The wineries and towns of the Okanagan are strung in a series of clusters up and down the length of the 124-mile long Okanagan Valley. Most of the wineries are family-run operations, harvesting grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as the white varieties that have long done well in the region. The search for more grape varieties is ongoing, as the wide diversity of growing-environments in the Okanagan means that the region is suited to an unusually wide selection of grape varieties.
Plan to visit the region from late spring to early fall, as wineries expect most of their visitors during this time. In the winter, some are closed or open only by appointment. Please note that prices, hours of operation and wine availability can often change. We recommend that you call ahead before you go.
For more wineries worldwide, see our Winery Search.Cedar Creek Estate Winery
Tasting Fee: Free
This Mediterranean-style winery is owned by provincial senator Ross Fitzpatrick, an Okanagan native, who has taken an active role in shaping and preserving the future of the region. Views of the lake from the winery terrace are especially good, and lunch is served daily at the winery's restaurant (from mid-June to mid-September); seasonal dishes (think seared sea scallops and Alberta beef steak) are made with local ingredients.Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
Created by former Vancouver wine merchant Anthony von Mandl, Mission Hill winery is a work of art (reportedly costing $40 million to build), starting with the Marc Chagall tapestry in the winery reception room, and continuing with von Mandl's collection of antique wine-drinking vessels and a cellar blasted from volcanic rock. An amphitheater and outdoor dining terrace offer extraordinary views of the lake. Each dish on chef Michael Batey's menu is prepared with fresh organic ingredients, and the terrace is open for lunch May to September.Quails' Gate Estate Winery
Owners Ben and Tony Stewart are third-generation Okanagan farmers who pioneered the production of Pinot Noir in the region. On the tour, guests visit the former tasting room, housed in a beautifully restored stone-and-wood home built in 1873 by John and Susan Allison, the first Europeans to settle on the valley's west side, for an overview on making wine. The winery's new 4,500-square-foot hospitality center features a tasting bar with self-rinsing spittoons; expect to try Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and unique Zinfandel-like Maréchal Foch, made by Grant Stanley, formerly of New Zealand's Ata Rangi. Lunch and dinner is served at the winery's Old Vines restaurant, which serves local seafood and other dishes made with organic produce. It's been Green Table certified and adheres to the Oceanwise standards for sustainable seafood.Elephant Island Orchard Wines Ltd.
Tasting Fee: Free
Bordeaux-trained winemaker Christine Leroux makes wine on Miranda and Del Halladay's Naramata farm from Okanagan Valley and British Columbian fruit, including pears, apples, apricots, cherries, black currants, raspberries and crab apples. The food-friendly wines are made both dry and sweet, and the winery's limited production and distribution makes visiting here a must for those who want to sample the wines.Nk'Mip Cellars
Nk'Mip was launched in a partnership deal between the Osoyoos Indian Band and Vincor International in 2002. The 18,000-square-foot winery is located at the valley's southernmost tip, on a 1,200-acre parcel of land, and the area's dry, desert landscape feels more like Sedona, Ariz., than British Columbia. Some of the best red grape vineyards in the entire region are located on Osoyoos land. A desert heritage visitor's center is also on the property. For lunch, the winery's Terrace restaurant serves Canadian Aborigine-inspired cuisine centered on local game; try the caribou link sausage, the restaurant's specialty. For those who want to hang around for a few days, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa and a nine-hole golf course are right next door.
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