As a city located in a desert-like climate similar to the Napa valley, it makes sense that Kelowna, BC in the Okanagan Valley would be home to a number of amazing wineries. The conditions of the soil and the year-round moderate temperature encourage the growth of award-winning grapes, and wines from this region of BC have gained international acclaim. Kelowna caters to those who are too young to enjoy its wineries as well: in addition to the climate being perfect for the growing of different varietals of grapes, Kelowna is also home to Sun-Rype, a company that grows fruits and presses them into juice for sale in every major North American supermarket. For those with a little bit more of an educational inclination, there is a lovely Wine Museum in the heart of downtown that tells about the way of life and history of the wine industry in the Okanagan.
There are different wineries in Kelowna’s proximity that have gotten worldwide acknowledgement. Mission Hill Estate Winery is one of the prominent vineyards in the zone, with unique architecture that draws tourists from all over. Mission Hill offers culinary demonstrations with its famous chefs, and has wine tastings of their incredible estate wines in the tasting room on the property. Don’t miss the chance to experience a meal at this amazing restaurant, so be sure to book early as the reservations fill up quickly.
At the famous winery Summerhill Pyramid to the south of town, the stuffy convention and tradition you’d find at a winery like Mission Hill is nonexistant. When you make the drive to Summerhill, you are greeted by the sight of a massive pyramid structure on the edge of the property in which the wine is stored. The legend goes that this pyramid infuses the wine with special properties including a superior taste. To see whether this theory is valid, visitors to Summerhill can taste some of Summerhill’s many wines in the wine shop before taking off on one of the many visits that are directed for the day. The winery additionally includes Sunset Bistro, an eatery on a massive terrace with a beautiful perspective of Lake Okanagan.
Another winery in Kelowna that enjoys a great deal of name recognition is Quail’s Gate winery. This winery can be found just down the road from Mission Hill winery in West Kelowna, directly across the lake from Summerhill. Quail’s Gate also has an award-winning restaurant with amazing views of the lake, and is beautiful and picturesque despite lacking the dramatic architecture of its neighbour Mission Hill and the quirkiness of Summerhill Pyramid. Quail’s Gate winery also has a wide variety of wines ready to be sampled, with grapes grown directly in the Okanagan — these wines are not to be missed, and are best sampled with dessert from the restaurant.
Just down the road from Kelowna along the BC Wine Route lie Summerland and Naramata, home to dozens more wineries of varying degrees of renown. It is no wonder that the amount and quality of wineries in this region of BC are a massive draw for tourists and locals alike – there are few better things than sipping a finely crafted glass of wine on a sun-soaked terrace overlooking the city of Kelowna.
There truly is something for everyone in Kelowna when it comes to wineries. Discover the best of Kelowna!