Wine Tours

Organic and Natural: Exploring Kelowna’s Organic Wineries

a sign that says kalala organic estate winery on the side of a wall with bottles of wine in front of it
Kalala Organic Estate Winery

The Kelowna region is rapidly emerging as a hub for organic winemaking, a trend that is redefining the local wine scene. With a rich history in viticulture and a growing commitment to sustainable practices, Kelowna's wineries offer a unique blend of traditional expertise and innovative, earth-friendly approaches.

The Unique Climate and Geography of the Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley is a viticulturist's dream, boasting a hot, sunny, and dry climate that nurtures a diverse array of wine grapes. This region is ideal for growing rich, full-bodied wine grapes, thanks to its long growing season and thousands of microclimates. Popular varietals such as chardonnay, rieseling, merlots, syrahs, and viogniers thrive here, each bringing a distinct flavour profile that shows-off the valley's versatility.

Spotlight on Key Organic Wineries in Kelowna

  1. Kalala Organic Estate Winery: Located in West Kelowna, Kalala is an exemplar of sustainable viticulture. Its range of reds, whites, and ice wines, all made from certified organic grapes, reflect a commitment to quality and harmony with nature. The winery's name, meaning “Miracle Place,” captures its ethos perfectly.
  2. Rollingdale Winery: Situated in Lakeview Heights, Rollingdale offers a quaint, rustic experience. Its wines, including chardonnay, pinot gris, port, and ice wines, are savoured in a charming cellar that doubles as a tasting room, offering panoramic views over Okanagan Lake.
  3. Off the Grid Organic Winery: Known for its regenerative farming and solar energy use, this winery in West Kelowna is a family affair. With a selection of fruit-forward whites and an on-site food truck, it's a destination for organic wine enthusiasts.
  4. CedarCreek Estate Winery: Located in Kelowna's Upper Mission neighbourhood, CedarCreek has fully embraced organic viticulture. The winery employs natural methods like cover crops and livestock grazing to maintain soil health and protect its vines.
  5. Beaumont Family Estate Winery: This family-run vineyard has a long history in the Okanagan Valley. Known for its full-flavoured organic wines, Beaumont offers a unique tasting experience with live music from the owner.
  6. Summerhill Pyramid Winery: As Kelowna's first organic winery and a leader in biodynamic farming, Summerhill is a pioneer in the organic wine industry. Its diverse range of organic wines, including syrahs and chardonnays, is well worth exploring.
  7. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery: A frontrunner in the Kelowna wine industry, rumors suggest that Mission Hill is transitioning to organic viticulture, a move that could significantly impact the region's wine production.

The Benefits of Organic Viticulture

Organic viticulture in Kelowna is more than a trend; it's a commitment to environmental stewardship and healthier wine options. Organic vineyards avoid synthetic pesticides and chemicals, opting instead for natural methods that enrich the soil and promote biodiversity. This approach not only benefits the environment but also leads to wines with fewer sulphites, which some believe improves their taste and reduces the likelihood of wine hangovers.

Understanding Biodynamic Winemaking

Biodynamic winemaking, an extension of organic principles, views the farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem. This method, followed by wineries like Summerhill, emphasizes a deep connection with nature, harnessing lunar cycles and natural preparations to nurture the vineyards. The result is a wine that is not only organic but also a true reflection of the Okanagan terroir.

Organic vs. Conventional Winemaking

The shift to organic winemaking in Kelowna marks a significant departure from conventional methods. Organic vineyards focus on natural fertility and pest management, avoiding synthetic inputs. This approach requires more hands-on attention but leads to a product that is better for both the consumer and the environment.

Kelowna's Organic Winemaking Future

Kelowna's wine landscape is evolving, with a growing number of vineyards embracing organic practices. This trend aligns with global movements toward sustainable and toxin-free living. As consumers increasingly seek out organic options, Kelowna's wineries are well-positioned to meet this demand, offering wines that are not only delicious but also environmentally conscious.

Kelowna's organic wineries are at the forefront of a movement that celebrates both the art of winemaking and the health of the planet. By exploring these vineyards, one can not only enjoy exceptional wines but also support sustainable practices that will ensure the longevity and vitality of the region's wine culture.