In Canada, the Okanagan Valley wine region is located alongside the beautiful Okanagan Lake that meanders down through the mountains, and alongside some of the most scenic vineyards you’ve ever seen.
This region is a fantastic place to visit in the summer when the greenery is at its height and the vines are packed with ripe fruit. We’ve put together a list of the best wineries in Okanagan to visit for a wine tasting trip in this beautiful region.
Taking a drive along the river will provide you access to some of the best Okanagan wineries with welcoming wine rooms and restaurants. You can make a plan ahead of time to visit your new favorites, or you can wing it and stop in at a tasting room whenever you see a sign. There are plenty!
For more great wine regions, see our Discover Wine series, which focuses on regions of the world you can visit for wine tasting.
About the Okanagan Valley Wineries
In British Columbia, about 400 kilometers east of Vancouver, you’ll find the second-largest wine growing region in Canada – the Okanagan Valley. The wineries and vineyards of this region are spread along the 70-mile length of the pristine Lake Okanagan.
The warmer southern end and cooler northern end lead to many different terroirs and microclimates, so the wine produced in the region is also very diverse. Many different varietals can flourish in the range of climates and over 60 are currently being grown.
For wine tourists, the Okanagan Valley offers a unique wine tasting experience, along with some of the world’s most incredible views and a decidedly laid-back atmosphere.
read more on Canada
How to Get To Okanagan Valley
Driving is a good way to get there, as you’ll need a car once you arrive. There is an airport in Kelowna, though tickets are on the expensive side because it’s a small regional airport. You’ll need to rent a car once you arrive, so you can get around, unless you book guided wine tours.
The nearest International airport is Vancouver or Seattle. From Vancouver, take BC-1 to 97C. If driving from Seattle, there are two ways to go. Up I-5 North to BC-1, then onto 97C into Summerland, or I-90 to 97N, which leads to Oliver in the south, where you can start your tasting.
Book a Wine Tour
There is a hop on hop off shuttle that stops at various wineries, if you don’t want to drive yourself. We also recommend this private guided wine tour. You can also go with this private 3-hour tour where you can tack on a 2-hour dinner as well, so you don’t have to worry about driving at all.
If you do drive yourself to wineries and don’t have a designated driver, you should plan to sip and spit anything you try. Just ask for a spittoon when you arrive.
Where to Go Wine Tasting in Okanagan Valley
There are many distinct areas of the Okanagan Valley for wine tasting. Osoyoos and Oliver are farthest south and have a concentration of smaller wineries in a rural area with winding roads.
It has a hot, dry climate that produces some big, peppery Syrahs. The area between Penticton and Peachland has a blend of small and large wineries, and many of them are set along the lake with nice outdoor terraces and incredible views.
The wines start to lighten up, with less bold concentrated flavors as the climate changes to a more moderate temperature. Kelowna is a more urban setting and has the largest wineries and less of a wine country feel.
There are a couple of small tasting rooms mixed in, too. All of the wineries listed below are highly rated and are good anchor wineries to add to your list.
As you drive around these areas, however, you’ll see that there are literally dozens of wineries that you can stop at along the way. I wouldn’t recommend making appointments or creating a set itinerary that you have to stick with, because you’ll inevitably become enamored with a winery or two along the way. Spontaneity will pay off.
Also listen to recommendations you may pick up along the way. The locals always know the next best place.
Borrowing Owl is one of the prettiest wineries in the area, with its gorgeous winery, restaurant and guest house that is absolutely surrounded with vines. It is family-owned since 1993 and is very welcoming to guests. Our favorite wines are the Athene and the Cabernet Franc. You can taste 5 current vintage wines or try a library tasting to see how these wines have aged over the years.
If you like Syrah and bold peppery wines, you can’t miss the Coyote Bowl Series Syrah at Church & State. The modern winery sits on 85 acres of vineyards with an incredible view. Enjoy a tasting inside looking into the barrel room or a flight on the patio looking across to the Golden Mile. Reservations are recommended.
If you’re looking for an all-in weekend away, Hester Creek has beautiful villa suites and a restaurant, Terrafina, along with their tasting room. It doesn’t really get any better than that. The views of the vineyards are very much worth waking up to. Choose your own wine experience from enjoying a complimentary tasting at the bar to a Signature Tasting of our premier wines.
This winery has a couple of different tasting experiences to choose from. You can enjoy a seated tasting of their current selections, or do a special tasting in varietal-specific glasses to see how the wine changes when tasted in the appropriate stemware, or do a black glass tasting to see how well you can identify flavors and aromas.
Naramata (southeastern side of the lake):
True to name, the Lake Breeze Winery is a great place to visit particularly when the patio is open and you can soak up the lake breeze. They are open for tastings on Friday and Saturday. The Patio Restaurant is open for lunch starting in April, for the season. Reservations for both are recommended.
