Welcome to your guide to the Best Ever Naramata Wineries!

Usually, when people imagine wine country, their minds immediately turn to the continental settings of France or Spain – or perhaps even Australia and California. However, ask any dedicated wine enthusiast where the most interesting grapes are grown, and they’re likely to give a potentially surprising answer: the Naramata Bench.

That’s right, as well as being (in our opinion) one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Okanagan proudly wears the accolade of one of the most unique wine-growing regions on the planet. What makes it so special, you ask?

Well, we’re going to tell you all about it – along with providing the inside scoop on the best Naramata wineries to visit in the area, and all their essential details. That should go a small way to ensuring you aren’t overwhelmed by the sheer volume of viticulture that occurs in this section of the valley!

Welcome to the
Best Ever Naramata Wineries

Best Naramata Wineries

The grapes grown in this part of British Columbia are unlike any others in the world. This comes down to several interacting factors, which include:

  • The Soil: Before the Okanagan was one of Canada’s hottest tourist destinations, it was a land of wild geological unpredictability. When enormous stratovolcanoes weren’t violently erupting, glaciers were making their slow migrations through the valley. Both of these left behind a bewildering variety of minerals in the soil, which directly impact the taste of the finished wines – giving them a unique flavour quality we call the terroir.

  • The Terrain: If you’ve been to this part of the world before (or have spent much time on Google images), you will notice the terrain is wildly varied. Valleys, snow-capped mountains, rivers, waterfalls, deserts, lakes, and all sorts of geological features exist only short drives apart. This patchwork of biomes combines with fluctuating temperatures to create innumerable one-of-a-kind microclimates, which in turn impact the flavour of the grapes.

  • The Location: The Okanagan is such an excellent holiday destination because its latitudinal position provides some of the highest rates of sunlight exposure on Earth (more than 1900 hours annualy!). It’s not just us travellers who take advantage of this, the grapevines do too.

  • The Tradition: Agriculture has had its roots in the Okanagan as far back as western settlers have existed here. While it all began with soft-fruit orchards, some parts of the valley have had grapevines planted for almost a century. These traditional farming techniques, trial-and-error knowledge gains, and deep respect for the land are passed down through family trees and among passionate growers.

  • The Allure: When combined, all the above factors were enough to bring wine enthusiasts and expert viticulturists flocking from all over the globe. Many brought new grape varieties or undiscovered wisdom along with them.

Learn more about the Naramata Bench Terroir:

So, now that you know exactly why the Naramata Bench is one of the best places on earth to go strolling through the vineyards, all you need to do is come and taste the results for yourself. Don’t forget to stop by Poplar Grove Cheese to pick up some delicious small batch cheese to pair with your wine along the way!

Experience the Best Ever Naramata Wineries

Bench 1775 Winery

Naramata Winery Bench 1775

Rumour has it that Bench 1775 has the most beautiful patio in the whole of the Okanagan (as seen in our first image). We’ve seen our fair share of the local wineries, and while we don’t like to choose favourites, we can certainly see why folks would say that. The panoramic view of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding countryside here is so exquisite that we won’t even try to capture it in words – you’ll just have to see for yourself! You’ll score all sorts of brownie points if you bring a romantic interest here, that’s for sure.

The folks at Bench 1775 aren’t content to just coast by on nature’s merits though, as they prefer to work hand-in-hand with mother nature down at the grapevines. The result is some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc in the whole of the Okanagan Valley, with a distinctly expressive terroir that is absolutely the essence of this unique place.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

Dog-Friendly:

Yes! They even have their own pair of pups, Bruno and Lulu!

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1775 Naramata Road, Penticton BC

Website | Instagram

Da Silva Vineyards and Winery

Da Silva Naramata Winery

The dream that is Da Silva started long, long ago in 18th century Portugal. Even this far back in time, the Borba family were busy getting their hands dirty and sewing viticultural passion directly into their DNA. In 1959, their descendants became one of the many wine aficionado immigrants to newly-discovered Okanagan wine country, bringing centuries of old world knowledge, wisdom, and techniques with them. Across 11 vineyards, countless varietals are nurtured in accordance with the unique needs of each square meter of snowflake-unique Okanagan ground.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to a bountiful haul of diverse rewards, with over 20 different vintages available to taste or take home with you. From Okanagan-classic Syrahs balancing blueberries and exotic spices, to Vinho Brancos that draw directly on the field blending techniques of the family’s Portuguese ancestors. The culinary alchemy at work in their restaurant, The Kitchen, makes it one of the standout places to dine in the local area too – especially if you want to sample some Iberian tastes you might not have tried before, complete with thoughtful wine pairings.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • Incredible Mediterranean cuisine at The Kitchen restaurant.

