Hailed as the Napa of the North, Okanagan Valley boasts with a great number of wineries fit for wine lovers as well as adventurers. Its climate is the same as that of other wine-producing places, so it makes sense to have a large number of great wineries here. Most of the wineries here are family-run operations that harvest grapes such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
If you are going to visit Okanagan Valley for their famous wineries, the best time would be late spring to early fall, as wine festivals are rapidly on-going and the owners expects more visitors during this time. There are more than 150 wineries currently active at Okanagan Valley and visiting them all in one season can be a pain, therefore, we compiled some of the best wineries that you can visit this coming fall.
Owned by Stephen Cipes and his family, Summerhill pyramid started back in 1986 and has been steadily growing ever since. It is one of the most visited winery in Okanagan and it’s also the largest certified organic winery in Canada. Their dedication in keeping the lake and grapes free from chemical has certainly paid-off. They have an extensive range of wine and visitors come from near and far to try their sparkling bubblys.
Cedar Creek Estate Winery
Owned by an Okanagan native provincial senator Ross Fitzpatrick, Cedar Creek Estate Winery is a Mediterranean-style winery which provides a spectacular view of lakes. It has its own restaurant which serves seasonal dishes made from local ingredients. By the way, Ross Fitzpatrick has taken an active role in shaping and preserving the future of the region. It is now owned and operated by his son, and has a motto “Respect the land, honour tradition, pursue perfection”.
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
This work of art cannot be hard to spot because of their monument overlooking Kelowna. There are reports that it costs $40 million to be built. They have a wonderful lush on their on-site vineyards, underground cellars blasted from volcanic rocks. They even have an exquisite line-up of musical performers at the Amphitheater.
Featuring a state of the art facility completed in March 2010 and originally known as Pioneer Vineyards, Tantalus was founded in 2004 by Eric Savics. Dating back as far as 1927, it was originally used for table grapes. The facility was the first recipient of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery
The tour in Quail’s Gate Estate Winery includes visiting the former tasting room which was housed in a restored stone and wood home built in 1873 by John and Susan Alison, the first European who settled in the west side with wine making in mind. The winery has a 4,500 square-foot hospitality center has a tasting bar with self-rinsing spittoon. They have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and unique Zinfandel-like Maréchal Foch, made by Grant Stanley, formerly of New Zealand’s Ata Rangi.