From the bigger, more commercial wineries with impressive structures to the smaller, more modest boutiques, here are our picks for some of the best places to stop in the Okanagan Valley from north to south.
Cedar Creek Estate Winery
5445 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna
Recently acquired by Von Mandl Family Estates (owner of Mission Hill Family Estate), this gorgeous winery in Kelowna’s Mission area is the home of some of our favourite BC wines. Winemaker Darryl Brooker continues to turn heads with impressive examples of Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah, all delivered at accessible price points.
Wine not to be missed: Cedar Creek Shiraz Cabernet 2010 $23
1670 Dehart Road, Kelowna
The Riesling grape variety put Tantalus on the map and continues to show its outstanding pedigree vintage to vintage with complex and invigorating examples made in limited quantities. Forget what you think you know about Riesling and experience the majestic nature of this variety from some of BC’s oldest vineyards, planted in 1927.
Wine not to be missed: Tantalus “Old Vines” Riesling 2011 $35
Quails’ Gate Winery
3303 Boucherie Road, West Kelowna
Quails’ Gate Winery is a remarkable place that truly shows off the beauty of the Okanagan as well as the calibre of wines that are produced in the valley. With a view of the lake, well-manicured vineyards, and the world-class cuisine at their Old Vines Restaurant, why not press pause and enjoy a glass of Rosé on the patio?
Wine not to be missed: Quails’ Gate Rosé 2013 $16 / Chenin Blanc 2012 $19
#1 – 9576 Cedar Avenue, Summerland
Away from the massive wineries with tour busses lined-up, there are “garagistes,” a term originating from artisan wine producers in Bordeaux who make small amounts of fine wine focused on quality rather than volume or tradition. Stop in at TH Wines for a true Okanagan “garagiste” experience and taste Owner/Winemaker Tyler Harlton’s charming wines made by hand. More often than not you may be poured a flight by Tyler himself.
Wine not to be missed: TH Wines “Unfined and Unfiltered” Pinot Noir 2012 $30
Meyer Family Vineyards
4287 McLean Creek Road, Okanagan Falls
Welcome to the home of some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made in BC. Meyer Family Vineyards focuses on the two varietals and does great job of showcasing Okanagan terroir while remaining stylistically conscious of Burgundy.
Wine not to be missed: Meyer Family Vineyards “Tribute” Chardonnay 2012 $30
Blue Mountain Winery
2385 Allendale Road, Okanagan Falls
Previously by appointment only, Blue Mountain now has a daily tasting bar featuring both their exquisite sparkling and still wines. Known for making premium quality Traditional/Champagne Method sparkling wine, this is a stop on the Okanagan wine trail that will not disappoint.
Wine not to be missed: Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs 2006 $40
Le Vieux Pin Winery
5496 Black Sage Road, Oliver
A place where French winemaking tradition converges with Okanagan fruit, the wines made by Le Vieux Pin are some of the most elegant and age-worthy examples in the valley. Enter the charming French country house, taste a flight of wines and be sure to pick up a bottle or two to add to your collection.
Wine not to be missed: Le Vieux Pin Syrah 2010 $45 / Vaila Rosé 2012 $22
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
537 Tinhorn Creek Road, Oliver
Tinhorn Creek is the perfect close to a day of wine tasting. Quench your thirst with a taste of the refreshing 2013 Pinot Gris and make your way to Miradoro Restaurant, recently named Best Winery Restaurant 2014 by Vancouver Magazine. Panoramic views of the Southern Okanagan overlooking vineyards and sagebrush will be a nice accompaniment to Manuel Ferreira’s delectable cuisine and a glass of your favourite Tinhorn wine. The winery also hosts a “Summer Concert Series” in their outdoor amphitheatre; be sure to check their website for listings.
Wine not to be missed: Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2013 $19
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Cover image from: blog.lulus.com