Dog-Friendly:

No.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 375 Upper Bench Road North, Penticton BC

Website | Instagram

Elephant Island Winery

Elephant Island Winery on Naramata Bench

Elephant Island are understandably dedicated to preserving the agricultural wonderland that they inhabit. This respect for the flora, fauna, and terra has led them down a path of minimal intervention viticultural practices, living fermentation techniques, and mutually beneficial relationships with other ecologically-minded farmsteads. It has also led them to diversify their crop to include cider apples in 2017, so if your preferred tiples cross genre boundaries, you can tick multiple boxes here.

Their portfolio is comprised of three categories, ‘regular’ wines, micro-scaled reserve wines, and the punk alternative processes of their fruit wines. The reserve wines are of very limited stock and represent a dedicated long-term rearing process. The fruit wines eschew grapes entirely, opting for ingredients like pears and black currants for fermentation instead. We strongly advise you try at least one of each.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • As well as the usual wines, their shop stocks numerous ciders grown and brewed on-site.

Dog-Friendly:

No.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 2730 Aikins Loop, Naramata

Website | Instagram

Hillside Winery

Hillside Winery

One of the prettiest Naramata Wineries, Hillside provides pure rural escapism with their delightful farmhouse-style tasting facilities and well-vistaed courtyard area. The charming looks aren’t deceiving either, as you stroll into their tasting room you will feel right at home, exploring patiently developed tastes and the fruits of farming passions in a casual and easy atmosphere. That’s not all though, as their darling Bistro restaurant provides 65 dining spots across a cozy indoor seating area and an outdoor patio, both featuring the best of the vibes just described.

They have just taken their latest batch of Pinot Noir out of the cellar, where it has been lying in wait since 2019, patiently developing silky strawberry and raspberry character from 100% Naramata Bench grapes. You can also give back a little with your wine purchase at Hillside, with a Giving Edition of their Gjoa’s Vineyard Merlot, which supports local charities providing assistance for the most vulnerable people in the South Okanagan area.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • The Bistro, offering farm-fresh gourmet dinner service, both indoors and outdoors on a gorgeous patio.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1350 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

JoieFarm Winery

The pocket of land where JoieFarm finds itself is particularly well-suited for grape-growing, with desert conditions moderated by close proximity to cooling lake waters. This particularly terroir allows the team to create standouts that include fragrant whites, titillating rosés, and touches of darkness with deep and mysterious Pinot Noirs.

JoieFarm is considered one of the more premium winery options around Penticton – and their tasting fee prices do reflect that. However, you have our assurances that the slightly inflated price tag is well worthwhile to sample vintages that combine the very best of old-world European influence and modern West Coast living. If you’ve been cooking up a storm back at the rental accommodation, their wines pair particularly well with food – so just let their lovely staff know what it is you’ve been cooking, and let their recommendations do the rest.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

  • Retail boutique stocking a range of goodies, including JoieFarm’s award-winning vintages by the box, bottle, or can.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 2825 Naramata Road, Naramata

Website | Instagram

La Frenz Winery

La Frenz Winery

You’ll find La Frenz Winery on almost every Okanagan wine guide worth its salt, and for good reason! The romantic setting wraps you in greenery, open skies, and all-encompassing visions of the cloud-wreathed mountains across the tranquil waters of Okanagan Lake. Once you’ve finished gawping (and feel free to take your time!), make your way to the tasting room, where you can sample the best of their vintages, poured with a smile in front of wall-spanning windows that open right out onto the vine rows themselves.

A cornucopia of tastes awaits, across reds, whites, exclusive reserve wines, and extra-strong fortified vintages. The fruity smoothness of their Alexandria red is a local favourite that inhabits the top shelf of many Okanagan residents’ wine cupboards – for as long as they can resist it, that is. Their NV Tawny port won double gold at the 2021 All Canadian Wine Championships for its fireside bouquet of decadent taste elements, which include butterscotch, molasses, walnuts, prunes, and dates. We highly recommend this as one of the best Naramata wineries to visit!

