6 Great Okanagan Wineries

Barrels in okanagan wineriesWhen living in the Okanagan, you become accustomed to a few luxuries that are as abundant as the Christmas lights, mid-December. We are blessed with great sunny summers, beautiful beaches and fantastic golfing season. But that’s not all, we are also amongst some of the best wineries in Canada.

Okanagan wineries are actually among some of the finest in the world and the great fruit that grows in the valley throughout the season compliments them. I must stress this list I’ve compiled here is not in any particular order and is not the end-all, be-all. What I can safely say is that these are Okanagan wineries you don’t want to miss.

Quail’s Gate Estate Winery

Located in West Kelowna, Quail’s Gate is recognized on the international scale as top producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Personally, I tend to go with Riesling or Gewurztraminer but their Pinot Noir is all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you prefer a red.

Not only are most Okanagan wineries known for their quality wine but also their quality dining and the Old Vine’s Restaurant at Quail’s Gate Winery is no exception. As you can imagine, each dish has the perfect wine pairing suggestion to compliment.

Gray Monk Estate Winery

the view from Okangan wineries Gray MonkThis winery is tucked away out of Kelowna city limits, not far from the airport. In 1972, George & Trudy Heiss had their dream of owning a successful vineyard and was at the front of the line when the Estate Winery program began. Many believe that was the turning point for BC wine and Okanagan wineries.

Their Ehrenfelser is excellent and has a great reputation among white wine lovers in the Okanagan Valley. I can safely give my stamp of approval on the Riesling and their famous Latitude 50. Their Grapevine Restaurant serves up fantastic food and you can admire the beautiful views of Okanagan Lake while dining. The restaurant has a perfect rating on TripAdvisor with 12 reviews. Not too shabby!

Mission Hill Family Estate Winerythe structure at Mission Hill Winery, one of the best Okanagan wineries

Among all the Okanagan wineries, this one is a true sight to see. Everything from the architecture to the view, to the gardens is incredible. I had the pleasure of doing a tour of Mission Hill once and visited the reserve barrel cellars to try multiple different wines and it was great.

Mission Hill is no stranger to racking up awards on the global scene, most recently taking home a silver medal for their Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio at the 2011 Tasters Guild International Wine Competition. Their outdoor Terrace Restaurant was recently recognized by Travel+ Leisure Magazine as “one of the top 5 winery restaurants in the world…the centerpiece of the Canadian wine tourism industry…one of the most glorious dining experiences around.”
Now that’s a testimonial!

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Probably the only winery I can think of that’s as well known for their wine as they are for their geometry skills. If you haven’t seen the Great Pyramid on Summerhill’s property, they say it is second only to the Great Pyramid of Egypt for alignment and precision. Between all the Okanagan wineries, Summerhill is definitely the most unique!

Being partial to the Rieslings, I really enjoy their Organic version but their Ehrenfelser is definitely one of the best I’ve ever had. You can enjoy either one of them plus an extensive selection in their Sunset Organic Bistro for lunch or dinner.

Beautiful view from Sumac Ridge, Okanagan wineriesSumac Ridge Estate Winery

Sumac Ridge, located in Summerland, is one of the first Canadian wineries to produce Icewine. Their vineyard produces Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes on a slope facing towards the lake – another common cornerstone of the beauty that graces many Okanagan wineries.

Although my suggestions remain obvious, the Pinot Noir and their Gewurztraminer Icewine are spectacular. In addition to the traditional tastings and tours, Sumac Ridge offers culinary workshops led by their head chefs from the Cellar Door Bistro.

Arrow Leaf

A family-run business, Arrow Leaf Cellars is operated by Joe and Margrit Zuppiger and their son, Manuel. The family is originally from Switzerland and immigrated to Canada in 1986. They acquired Suncrest Vineyard in 1996 with the intent of creating a winery, a way to try something new after both running operations in the fruit and dairy industries.

Arrow Leaf is a small boutique winery located in Lake Country that has risen with an impressively consistent string of awards for nearly a decade. Recently they have become well known for their Bacchus and First Crush Rosé wines, both of which I enjoy and can attest to their esteemed quality.

Although the list of great Okanagan wineries could go on forever…

These are just a few of the Okanagan wineries that stand out among the pack, but there are many more hidden gems spread across the Okanagan Valley. I’d love to hear your favourite wines from the Okanagan wineries listed here or some of the other wonderful wineries that I didn’t have room to write about in this article.

Of all of the great Okanagan wineries which one is your favourite? Share in the comments below.

Last 5 posts in Okanagan Wineries

2 Responses to 6 Great Okanagan Wineries

  • ken, love that you have detailed the wonderful local wineries! (we are SO spoiled!) i made the trip down through osoyoos and reveled in the beauty and bounty too! http://thelivingdreamboard.com/100-whiskys/okanagan-winefest-2011/

  • Mike Riesterer says:

    Personal favourites? There are so many good Okanagan wineries to choose from, but travelling further south my recommendations include: Young & Wyse and Moon Cursor in Osoyoos; Road 13, Quinta Ferreira (award-winning Syrah), Stoneboat (Pinotage), Fairview Cellars (Big Reds) and Burrowing Owl around Oliver; Meyer Family Winery (fabulous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and Stag’s Hollow (love their Cab Franc) in Okanagan Falls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Free Report Opt In Message

Connect with Me

RSS Twitter Linkedin email

Our Latest Tweets