You can’t swing a grapevine in the lands around Kelowna without hitting a winery that’s well worth your time.

In fact, there are so many Kelowna Wineries to choose from it can be seriously intimidating if you’re new to the scene. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the Best Kelowna Wineries, complete with all the essential information you’ll need to get the most out of your vinitourism adventure!

Best Ever Guide to Kelowna Wineries

CHAPTER ONE

What Makes Kelowna Such a Spectacular Wine Region?

Kelowna Wineries

It’s no accident that this part of the Okanagan has the most wineries per capita in all of Canada. When you think of wine country, you probably picture somewhere continental like France or Spain. Many people don’t realize that some of the best conditions for grapevines exist right here in the Okanagan, such as West Kelowna Wineries, Lake Country Wineries, Osoyoos and Oliver Wineries, and Naramata Wineries.

There are a few reasons why grapes thrive so well in the lands around Kelowna, these include:

  • A rich geological history of volcanic eruptions and glacial retreat, which left the soil with a rich variety of rare minerals that translate into unique terroirs (which is the technical term for taste qualities) that can’t be found anywhere else.
  • A diverse topology of lakes, valleys, and mountainscapes that creates many localized microclimates that, alongside soil variations, make a veritable cornucopia of tastes possible.
  • A latitudinal location that equates to some of the highest sunlight exposure rates found anywhere in the world.
  • A long history of traditional techniques that have been honed and traded between viticulture families for nearly a century. Never underestimate the power of patiently accumulated knowledge and pioneering experimentation!

CHAPTER TWO

Wine Tour Etiquette

Wine Tour Etiquette

If you haven’t done it before, wine tourism is its own immersive world. Yes, this means that there’s a lot of fun and discoveries to be had, but it might also be a little intimidating to some. 

There’s no need to worry, just consider the following points while enjoying your tastings at Kelowna Wineries:

  • It doesn’t take much to push you over the legal limit, so if you are a taster, it’s important to have a designated driver, or better yet book yourself a wine tour so that everyone can enjoy a risk-free tipple. (Unless you are sipping and spitting, of course!)

  • Book ahead to avoid disappointment. Many wineries require reservations or minimum party sizes, so it’s best to call them up or check online beforehand.
  • Remember to bring photo I.D. if you’re lucky enough to look under 30. Also, if you’re from out of country, the legal drinking age in Canada is 19.
  • Some wineries will refund your tasting fee if you purchase a bottle, but not all of them, so don’t expect it everywhere you go.
  • Contrary to popular stereotypes, you can spit or swallow your wine – whichever you prefer.
  • Don’t put any fragrant perfume or aftershave on! Not only will you affect the subtle notes for yourself, but you might affect the experience for others around you.

  • Let your sommeliers do all the pouring for you, you should never touch a bottle unless you’ve already bought it.
  • Be a gracious taster. If you are not a fan, that is fine, but refrain from rude remarks.

  • Don’t ask for heavy-handed pours. Respect the winery and its offerings. If you would like additional pours, that is a great sign to purchase that bottle. 

  • Book elevated tastings. If you are going with the intention of tasting higher-end wines, make that request prior to booking or before the tasting starts. You will likely have to pay a premium for tasting because the price reflects the craftsmanship that has gone into creating the wine.

And that’s it, all there is to it! Remember to pack your camera, because the vineyards of Kelowna are some of the most beautiful in the world. If you have any questions or queries throughout the experience, be sure to ask – most staff are fonts of viticulture knowledge and will be thrilled to fill you in.

CHAPTER THREE

Best Kelowna Wineries

Kitsch Winery

Kitsch may have a decidedly modern and accessible approach to the all-too-often snooty trade of wine crafting, but their roots run as deep as Kelowna’s oldest orchards. The family have been locals since 1910 and have had a hand in pioneering the local industry and transforming historic orchards into expanses of lush vineyards.

Tasting experiences in their Estate Garage are all about having a great time, serving you the best in sustainably-produced premium red and white wines while supplying sick tunes and infectious fun energy. Having made their living from mother nature, they love to give back too – so every bottle of Chardonnay you buy plants five mangrove trees in Madagascar! As if we needed another excuse…

Tasting Fees:

Contact winery to enquire.

Amenities:

  • A wide range of events, including international art displays, pick-up parties, and booty-shaking parties with live DJs.