Tasting Fees:

Varies – book here

Amenities:

  • Apart from their superb wines and tasting facilities, La Frenz doesn’t have much in the way of amenities. The view from their vineyard was featured on a $100 bill, though!

Dog-Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1525 Randolph Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Lake Breeze

Right on the edge of the nourishing waters of Okanagan Lake lies 40 acres of vineyards tended since 1985, 2 acres of quaint farmland, a dedicated viticulture team, and their loyal hound, George. Like many wineries lucky enough to get the most scenic spots in the Okanagan, the folks at Lake Breeze have been inspired to protect nature’s balance with minimal intervention and the best in Earth-kind growing practices. If you find yourself at a loose end on one of Penticton’s notorious summer scorchers, come down and cool yourself with the healing lakeside breeze while delighting your palate in the same trip.

Lake Breeze’s tastings take place in a revitalizing courtyard space, with no separation between yourself and the nature that filled your glass. Once you’ve tasted their selection, feel free to stroll through the working farmyard and make friends with the playful piggies. If your stomach rumbles at any point, their patio restaurant offers plates so artfully arranged and thoughtfully cooked that they wouldn’t look out of place in a Michelin Star restaurant.

Tasting Fees:

Find out this season’s prices when you book your tasting here.

Amenities:

  • The Patio Restaurant, serving up delicately artistic farm-fresh cuisine.
  • Working farmyard with livestock, vegetable patches, orchards, herb gardens, and greenhouses to explore at your leisure.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, as long as they play nice with the winery’s own dog, George!

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 930 Sammet Road, Naramata

Website | Instagram

Laughing Stock

Laughing Stock Naramata Winery

Photo Courtesy of Laughing Stock Vineyards

No believers in nominal determinism, Laughing Stock Vineyards founders Cynthia and David Enns are former financial sector big-shots turned humble Okanagan wine farmers. The inspiration for their name comes from the disapproval and pessimism they met from their industry peers when they decided to change directions and invest everything they had in this little slice of Naramata. We’re glad they didn’t let that deter them, though, as they’re currently supplying some of the region’s best award-winning bottles.

Their flagship vintage, Portfolio, is the one to try even if you sample nothing else. It is a Bordeaux-leaning blend carefully composed with scientific precision and a savvy eye for the best ingredients of the Okanagan. It has understandably won many awards and heard the praise song of critics across the country and beyond. Their premium-experience tasting room is the perfect place to try it for the first time.

Although Cynthia and David sold the winery, their legacy lives on at Laughing Stock.

Tasting Fees:

Tastings are by appointment only and you can learn more about pricing here.

Amenities:

Dog-Friendly:

No.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1548 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Little Engine Wines

Little Engine Wines

Drawing on the persistently optimistic energy of the popular children’s story, The Little Engine That Could, the owners here have carved their own path with an unceasing pursuit of perfection that fits right into a glass. Their small-batch creations will be of particular interest if you’ve already got a bit of wine knowledge at your disposal, as they are enthusiastically sought by collectors for their commitment to flavour and complexity optimization.

Naturally, you can’t get the best results without the best practices. That’s why all the farming that takes place at Little Engine is done in an organic, sustainable, and biodynamic fashion. Constant immersion in the vineyards themselves has led their team to an almost instinctive sense of what the fields need most, with plenty of cultivated cover crops lending an all-important hand, of course. We recommend sampling a Chardonnay for your white option, and a Pinot Noir for your red.

Tasting Fees:

Learn more about tasting fees here.

Amenities:

Dog-Friendly:

Yes.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 851 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Moraine Winery

National Wine Awards of Canada finalists in the Top 10 Small Wineries category, Moraine Estate have reached industry fame with not one, not two, but three critically-acclaimed wine varieties. Their Cliffhanger Red puts fruits front-and-centre, accompanied by oak notes and uplifting vanilla. Sister vintage, Cliffhanger White, brings a tropical feeling with passionfruit, pineapple, lemon meringue, and rose petal aromas. Last but not least, the luxurious Meritage unleashes the splendour of the valley with toasted oak, succulent cherries, plum, and idiosyncratic desert sage flavours.

