mimic the hills and mountain tops in the horizon.
Afterwards, settle into Mission Hill’s acclaimed Terrace Restaurant, which Travel + Leisure magazine called “one of the top five winery restaurants in the world.” This elegant, open-air establishment overlooks rows of vineyards that stretch down towards the edge of the lake. Savor the view while sampling the restaurant’s locally produced fare alongside a glass of their renowned Oculus Bordeaux-style wine.
Mission Hill provides an experience that goes well beyond fine wine and cuisine. The outdoor amphitheater plays host to a popular summer concert series, where performers like Lyle Lovett, the Gipsy Kings and Leann Rimes have taken the stage in the past.
1730 Mission Hill Road
West Kelowna, B.C.
1 250 768 7611
Built for purpose, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery operates from a striking custom-built facility. Okanagan Crush Pad is celebrated as as being a leader in the craft wine sphere, cultivating a niche market known as the “new Okanagan”. The winery’s state-of-the-art building echos this, with it’s concrete structure and concrete tanks in the wine cellar, which are sure to impress visitors.
Using innovative techniques and implementing industry-leading production equipment, Okanagan Crush Pad is breaking down barriers so that neighbouring vineyards can ensure their grapes are being transformed by one of the best facilities around. Okanagan Crush Pad create their own unique and flavourful wines, as well as produce the wines for Haywire and Narrative Vineyards. A visit here is all about learning what it takes to create a state-of-the-art facility that produces top-quality wines.
16576 Fosbery Road
1 250 494 4445 ext. 1
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.
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. Dine on the outdoor patio and enjoy native-inspired cuisine while taking in the view.
The Cellar’s patio for dining is open from May through October. Daily guided tours of this huge facility are offered.
1400 Rancher Creek Road (Spirit Ridge Resort)
Calona Vineyards is B.C.’s original winery and a pioneer of what has become one of the province’s defining industries.
Founded in 1932, Calona is situated between Knox Mountain and downtown Kelowna. The location is outstanding: Calona Vineyards is just a short distance from some of the city’s most beautiful hiking areas, as well as hip downtown shops and restaurants. Step inside the unique cellar-like tasting room and sip some award-winning wines, or browse the impressive boutique store which is stocked full of antiques.
Calona Vineyards crushes about 1500 tonnes of B.C. grapes every year and has developed decades-long relationships with both wine producers and the local Okanagan communities. Their Artist Series, for example, showcases the work of local artists on the labels of each bottle.
Experimentation and innovative production techniques have helped this winery capture an enormous list of national and international awards. If you visit Calone, try one of their private reserve, desert-style ice wines, which have been particularly popular among connoisseurs.
1125 Richter Street
Moon Curser’s name stems from a famous story connected with the history of Osoyoos.
With their unique branding and sense of humour, the Moon Curser team have a philosophy of keeping things light-hearted, but at the same time taking their work seriously and not settling for sub-standard product. They grow luscious grapes and make unbeatable wines. Moon Curser has won many international awards for their “contraband” (as they refer to their wines) and they are constantly featured in the media.
Pay this winery a visit and enjoy wine tasting while looking out over the Moon Curser’s vineyard and beautiful Osoyoos Lake. While the building boasts Mediterranean character, there is nothing flashy or exuberant about the place – other than the stunning Okanagan views. Moon Curser doesn’t need a fancy facility to impress – their high-quality wines speak for themselves. In fact, Moon Curser is only one of three wineries in the region that make a wine from the rare Carmenere grape. They also grow and use a variety of other uncommon grapes like Tempranillo, Petite Verdot, and Tannat.
Moon Curser consistently impress on all tasting-levels from a vineyard with lake views, extremely friendly service, and a guaranteed top-quality glass of wine.
3628 Highway 3 East
1 250 495 5161
The Okanagan has some of the best wine in all of Canada, and is the perfect destination for a warm, wine-tasting vacation! Imagine sitting out on outdoor patio, looking out over a lake in the sun, and sipping on a fine glass of wine. If you would like this experience, then look no further! We’re more than happy to assist you in visiting the best Okanagan wineries.
If you have any questions or would like to book your accommodation, call our Destination Experts on 1.877.902.1616. They are available 7 days a week. Additionally, you can view our selection of vacation rentals in Kelowna, Osoyoos and Vernon online.