THE ULTIMATE WEST KELOWNA WINE TOUR GUIDE

Set amongst a backdrop of lush orchards, vine-laden hillsides and overlooking the sparkling gem that is Okanagan Lake, West Kelowna is the ideal location for those wishing to embark on an Okanagan wine tour. Read our ultimate wine guide to learn everything you need to know about viticulture in this beautiful region as well as where and what you can sip when booking one of our West Kelowna hotel wine tour packages.

GUIDE QUICK LINKS
History of Wine on the Westside
Exploring the Westside Wine Trail
White Wine Grapes Grow in West Kelowna
Wine Events and Festivals
Explore the Westside Wine Trail with These Apps
Sip and Stay with Okanagan Wine Tour Packages
HISTORY OF WINE ON THE WESTSIDE

Did you know that a large part of West Kelowna, including several West Kelowna wineries, is located on a dormant stratovolcano?

Visible from our hotel in West Kelowna, Mount Boucherie was formed in the early Cenozoic period nearly 60 million years ago. Years of geological shifts and erosion have eaten away the mountain’s rocky surface to reveal a mix of sandy loam, clay, and limestone, with mineral-rich deposits and volcanic rock. Combine that soil with the Okanagan’s semi-arid climate, and you have the perfect conditions for growing fruit, and particularly grapes.

The first grapes were planted in the Okanagan in mid-1800 when Father Pandosy established the first vineyard at the Oblate mission in Kelowna. However, the wine industry in West Kelowna only started in the mid-20th century.

The Stewart family started growing grapes at the historic Allison Ranch property (now Quails’ Gate) in 1956, followed by the opening of the original Mission Hill estate in 1966.

Since then, West Kelowna has grown to be known as a world-class wine region with more than 13 established wineries, many of which produce award-winning varietals.

EXPLORING THE WESTSIDE WINE TRAIL
West Kelowna’s wineries offer breathtaking views and a refreshing respite when staying at Okanagan Valley hotels. Check out the 13 wineries on the Westside Wine Trail, and get ready to sip to your heart’s content. All the wineries listed have tasting rooms, with some also offering dining options, where you can enjoy deliciously prepared farm-to-table delicacies overlooking the vineyards.

The Westside Wine Trail
The Westside Wine Trail

CIAO BELLA WINERY
Southern Italy meets the Okanagan at this West Kelowna winery located on Glencoe Road. Farmed initially by Napoli natives Luigi and Melina Fiume in 1986, the winery was established by their son Roberto. Ciao Bella continues to produce award-winning wines with an Italian flair. Visit the boutique wine shop to pick out a bottle of Pinot Nero, a gold medal winner from the 2016 All Canadian Wine Awards, which pairs well with charcuterie to enjoy in the licensed picnic area.

KALALA ORGANIC ESTATE WINERY
Meaning Miracle Place, Kalala is a fully certified organic winery located in the Upper Bench area of West Kelowna. Proprietor Karnail Singh Sindu is an award-winning viticulturist who has more than 20 years experience working in organic agriculture. Savour Kalala’s award-winning organic whites, reds, and icewines, and taste why its 2013 Chardonnay Icewine was crowned the best in the world at the Chardonnay du Monde® in France.

OFF THE GRID ORGANIC WINERY
Watch as goats munch on the grass roof at this organic winery in the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna. Owned by the Paynter brothers, who come from a long line of farmers, Off the Grid uses sustainable practices to makes its organic wines. You can even enjoy wine and yoga while enjoying a glorious view of Okanagan Lake.

MISSION HILL ESTATE WINERY
Mission Hill made its mark on the world scale when wine seller Anthony Von Mandl invested in the hillside property on Mount Boucherie in 1981. The estate has since grown to include five vineyards as well as a winery, cellars and tasting room housed in a sprawling classically-designed building with a 12-storey bell tower and Greek amphitheatre, where famed international artists perform in summer. Mission Hill offers tours and tastings and el fresco dining at the world-class Terrace Restaurant in summer, as well as culinary classes and a long-table dinner series.

The Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery overlooks stunning vineyards, lake, and mountain views.
The Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery overlooks stunning vineyards, lake, and mountain views.

Old Vine’s Restaurant at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery – Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com
Old Vine’s Restaurant at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery – Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com

QUAILS’ GATE ESTATE WINERY
Located on the historic Allison Ranch property, a stroll through the vineyards at this established winery on the southern slope of Mount Boucherie serves up gorgeous views of Okanagan Lake. Sip Quails’ Gate’s award-winning wines and go on a guided wine tour of its modern and rustic renovated buildings, including tasting room, gift shop, library, and winery. Make sure to book a table at Old Vines Restaurant, rated as one of the top 100 restaurants in Canada.