As well as being darlings of the wine critics, Morgaine Estate has got plenty to flaunt back home on their property, with vineyards that perch upon a perfect vantage point over the soothing waters of Okanagan Lake. If you like it so much that you’d like to stay, that’s always an option too in their Moraine Winery rental guest suite.

Tasting Fees:

At the time of writing, tasting fees are $15 and waived with a purchase of one bottle.

Amenities:

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, while leashed outdoors.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1865 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Nichol Vineyard

Harking back to 1989, the vines at Nichol Vineyard are amongst the oldest planted in this part of the valley. They’re still more than thriving today, thanks to a commitment to minimal-impact farming and harvesting techniques throughout the years. A lot of knowledge and great stories have accumulated here over the years, and they’ll be happy to share them with you over a tasting session, while relaxing selections from the team’s record collection spin in the background.

We were bowled over by the authenticity and punch of their Two Barrels Pinot Gris. Completely unfiltered and unrefined, you will struggle to find a more intensely aromatic or richly flavoured take on this classic. The staff at Nichol’s are flavour whizzes too, so if you enjoy wowing your friends or family with your own wine-paired dinners at home, they can pick you out the perfect vintages to make your favourite dishes really pop.

Tasting Fees:

Varies – book here

Amenities:

  • A Picnic patio, with snacks such as local-highlight cheeses available.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, on a leash, outside.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 1285 Smethurst Road, Naramata

Website | Instagram

Poplar Grove

Poplar Grove Winery

Poplar Grove is one of the original big-five, the first set of vineyards that paved the way to making the Naramata Bench what it is today. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength, leaving them currently in triumphant command of more than 140 acres of vast vineyard sprawl that looks out over the majesty of Okanagan Lake. Not satisfied with simply attaining beverage excellence, their winery also hosts one of the finest restaurants in the Penticton area.

Lineage is important to the people of Poplar Grove, and why wouldn’t it be with a history like theirs? This baton-passing of knowledge and flavour wisdom can be tasted best in their famous 2017 Legacy Blend, which won gold at the London Wine Awards for its supple subtleties of caramel, iris, baking spices, fresh currants, and bold flashes of dark berries. That is only the most obvious delight though, and plenty more discoveries and passionate insider info await you in the tasting room.

Tasting Fees:

Varies – book here

Amenities:

  • Events space rentable for special occasions, weddings, corporate gatherings, and team-building sessions – with hands-on assistance available from the team.
  • The Restaurant showcases internationally-inspired gourmet creations – to eat in or take away.

Dog-Friendly:

No.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 425 Middle Bench Roach, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Red Rooster Winery

Red Rooster Winery

Red Rooster Winery is seated upon a high perch with a clear view of the patchwork of vineyards, quaint houses, and stretches of lake that define the Naramata Bench. From atop these heights, their team is busy employing novel ideas and unconventional methods to obtain tastes that set them apart from the dozens of other competing wineries in the area. Their seasonal snack range is a great way to experience the valley’s best produce of the moment too.

Their silky smooth 2019 Reserve Viognier is one of our go-to’s on a sweltering Okanagan summer’s day, with refreshing flavours of citrus, honeysuckle, peach, and melon. They also have some super-cool icewines, picked in the dead of night during the winter, when temperatures plummet as low as -10°C. Each single grape surrenders a lone drip of juice – so you can rest assured that you’re more than getting your money’s worth.

Tasting Fees:

Current tasting information here.

Amenities:

  • Seasonally-inspired, wine-paired small bites.
    Numerous winery events in normal years, although these are currently on hold due to coronavirus.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, although strictly on their leashes and confined to the grassy outdoor areas.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 891 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Ruby Blues

Ruby Blues have good times aplenty, never taking themselves too seriously despite their status as one of the local favourite wineries. Expect to taste elegant vintages while headbanging to rock ‘n roll, feast your eyes on fine physical art to accompany the liquid crafts, and meet some truly fascinating folks – both those that work there and those drawn from across the land by the notorious atmosphere.

The taste highlights of this funky boutique venue include the 2017 Reserve Syrah, which laces blueberries with spiced earthy tones and a peppery finish. The Red Stiletto Naramata Bench is really good too, achieving a smoky sensation with black and red fruits and a combination of five different wine varieties. Finally, if you’re the sort who likes to keep your Instagram up-to-date, there are photo-ops galore at Ruby Blues – with their emblematic hippie van being the prime location.

