Spotlight on Kelowna's Thriving Local Wine Scene

a bunch of green grapes hanging from a vine on a tree in a vineyard, with sunlight shining through the leaves

Kelowna is bountiful with vineyards that stretch out on its sunbathed landscapes. A region renowned for its thriving wine scene, each vineyard captures the local terroir's essence - manifesting in exquisite wines that charm the tastebuds of connoisseurs around the world.

A Region's Rise to Global Fame

Approximately three decades ago, Kelowna's winemaking potential was relatively unacknowledged outside local quarters. However, global recognition of the region escalated in 1994 when Mission Hill Winery's Chardonnay won the coveted Best Chardonnay award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. This landmark achievement spearheaded Kelowna onto the global wine stage, and the region has been rising to the ranks ever since.

Climate and Terroir

Kelowna's success story largely comes down to its distinct climate and diverse terroir. Its vineyards bask in over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually and benefit from the moderating presence of Lake Okanagan, which creates a microclimate conducive to viticulture.

The sheer variation of the region's soil is another significant aspect. Some vineyards flourish on the mineral-rich benches formed by ancient glacial movements, while others draw strength from the deep silty soils of the valley. For instance, the Pinot Noir grapes sourced from the silt and clay-based soils yield wines with a characteristic earthy depth only found in Kelowna.

Reknowned Wineries of Kelowna

Several wineries contribute to the richness of Kelowna's wine scene. Mission Hill Family Estate continues to uphold its global reputation, famous for its award-winning Chardonnay and other varietals like Pinot Noir and Merlot. Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada's most visited winery, is another significant player. It's known for its bio-dynamic farming approach, and its wines have won numerous awards, including a gold medal for their Cipes Ice at the 2013 Les Grands Concours du Monde.

Quails' Gate Winery is a third-generation family-owned winery, which has been producing wines for over 30 years. Known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this winery offers a remarkable balance between quality and quantity, producing nearly 70,000 cases annually.

CedarCreek Estate Winery, owned by the von Mandl family since 2014, offers some mesmerizing blends. The winery utilizes sustainable farming practices and is known for its Platinum Series wines.

Wine Tasting and Tours

Kelowna is home to many wine festivals and tasting events, inviting locals and visitors to indulge in their exquisite wine collection. The Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon and the Okanagan Wine Festivals are among the major events animating the region's social calendar.

Many wineries offer guided tours, where visitors can experience the behind-the-scenes of wine production, followed by tastings guided by in-house experts.


Kelowna's thriving wine scene has transformed this quaint city into a globally recognized wine destination. Backed by its unique terroir, diverse climates, and innovative winemakers, Kelowna's wine scene is one to watch for every wine enthusiast. The evident quality and variety of the wines are undeniable; each bottle captures the region's character, making every sip a delightful journey across the winemaking landscapes of this beautiful city. So, whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a budding aficionado, Kelowna's wine scene warrants a worthy exploration and offers an experience to remember.