Dog Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 3330 Neil Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Ancient Hill Winery

Ancient Hill Winery

The land on which Ancient Hill Winery sits has a rich history. 25,000 years ago, a mighty glacier sat here. 15,000 years later it had melted to a glacial lake. In more modern times, the site was one of the first experimental vineyards in the region, then an orchard, and then a vineyard again. Finally, in 1992, the current owners came from the Netherlands to bring a touch of Europe to the historic vines here.

The results of this patchwork past have left vital soils with grapevines granted a variety of influences and experimental approaches over the years. This meticulous melting pot currently provides uniquely tasty red wines, white wines, and rosés for you to sample in a quaint and picturesque setting, complete with licensed patio and tasting rooms. The adorable old-world farmhouse is set into the hillside, the views are unmatched, and the friendly staff are a true gem amongst Kelowna Wineries.

Tasting Fees:

Enquire by email or visit their store.

Amenities:

  • Patio picnic area with panoramic valley views.
  • Wine shop serving Ancient Hill vintages alongside assorted cheeses, crackers, and other beverages for those avoiding alcohol.

Dog Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 4918 Anderson Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

CedarCreek Estate Winery

Kelowna Wineries CedarCreek

CedarCreek Estate Winery (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Wines of British Columbia)

CedarCreek is a love letter to the farming potential of the Okanagan, with 50 acres of delicately tended vineyards supported by the best in sustainable farming practices. Find out how their adorable flocks of fuzzy Scottish Highland Cows help them garden the grounds, how their trained falcons keep the area free of pests, and how they’ve employed local wildflower blooms to keep their vital soils in essential balance.

Take a tour through gently sloping rows of vines and look out across the expanse of Okanagan Lake crowned by the mountainous horizon, or skip right to the tasting room to sample aromatic vintages and Pinot Noirs that perfectly encapsulate the character of these northern valleys.

Tasting Fees:

  • Farmed and Foraged seated tasting – $22 per guest.
  • Aspect Tour Experience wine-paired food tastings – $75 per guest.

Amenities:

  • 120-seat Home Block Restaurant offering multi-course dinners, wine-paired lunches, and small bites of the finest locally-farmed and foraged foods.
  • Outdoor and indoor spaces available to hire for private events, wedding receptions, exclusive dining, private boardroom functions, and large wine tastings for up to 100 people.
  • Special seasonal dining experiences and exclusive festive vintages.

Dog Friendly:

Yes, in most of the outdoor areas and the dog-friendly picnic zone.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 5445 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Frequency Winery

Possibly one of the most unique Kelowna Wineries, this is an absolute must-visit for the music lovers amongst you. They believe in the power of vibration, good vibrations to be exact, and have currently had over 500 musicians play to their wines. Yup, you heard us right, every bottle from Frequency has been serenaded by live bands and artists. We’re not sure about the science behind this, but what we do know is their wine tastes amazing.

Swing by to taste the results of one of the most out-there wine crafting techniques we’ve encountered, and stay for the atmosphere of exuberant passion, creativity, and joyous tomfoolery. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that they put on excellent live music events too.

Amenities:

  • Rip-roaring live music events thrown regularly.
  • A full recording and mastering studio with expert technicians. If you’re an artist, why not contribute to their idiosyncratic wine-perfection technique?

Dog Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 3210 Gulley Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Priest Creek Family Estate Winery

Found on the lovely benchlands of the South Kelowna Wine Trail, the Priest Creek Family Estate Winery is a family vineyard surrounded by an outstanding panoramic view of British Columbia’s impressive mountains and the winery’s beautiful vineyards. Dedicated to premium wines, the establishment was purchased by Darren and Jane Sawin in 2015. The couple had a burning desire to ensure their farming roots were shared with their children, and carefully put their vision together over several years, learning everything necessary about the business through a hands-on approach. The couple had a dual goal: crafting great wines and creating unforgettable family memories.

Originally from Saskatchewan, where farming methods vary greatly, the Sawins learned about viticulture as it relates to British Columbia, and made their unofficial motto, “great wine begins with the soil and vines where the grapes are grown.” Priest Creek Vineyard is home to Gewurztraminer grape vines that are three decades old, which allowed the Sawins to develop their three variations of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. The Sawin’s winemaker, Jason Parkes, was key to Priest Creek Winery’s success, and Parkes is now a family friend as well as a colleague. Darren enrolled in courses at Washington State University and combined his education with the techniques learned from members of Jason’s team.

Among all Kelowna Wineries, the Priest Creek Family Estate Winery has a special distinction: its grand opening was April, 2020. The Sawins were determined to open safely, and in spite of all odds, give patrons somewhere to go, as well as a chance to support a local business during one of the most challenging times in history!