Tasting Fees:

$10 per guest, waived with purchase

Amenities:

  • Live music and artistic inspiration galore, on a semi-spontaneous basis.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, although they must stay on their leashes at all times.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 917 Naramata Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Serendipity Winery

Serendipity is a prime example of what can happen when we take a risk and just say yes to a situation. In 2005, owner Judy Kingston happened upon the land in the form of an orchard for sale, throwing caution to the wind and purchasing it on the spot. She must have had an inkling of her potential talent, because her fine tastes are on full display today across a range of award-winning wine varieties, seasonal gourmet dining at the on-site bistro, and past accolades including BC Winery of the Year and First Winemaker in Residence.

The on-site wine shop stocks the fruits of patient labours, with Estate Merlots and Reserve Serenatas dating back to 2013 – and you can really taste each month of suspenseful waiting. Bubbly enthusiasts should be sure to get their hands on a bottle of the 2015 Sparkling Truth, which is clean, crisp, floral, and features a precision-balanced acidity, perfect for popping on a special occasion or even just a decadent Friday evening.

Tasting Fees:

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

Amenities:

  • Bistro dining on a quaint all-weather patio area, with local farm-fresh highlights paired with in-house vintages.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, although they must stay on their leashes at all times.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 990 Lower Deck Road, Naramata

Website | Instagram

Therapy Vineyards

Sisters are doing it for themselves at Therapy Vineyards, where their success story is not just a triumph of feminism, but a triumph of flavour as well. From their heavenly seat atop Gaint’s Head Mountain, they’ve created an oasis of escapism, where only good vibes flourish and healing calmness abounds amongst the sublime panorama of Okanagan scenery.

This all-female-run winery has carved out a comforting niche, providing informative and non-judgemental tasting experiences for newbies and connoisseurs alike. They delight in pairing your palate with what it enjoys best, whether that’s the simple fun of a light and fruity flavour, or the character-building blast of a flavour-rich fortified wine. If you really need to get away from it all and regenerate, they also offer accommodation that allows you to truly sink into rejuvenating bliss.

Tasting Fees:

Inquire here

Amenities:

  • Five gleamingly modern boutique rental suites available at their inn.

Dog-Friendly:

No.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 940 Lower Debeck Road, Naramata

Website | Instagram

Upper Bench Winery

Champions of the minimalist approach, Upper Bench is your classy one-stop-shop option for fine wines and their accompanying cheeses. Their expertise expands deeply in each direction, with single-estate vintages created from scratch on-site, on the same property where artisanal cheeses are handcrafted in the creamery. Also, yup, you guessed right, they can also pick you out the perfect cheese to go with your preferred wine and vice versa!

Upper Bench has won most of its awards for the big, bold tastes of their red wines, and the cracker-dry crispness of their whites. You can see for yourself what the critics are raving about when you book a seated patio portfolio tasting that will see you sample the best of both of their worlds. Plus, with two different categories of deliciousness to spend your money on afterwards, waiving that tasting fee is dangerously easy.

Tasting Fees:

Varies – book here

Amenities:

  • Store open daily, selling all kinds of homemade cheeses, alongside a range of vineyard-exclusive vintages.
  • The Oven restaurant, offering authentic wood-fired pizza and other tasty treats.

Dog-Friendly:

Yes, on leash.

Visit this Naramata Winery:

Address: 170 Upper Bench Road, Penticton

Website | Instagram

Other Naramata Wineries to Visit

As we were wandering around Naramata, we discovered these wineries as well! Full features will be added soon, but don’t miss these terrific Naramata Wineries!

Naramata Wine Tours

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of planning your own circuit through the area’s best vineyards, that’s very understandable. After all, there is a mindboggling amount of choice, plus a lot of individual details to remember – oh, and someone will have to be the designated driver.

You can avoid all this fuss by taking one of the thriving local wine tour businesses out for a spin. There are a lot of different vibes on offer, from cycle tours to relaxed outings and in-depth professional tastings. We’ve put together a list of the most reputable local tour guides below, for you to peruse at your leisure.

NORTH OF KELOWNA

LAKE COUNTRY WINERIES

JUMP TO CHAPTER

KELOWNA

KELOWNA WINERIES

JUMP TO CHAPTER

WEST KELOWNA

WEST KELOWNA WINERIES

JUMP TO CHAPTER