Trip Ideas

Kelowna Wine Region

Explore the Kelowna wine region, where vineyards blanket the hills on either side of Okanagan Lake. Tour the wineries, visit a gallery in the artsy lakeside city of Kelowna, cycle mountain trails, relax on a beach, enjoy a round of golf, or linger over a vineyard-view lunch at a local winery.


49.886686,-119.496514| 49.869415,-119.566326

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12 49.886686,-119.496514| 49.869415,-119.566326
MAP LEGEND
  1. Downtown Kelowna
  2. West Kelowna

Kelowna Wineries & Highlights

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

In Kelowna, check out Summerhill Pyramid Winery where organic wines are aged in a four-story-high replica of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. At CedarCreek Estate Winery, the big-bodied, award-winning reds pair beautifully with the chevre produced by the goats up the road at Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan.

Try the Riesling at the eco-friendly Tantalus Vineyards, stop and smell the flowers at Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm, then sample the fresh-baked goodies at Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads.

Across the lake at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, sip some chardonnay under the 12-story bell tower or catch a play at the outdoor amphitheatre. The nearby Quails’ Gate Winery has a historic 1873 log home and a vineyard-view patio; it’s known for its terrific Pinot Noir and dark, old-vines Marechal Foch. Watch for little birds that give the winery its name.

If you are looking for some interesting shopping, bring home a piece of artistic Kelowna from the Kelowna Cultural District, six lakeside blocks of galleries and boutiques, or browse the one-of-a-kind shops in funky Pandosy Village.

And here’s a tip: if you taste a wine you like, buy it; chances are you won’t find it at home. Pick up a bottle – or a case– from any of the more than 90 local wineries at the VQA Wine Shop at the BC Wine Museum in downtown Kelowna. You can learn about local wine history at the same time.

Kelowna Dining

You are in for a culinary treat in the Okanagan, where chefs pair local vintages with the best of the regional bounty. Or enjoy the hearty steaks, ribs and made-in-house pasta at Cabana Bar and Grille. RauDZ Regional Table does a gourmet take on comfort classics, such as a grilled salmon BLT. Visit a winery restaurant, like Terrace at Mission Hill, for fantastic views of the valley along with award-winning gourmet fare.

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Wine Tasting. Photo Credit: © iStockphoto.com

Taste the sun in every sip at the Okanagan Wine Festivals. Each year, four wine fests (one for each season) draw thousands of visitors to tastings, dinners, seminars and parties. The big one is the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival (October), with more than 165 events throughout the valley.

Accommodation

Lake Okanagan Resort, a sprawling waterfront getaway, offers an onsite 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, a day spa, a marina and more. In West Kelowna, the Cove Lakeside Resort has luxurious suites and the option of swimming in Okanagan Lake or the outdoor swimming pools, complete with slides and hot tubs.

Transportation

Kelowna is about an hour’s flight from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary or Edmonton. On arrival, you can rent a car for your winery tour, or sip, swirl and let someone else do the driving. Several Kelowna-based companies offer half and full-day wine tours, some with sommeliers as guides. Try Distinctly Kelowna Tours or Wine Your Way Tours. You can even visit wineries from the air on a wine tour with Valhalla Helicopters. Prefer to drive? It’s a scenic 4.5-hour drive from Vancouver, 8 from Calgary or 6.5 from Seattle.