Exploring Kelowna's Wine Route: A Must-Do for Wine Lovers

A scenic view of Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna, featuring a bell tower, vineyard buildings, a manicured lawn, and a wooden barrel with a sign under a clear sky.
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

Unraveling the Charm of Kelowna's Wine Route

Outstretched over stunning landscapes marked by lush vineyards, crisp blue lakes, and an endearing sunny hue, the wine route of Kelowna has long been a hotbed for wine enthusiasts. The route offers a rich and nuanced wine tasting experience that's enjoyed a rapid growth in popularity over the past few years.

An Overview of the Wine Route

Comprising over 40 wineries, Kelowna’s wine route is all about diversity and quality. This tour offers a spectrum of wine tasting experiences that cater to every taste, novices and seasoned connoisseurs alike. The wine route is divided into five distinct wine trails: Lake Country's Scenic Sip, Westside Wine Trail, Lakeshore Wine Route, Southeast Bench, and Downtown Grapes & Grains.

Lake Country's Scenic Sip

The northernmost trail, Lake Country's Scenic Sip, promises not only a fantastic range of cool-climate wines, including Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Gewürztraminer, but also magnificent views of Okanagan Lake. Renowned wineries here include 50th Parallel Estate, Arrowleaf Cellars and Ex Nihilo Vineyards, known for their exquisite whites and award-winning Icewines.

Westside Wine Trail

Moving onto the Westside Wine Trail, visitors can expect to be greeted with lavish reds while taking in views of rolling hills and towering mountains. Mission Hill Family Estate is undoubtedly the star of the trail here with its breathtaking architecture, stunning views, and wide array of wines.

Lakeshore Wine Route

The Lakeshore Wine Route offers an enticing set of wineries set against the backdrop of Okanagan Lake. The Summerhill Pyramid Winery, notable for its pyramid cellar and organic and biodynamic wines is a definite must-visit. This route offers a fine balance between the zest of vines and the serene allure of the lake.

Kelowna's Southeast Bench

Next on the trip is Kelowna's Southeast Bench, home to several boutique wineries showcasing a myriad of unique flavours. Here, you can find everything from crisp whites to Bordeaux-style reds. Tantalus Vineyards, with its commitment to ecologically pure wine production, stands standout in this route.

Downtown Grapes & Grains

The last trail takes you to Kelowna - Downtown Grapes & Grains. Along with four unique wineries, the trail is also home to BC's first craft distillery, Okanagan Spirits, and two cideries. Enjoy a range of spirits, apple ciders and wines all at a stone's throw from the city centre.

More than Just Wine Tasting

While wine tasting remains key to a visit on the wine route, it offers much more. Each trail goes beyond the wine, offering the opportunity to traverse the local cuisine with farm-to-table restaurants, explore art galleries, hike through extensive trails and enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of Okanagan Valley.

The Best Time to Visit

While each season paints the valley in its unique charm, the best time to visit would be late Spring through Fall. This period offers the right balance between comfortable temperatures, minimal rainfall, and the advantage of witnessing the vines at different stages of their lifecycle. However, winter visits offer the chance to relish Ice wines, a rare specialty of the region.

Between the wine, scenic beauty, and culinary delights, Kelowna's wine route is a must-visit. It brings together the best of Okanagan Valley's scenic beauty, rich viticulture, and unique gastronomic experiences. Pack your bags and get ready to explore the mesmerizing world of wines in the Canadian wilderness.