Another gorgeous winery to visit! Bench 1775 is located on the southern shore of Lake Okanagan along the Naramata Bench, and it’s named after it’s address at 1775 Naramata Road. Sitting on the patio, it feels like you’re just at the water’s edge. Their Syrah is a Gold Medal Winner.
Founded in 1993, Poplar Grove Winery is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench. It’s family owned and locally operated. They’re known for their award winning Legacy wine, made with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
Penticton to Peachland
Painted Rock Estate Winery produces ultra-premium, terroir driven Okanagan wines, both single varietals and a signature Bordeaux blend that is representative of the amazing potential of the Okanagan Valley and the vineyard. The tasting room is located on a picturesque bluff overlooking the estate vineyards and Skaha Lake. It’s closed during the winter.
Also located right along the lake, the Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards tasting room is a great place to enjoy the sun. You can do a tasting inside or on their patio, overlooking the amazing view. Guests will enjoy a 20-minute overview of the Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards, including a tasting of 5 wines.
Not to sound like a broken record here, but Quail’s Gate’s view is simply gorgeous. You can stop in for a tasting, but it’s best to have a reservation. You can try the current releases or the collector’s tasting. Their Old Vines Restaurant is an all season farm-to-table culinary destination. The dining room and patio is open for lunch, afternoon and dinner.
You may have seen the photos of Summerhill Pyramid’s famous sparkling wine bottle. It’s indicative of the fact that this winery is Canada’s largest organic winery and premier producer of sparkling wine. They also had a restaurant and patio with amazing views. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as it can get really busy there.
Mission Hill Family Estate is world renowned for its award winning wines, stunning setting and architecture, and Terrace Restaurant. If you’re looking for something very special, be sure to make a reservation here. Book for lunch and a premium tasting and you won’t be disappointed. Just be sure to book well in advance and expect high prices.
We are situated on the eastern slopes of the Okanagan Valley, overlooking the shores of Lake Okanagan and the City of Kelowna. It was originally planted in 1927 under another name and is known as one of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in British Columbia. Their Chardonnay is so good it often sells out, and they even make some Old Vines Riesling.
Where to Stay in Okanagan
Because the region is so spread out (spanning nearly 100 miles north to south) there are a number of different areas to stay in.
The more popular areas are Oliver in the south, Penticton and Summerland (about halfway up) and Kelowna on the north end. Where you stay will depend on what type of experience you’re after.
If you want to get around to as many of the wineries as possible, then staying in Penticton or Summerland is a good choice because it’s halfway between the two areas.
- Summerland Waterfront Resort is a perfect home base. The condo-style rooms are very nice and stocked with everything you’ll need. From there, Kelowna and Oliver are both a 40 min drive. Book a Stay | Read Reviews
- The Inn At Therapy Vineyards is tucked away amongst the winding roads, vineyards, and mountains of the Naramata Bench. Book a Stay | Read Reviews
- A View of the Lake B&B in West Kelowna is also right on the water and the rooms have gorgeous views from their balconies. Book a Stay | Read Reviews
Many of the wineries in the area also offer a few rooms, so if you want a true vineyard experience, check with a few of the wineries to see if they have rooms.
If you have a couple of days and don’t want to do a lot of driving each day, start at the north or south end and work your way up each day.
It’ll require a different hotel each night, but it will give you more time to see each town and enjoy more wineries. We drove in from Seattle, so we chose to enter at the south point in Oliver and make our way slowly up to Kelowna. Then we drove back to Seattle from the Summerland side.
Where to Eat in Okanagan
Many of the wineries in Okanagan Valley have restaurants attached, and are great places to stop for a fancy lunch and dinner. We plan meals with incredible views at winery restaurants as many times as possible during our stay.
We love Burrowing Owl’s restaurant Sonora Room for a leisurely lunch overlooking the vineyards. It’s the epitome of an “affordable luxury” lunch.
Nk’mip also has a nice terrace restaurant called The Patio for light dishes and snacks.
Located near the Summerland Waterfront Resort is a fantastic little place called Local Lounge that’s a good spot to retire to at the end of a long day of tasting.
At Sumac Ridge Winery, you’ll find the Cellar Door Bistro. In Naramata, you’ll want to grab a table for lunch at the beautiful Patio at Lake Breeze. It’s worth making a reservation for!
In West Kelowna, Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate is a great choice and has a great view from the patio overlooking the lake.
In Kelowna, The Terrace at Mission Ridge is the spot to be. You won’t soon forget the panoramic views. It’s a true wine-country experience.
Tours You May Enjoy
The Okanagan Valley wine region is vast and somewhat overwhelming to first timers, but it’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever go wine tasting (and that’s saying a lot!).
Hopefully this guide has helped you find and visit some of the best Okanagan wineries. What are your favorite wineries in Okanagan Valley?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Like this post? Why not save it to Pinterest?
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.