Lifestyle West Blog

Okanagan Wine Tours: Finding Variety in Your Varietals

May 17, 2016

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Love Okanagan wine tours but looking for a way to make it new again? Discover new wine trails and pairings to spice up this popular Kelowna activity.


For years, Kelowna has been at the centre of world-class Okanagan wine tours. Our rolling hills are threaded with more than 60 different varietals and an ever-growing number of wineries (120 at last count) to suit oenophiles of every type—from family vineyard to international award-winning wineries for the masses. If you’re looking for ways to fall in love with the Kelowna wine scene all over again, try a variation on the wine trail.


Boutique Wineries vs. Large Estate Wineries

Boutique wineries are often referred to as the Okanagan’s ‘hidden gems.’ These smaller production vineyards are home to artisanal, specialized wines. These often family-run vineyards offer an intimate experience and a more in-depth look at the process of winemaking.

Some popular boutique Okanagan wineries include:

  • Intrigue Wines
  • Le Vieux Pin
  • Silkscarf Winery
  • Serendipity Winery

Or maybe you’d really like to see a winery that’s more established—revisit a favourite or try a must-see your friends are always talking about. These wineries leaving nothing to chance to ensure you enjoy, learn, taste and stock your own cellar to your heart’s content—often at all hours during busy season and amidst dozens, even hundreds, of other oenophiles.

The ‘big’ guys are also sought-after stops because of their decadent restaurants, where award-winning culinary teams pair gourmet fare with house vintages.

Which large-scale Okanagan wineries are a must-see?

  • Mission Hill Estate Winery
  • Gray Monk
  • Quails’ Gate
  • CedarCreek Estate Winery


Location, Location, Location

Around here, vineyards in the same area create what we call ‘wine trail’. Okanagan wine tours often take wine-lovers on one of these trails to give you a chance to visit a mix of types of wineries sharing a postal code.

The Westside Wine Trail, for example, is close to Kelowna accommodations and includes 11 wineries along an 11km trail. Because these wineries are grouped together, you spend less time travelling and more time exploring.  

For more information about what this exciting wine trail has to offer, take a look at our post Okanagan Wine Tours: Exploring the Westside Wine Trail.


Pairs and Pears

Expand your knowledge of varietals by visiting some of the vineyards’ culinary destinations. After your day exploring Okanagan wine tours, leisurely experience first-class meals with perfectly paired wines while taking in sublime views that the Okanagan is famous for. These stylish restaurants will enrich your knowledge of wine with a culinary taste test, perfectly capping off your wine-soaked afternoon.

Consider some of these A-list restaurants in your quest for perfect pairings:

  • Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate
  • Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery
  • Sunset Organic Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl


Out with the Old & In with the New? 

Among the 120 wineries nestled in the Okanagan Valley, a really great mix of both well-established vineyards and bright, emerging wineries cater to the wine connoisseur in everyone.

Picture yourself relaxing on the patio, a glass of crisp chardonnay in your hand while taking in the magnificent lake views at Calona Winery, which boasts the title of B.C.’s first winery. Or imagine telling your friends that you were one of the first people to visit Kelowna’s newest Tuscany-inspired vineyard, Grizzli Winery. Whether you prefer the rich history of a deep-rooted estate or the fresh beginnings of a new up-and-coming winery, Kelowna has it all.


When searching for Kelowna hotels’ deals that combine Okanagan wine tours with fantastic accommodations, call the BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites: 1-888-860-1212

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