Grapes to Glass: The Varieties of Kelowna's Vineyards

Close-up of purple grapes hanging on a vine in a vineyard in Kelowna.

Kelowna's vineyards beautifully demonstrate the art of viticulture. Here, each vineyard tells a story, one woven from the unique terroir and passionate winemakers dedicated to transforming grapes into exceptional wines. This exploration into Kelowna's vineyards uncovers the diversity of grape varieties and the exquisite wines they produce.

Kelowna's Wine Landscape

Kelowna's vineyards thrive in a climate marked by warm summers and mild winters. The deep, expansive Okanagan Lake plays a crucial role in moderating temperatures, providing a perfect balance that nurtures the grapes. The region's rolling hills, lake shores, and diverse altitudes create a tapestry of microclimates, each contributing to the distinct flavours and aromas found in Kelowna's wines.

Grape Varieties in Kelowna

Kelowna is home to an array of grape varieties, each reflecting the region's rich viticultural heritage. Cool-climate favourites like Riesling and Pinot Noir flourish in the northern parts, while the southern areas, with their warmer climates, yield robust Bordeaux-style blends including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Not to be overlooked are the newer, experimental varieties like Kerner and Zweigelt, adding a contemporary twist to Kelowna's wine offerings​.

Wine Types and Their Characteristics

The wines of Kelowna are as varied as the landscapes that nurture them. Red wines from the region, such as Merlot and Pinot Noir, are celebrated for their velvety textures and depth of flavour. Whites like Chardonnay and Riesling charm with their elegance and crispness. The region's sparkling and ice wines, with their vibrant fruit and bright acidity, add another dimension to Kelowna's impressive wine portfolio​.

Notable Wineries and Their Specialty Wines

Kelowna's wine scene is dotted with wineries, each with its unique charm and specialties. CedarCreek Estate Winery, acclaimed for its organic practices, offers a range of cool-climate wines and a unique summer concert experience. Summerhill Pyramid Winery, known for its biodynamic vineyard and pyramid-aged wines, stands out for its commitment to environmental sustainability. And not to be missed is Ex Nihilo Vineyards, offering a great atmosphere with live music and a collaboration with The Rolling Stones, reflecting the creative spirit of its owners.

Wine Tasting Experience in Kelowna

The wine-tasting experience in Kelowna is immersive and varied. From lakeside sips at O'Rourke's Peak Cellars to the cultural touch of Tantalus Vineyards with its Indigenous art gallery, each winery provides a unique glimpse into Kelowna's wine culture. These experiences are about tasting wine, as well as connecting with the land, the people, and the stories behind each bottle​.


Kelowna's vineyards are a diverse tapestry, each a thread representing a different grape variety, winemaking philosophy, and sensory experience. From the sun-drenched slopes to the cool lakeside terrains, Kelowna's wines are an expression of the land and the tireless dedication of its winemakers. A journey through these vineyards is both a tasting adventure and an exploration of one of Canada's most renowned wine regions.