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • Picnic area, Food truck on Fridays during the summer.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 2555 Saucier Road Kelowna, BC V1W 4B7

Website | Instagram

Sandhill Wines

Sandhill Wines

Sandhill Wines (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Eric Saukarookoff)

If you are searching for Kelowna wineries you can walk to, put Sandhill at the top of your list. Only a five-minute stroll from downtown Kelowna, Sandhill will not disappoint. A beautiful, 8000-square-foot property, Sandhill is Canada’s only single vineyard winery, and each bottle of wine created at this establishment comes from one of six British Columbia vineyards:

  • Phantom Creek
  • King Family
  • Osprey Ridge
  • Vanessa Vineyard
  • Hidden Terrace
  • Sandhill Estate

The vineyards are not located onsite, but the topography of each one boasts individual characteristics that result in the production of wines that are distinct and unique. The owner of Sandhill is Andrew Peller Ltd, and the establishment has a long and interesting history, dating back to 1932. It is British Columbia’s original winery and you will notice its attractive design immediately. Lovely cathedral ceilings allow maximum light to filter into the modern, yet traditional guest area, where 80-year-old beams made from reclaimed wood support the structure.

The winery’s tasting room is also a sight to behold, and boasts a large, glacial sculpture, honouring the Okanagan Valley’s glacial history and its beautiful geological features, which created growing conditions that are perfect for grapes. The man behind the success of this popular establishment is winemaker Howard Soon, who many refer to as one of the true pioneers of British Columbia’s wine industry. The first winemaker in the region to release a series of single vineyard wines, Soon was honoured in 1998 with the Okanagan Wine Festival Founders award and continues to dedicate himself to producing only the best wines.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • On-site restaurant, Cocktails and Canapes

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 1125 Richter Street, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2K6

Website | Instagram

Spearhead Winery

SpearHead may be a small winery, but it should certainly not be underestimated. They have been bringing home awards in droves since 2017, using a combination of lovingly-raised estate-grown grapes and select contributions from their favourite neighbouring farms. Their specialties are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay – all of which tantalize the tastebuds with complex fruity notes and rich aromas.

The suntrap patio where their tastings take place is a delight that allows you to drink up spectacular Okanagan Valley views alongside similarly spectacular vintages.

Tasting Fees:

$10 per guest, although this is waived with the purchase of a single bottle.

Amenities:

  • Delicious local cheeses and charcuteries served on the patio and picnic area during peak season.
  • Special events, exclusive members-only activities, and participation opportunities throughout the year.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 3950 Spiers Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Deep, spiritual, philosophical, and with a boundless love for all living things, the team at Summerhill create incredible tastes, consciously. They are the only certified biodynamic vineyard in the whole of British Columbia. This means they have a complete commitment to sustainability, filling the ecological niches left behind when they abandoned synthetic farm techniques with local insect and plant life to create a symbiotic paradise.

We love everything about their vision. Their deep respect for natural processes hasn’t just created some of the most incredible vegan wine we’ve tried, but it’s also caused the beauty of their vineyard to flourish like none other. For another insight into how much belief and spirituality goes into each glass, all Summerhill wines are aged in the namesake Pyramid Cellar which was constructed adhering to sacred geometry to align it with the stars for maximum stillness and harmony.

Tasting Fees:

Enquire by calling 250-764-8000

Amenities:

  • Vegan food and drink at the Summerhill Organic Bistro.
  • Estate house rental for celebrations, reunions, weddings, and any other intimate ceremonies.
  • Stay on-site in the beautiful Estate House Gallery.
  • Solstice and equinox community gatherings, featuring guided meditation, veggie potluck, and sacred fire dancing.

Dog Friendly:

Yes, when on a leash, but not inside the restaurant or wine shop.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

The View Vineyard

Housed in a heritage 1920s packing house, The View are specialists in serving up spicy red wines, crisp whites, and bottles of aromatic bliss you’ll just have to take home with you.

Their wine tastings take place right down in the cellar, so you can receive an education on the subtle tastes and tones while seeing where the magic happens for yourself. With your newfound knowledge, the eclectic range found in their wine shop becomes all the more enticing. Drivers in search of The View Winery should look out for a giant red stiletto!

Tasting Fees:

See their prices and availability when you reserve here.

Amenities:

  • Regular events and spaces to help you celebrate special occasions.

