The Kelowna Wine Region

There are over 26 Kelowna wineries not counting those located in West Kelowna. There are wine trails all throughout this beautiful region taking you to vineyards and wineries up into the rolling hills, along the lake shore, up to lake country and on the east bench. You can pick up a Kelowna Wine Trails Guide from Visitor Centers or download the brochure from Tourism Kelowna website at tourismkelowna.com, it includes West Kelowna and Peachland. Some of the oldest and most established wineries can be found in Kelowna. Each winery truly offers a different tasting experience, some have restaurants, some are organic, some offer vineyard tours, some have hobby farms and some offer outdoor concerts.

Something very exciting has just been announced for Kelowna wineries, and that is 3 new Sub Geographical Indications (aka sub-GIs) have been approved within Kelowna. These sub-GIs will distinguish wines with unique growing areas that all have different soil types, climatic conditions and resulting styles of wine. The consistently unique terroir now has a sense of place with special recognition on each bottle. This is a mark of quality and guarantees to consumers, that the wine in the bottle is grown from grapes produced in these Kelowna sub-regions.

The new sub-GIs are; East Kelowna Slopes, Lake Country and South Kelowna Slopes. With over 300 growing degree days in Kelowna, you know you are getting good sunshine ripeness in your fruit. This of course combined with a moderating effect of the lake and the cooling nighttime diurnal range keeps bright acidity and vibrant fruit a balancing part of the grape health equation.

Here is a list of Kelowna wineries:

Sperling Vineyards

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Cedar Creek Winery

St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery

Tantalus Vineyards

Mirabel Winery

Kitsch Wines

Meadow Vista Honey Wines

Spearhead Winery

The Vibrant Vine

Priest Creek Family Estate Winery

The View Winery

Nagging Doubt Winery

 50th Parallel Estate Winery

Gray Monk Estate Winery

Intrigue Wines

Peak Cellars Winery

Ancient Hill Estate Winery

Arrowleaf Cellars

Ex Nihilo Vineyards

Blind Tiger Vineyards

Grizzli Winery

Sandhill Winery

Ricco Bambino

Wayne Gretzky Estate Okanagan

House of Rose Winery

And a little more information on a few Kelowna wineries we think stand out:

Cedar Creek Estate Winery:

This lake side estate is committed to organic farming. They have a program for every bottle purchased they will plant a tree in wildfire-affected areas in BC. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience, this winery provides one of the finest summer concert series in their garden pavilion overlooking sunsets on Okanagan Lake. Their award-winning restaurant “Home Block” restaurant overlooks the lake and offers tantalizing dishes. Vibrant and delicious cool climate wines that you will fall in love with.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery:

One of the most unique wineries in BC being the only Demeter Certified Bio-dynamic vineyard in BC. This winery meets the highest standards of social and environmental impacts. This is family owned since 1986 and they believe in living in harmony with nature. They have a fantastic lakeview restaurant called Summerhill Organic Bistro serving local organic food and veggies from their garden. The wines are nurtured in a way that they can honestly express their surroundings and the deep terroir driven qualities come through in the finished wines. Wines are aged in their pyramid giving special energy to what gets poured into your glass.

O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Winery:

This winery has an incredible view, amazing wines, garden bistro and is known for the best Happy Hour. For $40 you can get a bottle of wine and a pizza! They even make a special lobster pizza. The wines are delicious, and the tasting room experience is worth the 30-minute drive from downtown Kelowna. They are undergoing a massive winery building project which will be one-of-a-kind state of the art facility once finished. You can arrive lakeside by boat and enjoy a waterfront wine tasting experience. Call ahead for that. They also have a log cabin guest house you can book online.

Ex Nihilo Vineyards:

One of the owners, Jeff Harder has been involved in the entertainment industry he even branded one of his wines with rock royalty The Rolling Stones, in a unique collaboration. They offer live music and summer concert series on their large, gorgeous patio. Known for some of the best value unbelievable wines! Jeff is a visionary and has been known to say “I make things happen from out of nothing, and sometimes it’s Chaos”. Their winery restaurant is called Chaos and bookings are recommended. They have a fun tasting room vibe with lots of very cool merchandise. Definitely worth the trip from downtown Kelowna.

Katherine McEachnie, DipWSET
September 2022