THE HATCH
Known for its artistic and cheeky signs, labels, tattoos, sense of humour (check out their website for an example), and Gold and Platinum award-winning wines, the hatch is a must visit when touring Mount Boucherie wineries. Visit the winery’s tasting room, make that rustic tasting shack, and indulge in a glass of Gobsmacked ‘Flipping the Bird’ Pink, Screaming Frenzy Pinot Noir, or Talking Stories ‘Lip Service’ White.

LITTLE STRAW VINEYARDS
Little Straw produces the popular Tapestry white blend as well as two distinctive Sauvignon Blanc wines produced from grapes on their family-owned and operated vineyards on the lower slopes of Mount Boucherie. Selections can be purchased in Little Straw’s wine shop or sipped in their winery lounge, the Barrel Top Grill.

VOLCANIC HILL ESTATE WINERY
Named after its Mount Boucherie home, Volcanic Hills is a family owned winery that serves up its award-winning wines in a bright and spacious tasting room and wine shop. Stay for a bite and enjoy the views of the surrounding hillside and lake at Blu Saffron restaurant, serving both lunch and dinner.

MT. BOUCHERIE ESTATE WINERY
Located only 6.5 kilometres from our West Kelowna hotel, Mt. Boucherie is situated on the eastern slope of Mount Boucherie, where grapes have been grown since 1968. The winery offers daily tastings as well as sommelier-led private wine tours by appointment. Pack a picnic and enjoy the lake and vineyard views off their patio.

BEAUMONT ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY
A family estate winery with 36 acres of vineyards located within two city blocks on the eastern side of Mount Boucherie, Beaumont’s grapes have been 100% certified organic with the Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association since 1995. Visit Beaumont’s estate winery to sample and purchase their Gamay Noir as well as their Pinot Gris, Noir, and Rosé, all bottled with their distinctive treble clef music labels.

ROLLINGDALE WINERY
An organic farm-gate winery noted for its relaxing atmosphere, Rollingdale is located just 7 minutes from Okanagan wine hotels such as the Best Western Wine Country Hotel and Suites. Stop by for a tasting of Organic Estate Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Fort or Blanc de Merlot and tour the wine cellar.

INDIGENOUS WORLD WINERY
Owned and operated by former Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie and his wife Bernice, Indigenous World embodies the land, spirit, and fortitude of the Syilx people. Located on the east side of Highway 97, just seven kilometres north of the Best Western Wine Country West Kelowna hotel with swimming pool, Indigenous World offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Okanagan Lake from its sundeck and features award-winning wines and native inspired dishes at its Red Fox Club restaurant.

GRIZZLI WINERY
Named after Canada’s majestic ursine, Grizzli Winery is the latest winery to be established on Mount Boucherie Road. Look for its Tuscan-inspired winery building made from centuries-old yellow cedars, awarded the Thompson Okanagan’s Best New Winery Design. Grizzli uses traditional and modern techniques to make world-class reds, whites, and icewines.

WHAT WINE GRAPES GROW IN WEST KELOWNA
When you set off on a Westside wine tour, you will see grape vines growing as far as the eye can see thanks to our hot, dry summers, the terroir of volcanic rock and clay, and long daylight hours.

Some of the grape varieties grown here include:
Auxerrois
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Chardonnay
Chasselas
Chenin Blanc
Gamay Noir
Gewürztraminer
Lemberger
Marechal Foch
Merlot
Optima
Pinot Gris
Pinot Blanc
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc
Zweigelt

WINE EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Learn about local wines and savour the bounty at spring markets, long-table dinners, culinary classes, wine pairing workshops, and more when staying at West Kelowna hotels. For a full list of local wine events, visit the Westside Wine Trail.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society holds four seasonal festivals with more than 100 annual events in Okanagan wine country. Get ready for the Summer Wine Festival and check out some of these other events for 2019.

Other Westside wine events are listed on the West Kelowna tourism site.

EXPLORE THE WESTSIDE WINE TRAIL WITH THESE APPS
Find and bookmark your favourite Okanagan wineries, post a review, keep track of Okanagan wine festivals and events, and more!

Download these handy dandy wine apps, available on the Apple Store and Google Play:
Okanagan Wine Festivals app
Wine Findr
BC Wine Trip Planner
Wine Tripper (BC Edition)
Access your favourite wineries from your fingertips with these apps!
Access your favourite wineries from your fingertips with these apps!

SIP AND STAY WITH OKANAGAN WINE TOUR PACKAGES
Leave the car keys back at your West Kelowna hotel suite and climb on board our wine tour partner’s air-conditioned bus to visit some of the best wineries around the Okanagan.

West Kelowna Hotel Wine ToursTake in the stunning beauty while an experienced guide shares her vast knowledge about how wine is made, the different varietals, and how to savour every drop.

Learn more about our West Kelowna hotel wine packages and enjoy:

Accommodation at the Best Western Wine Country Hotel and Suites,
the only hotel with a West Kelowna waterslide.
Complimentary hot breakfast buffet
Pick-up and drop-off at our wine country hotel
Fully guided tour
Tasting fees
Lunch stop at one of the wineries
Bottled water

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