Dog Friendly:

Yes, in most of the outdoor areas and the dog-friendly picnic zone.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 2287 Ward Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Tantalus Vineyards

Kelowna Wineries Tantalus Vineyards

Tantalus Vineyards (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Shawn Talbot Photography)

Tantalus was originally known as Pioneer Vineyards, which should tell you all you need to know about their core role in making this part of the Okanagan Valley what it is today. They opened for business in 1927, making them one of the oldest continually operating vineyards in the area. Over this 95 year span, they have perfected a royal pedigree of single-vineyard vintages that are an essential sample for anyone seeking true historic Kelowna authenticity.

As well as marrying rich tradition and cutting-edge industry practices, Tantalus have preserved the beauty of their surrounding grounds. Nothing pairs with one of their Rieslings quite like the view down the valley and the waters of Okanagan Lake.

Tasting Fees:

Find current tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • Various events including special tastings and dinner series.

Dog Friendly:

Yes, and well-behaved pups are even allowed into the tasting room during summer.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 1670 Dehart Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

The Vibrant Vine

Vibrant Vine Kelowna Winery

Vibrant Vine Winery (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Vibrant Vine Winery)

Sister winery to Frequency Winery mentioned above, both these establishments have a zany commitment to artistic flair and blue sky thinking in common. Combining their passion for great wine, art, and music into one explorative and inspirational space, The Vibrant Vine is a sterling example of how Kelowna’s infectious art scene bleeds into its history of farming excellence with knockout results.

Everyone should visit this winery during their Kelowna trip to experience the playful tastes of their accidentally award-winning wines (ask them about it, it’s a hilarious story), captivating 3D art, and live music in a stunning outdoor setting.

Tasting Fees:

$10 per guest, although this is waived with the purchase of a single bottle.

Amenities:

  • Live local music concerts, art showings, and creative workshops.
  • Lakeview function rooms and terrace are available to rent for private events, business functions, and small wedding receptions of up to 50 people.

Dog Friendly:

Not exactly, they have a designed dog-friendly patio, but your furry friend won’t be able to enjoy much of the grounds.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 3240 Pooley Road, Kelowna

Website | Instagram

Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery and Distillery

Wayne Gretzky Estates Okanagan 1

Wayne Gretzyky  Estates (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Shawn Talbot Photography)

Often referred to as, “The Great One,” regarding his extraordinary talent as a hockey player, Wayne Gretzky has another passion in life. His grandfather made wine from scratch, an activity that Gretzky watched with fascination as a boy. His interest in the winemaking process ultimately led him to add his own establishment to the list of popular Kelowna wineries.

Inspired by his family’s work ethic and dedication, the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery was opened in the spring of 2017 in the centre of Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country. Gretzky’s goal was to provide a wine of such high quality that it would only need to sell itself on its name the first time. Located at Sandhill Winery in Kelowna, this establishment is perhaps one of the most enjoyable places to spend an afternoon, due to its unique ambiance that combines the sophistication of wine with the down-to-earth characteristics of winter sports. The vineyards are not on-site, but there are two restaurants that are open year-round; The Beer Garden and the Whiskey Patio Bar, both of which boast a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Whether making wine or playing hockey, Gretzky always adheres to the theory, “whatever your craft, do it well.” Gretzky has carried this philosophy beyond wineries, and funds an organization called The Wayne Gretzky Foundation, which is dedicated to helping underprivileged youths experience sports, both on and off the ice. Ultimately, when you visit Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery, you’ll be joining a celebration of Canadian culture, and Canadian wine.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here

Amenities:

Dog Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Kelowna Winery:

Address: 1125 Richter Street, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2K6

Website | Instagram

Take a Kelowna Wine Tour

Kelowna Wine Tours

(Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Shawn Talbot Photography)

With such a huge array of Kelowna Wineries in such a small area, it’s no wonder that the local wine tour industry is thriving. 

You can find tours that span all moods and gimmicks, from sophisticated educational tastings to light-hearted tiki-themed fun. There’s a huge range of transport options too, including limousines, watercraft, and even planes!

Below you can find an alphabetized list of the most popular local wine tour businesses to peruse at your leisure. Don’t settle for anything less than perfect, because with this many options you’re bound to find one that’s the perfect Cinderella fit.

OKANAGAN WINERY GUIDES

Best Oliver Wineries Osoyoos Wineries
The Best West Kelowna Wineries
The Best Lake Country Wineries
Kelowna Wineries
Naramata Wineries