Canada's Okanagan Wine Tour
This suggested 8-night itinerary will provide you with the opportunity to extensively tour – and sample – the world-famous wineries of Okanagan Valley. Pick up your motorhome and travel at your own pace; there will be tipple after tipple to tempt you towards each destination. Alongside the award-winning wines, you will travel into the heart of some of Canada’s most diverse landscapes, from mountain ranges to desert plains, lush forestry to miles of green vineyards.
Pick up your RV in Calgary or Vancouver and head to Kelowna to begin your wine tour. Make sure you give yourself ample time for the 338km drive – we predict you will want some photo stops along the way. Overnight in Kelowna
Head out today to tour some of the wineries on the east side of Kelowna. Some options include Camelot Vineyards, a young winery which welcomes visitors between May and October each year. House of Rose is nestled amongst apple orchards on the outskirts of Kelowna and is renowned for its Winter Wine, a secret blend of ice wine with grapes picked late in the fall. For spectacular views of Kelowna and the Okanagan Lake, be sure to visit The View winery.
We suggest you make your last stop at Summerhill Winery, Canada’s largest certified organic vineyard. This may well be the most-visited winery in all of Canada, not least for their replica of the pyramid of Egypt to scientifically age their wines. Overnight at Kelowna.
This morning we suggest you begin at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in Summerland for a Tour and Tastings. Known as one of the pioneer wineries of the BC wine industry, this is a must-visit on your trip. Your next stop in Summerland is at Thornhaven Winery, situated in a quaint little valley overlooking Okanagan Lake. Located only two blocks away is DirtyLaundry Winery. These two wineries are quintessential Okanagan winery settings and shouldn’t be missed.
After passing through the heart of Penticton, you’ll enter onto the “Naramata Bench”, home to 15 wineries with amazing vistas, view and vineyards along the way. Consider having lunch at the Barrel Room Bistro at Hillside Estate Winery. With so many wineries within such a close proximity, you will certainly be spoiled for choice for which to visit first.
A good stop today would be in the sleepy village of Naramata. At the general store, you can pick up some local Poplar Grove cheese along with some crackers and wine and take it to beautiful Manitou Park, located just four blocks away on Okanagan Lake. Buy some local ingredients for dinner or splash out on a wine-paired meal at the Hooded Merganser. Overnight at Penticton
Today we suggest you start your day discovering Penticton and its quaint downtown or strolling along the lakeside boardwalk. Before you depart Penticton, stop by the Okanagan VQA Wine Store located at the Visitor Information Centre. It features a full selection of wines from one end of the valley to the other.
Depart the town and head south on highway 97 to the town of Osoyioos. Take a brief stop to stretch your legs in the quaint village of Okanagan Falls – try the ice-cream at Tickleberry’s! From Okanagan Falls, take Green Lake Road to your first winery of the day; See Ya Later Ranch Winery. Originally planted as an orchard in the early part of the last century, this winery has terrific wines, a fabulous view and a unique north-east facing vineyard.
Two special afternoon tours will be the highlight of your day. This first is a tour of Burrowing Owl Winery. This is a sprawling estate winery that produces some of B.C.’s most sought-after wines. Next you will venture on to taste the wines of Tinhorn Creek Estate. This winery is nestled in the hillside next to a former gold mining creek and near the site of an old ghost town. The self-guided historical tour atop the “Golden Mile” provides some fabulous views. Overnight at Osoyoos.
A desert in Canada? Here in Osoyoos you’ll find yourself in the world famous “Pocket Desert”, a small patch of the Sonoran Desert that extends all the way from Mexico into BC’s Okanagan Valley. Spend the morning at the Osoyoos Desert Centre, an ecological interpretive centre and learn about desert ecology, ecological restoration of damaged portions of the landscape, and the flora and fauna which inhabit this unique ecosystem.
We suggest that next you take some time in the Nk’Mip Desert Centre. This state-of-the-art venue celebrates thousands of years of Okanagan First Nations culture through on-site cultural tours and interpretive displays. Right next door to the Desert Centre you’ll find Nk’Mip Cellars. The winery site is one of the most attractive in the South Okanagan with outstanding views in a setting of natural beauty. Overnight in Osoyoos.
As you leave Osoyoos this morning, take Highway 3 out of the to climb the scenic Richter Pass into Similkameen Valley. This relatively undeveloped valley has seen several new wineries and vineyards sprout up in the last two years. Your first stop today takes you a kiometre off the highway to the shores of the Similkameen River and Forbidden Fruit Organic Winery. The farm has grown organic fruit for years and supplies several large Canadian stores with produce. This may be your first opportunity to taste fruit wines!
Your journey then takes you to Crowsnest Vineyards, situated overlooking the beautiful Cascade Mountains. This winery features a restaurant and overnight accommodation. Take in the sights from their patio as you enjoy German wine and delicious cuisine. Later, travel towards Keremeos and stop to visit the Grist Mill & Gardens. Founded in 1877, and lovingly restored to grind fresh flour daily, the historic mill is over 125 years old. Colourful heritage gardens take you back in time to the pioneer days of pack horses, gold miners, and wood stoves. You might even be invited to share a hands-on historical experience and partake in the daily chores!
Head back north on Highway 97 through Penticton towards Peachland. En route, you may like to drop in on some of the wineries you didn’t have time for when you first travelled this road. Names such as Sleeping Giant, Sonoran, Silk Scarf, 8th Generation and Hollywood and Vine are sure to arouse your curiosity. Overnight in Peachland.
Venture outside Peachland and you’ll find Hainle Vineyards & Winery Bistro. Make sure you grab a bite to eat - watch from your seat as the culinary team prepares fresh artisan creations from the exhibition kitchen.
Framed by the silhouette of the Okanagan hills, the vineyards of west Kelowna offer more opportunities to taste and savour some great wines. Larger wineries such as Mission Hill offer a variety of tour options while smaller wineries like Little Straw have tastings only. There are countless others that will awaken your taste buds – the only question is, which ones will you visit? Overnight in Kelowna.
Continue to Shuswap Lake via Vernon for your overnight stop. We suggest you check out a couple of small wineries along the way as you traverse the east banks of Lake Okanagan. Tours of the Grey Monk Estate Winery take place daily year-round and you are welcome to sample and purchase from the wide variety of wines they produce. Close by you can also visit Ex Nihilo Winery. This Mediterranean style winery has a new tasting room where you can enjoy a truly unique Okanagan Valley wine experience.
After passing through Vernon, take Highway 97A to Armstrong. At Armstrong, turn west on Lansdowne Road and follow the signs through lush farmland to Hunting Hawk Vineyards in the beautiful Spallumcheen Valley. Next, take Highway 97B to towards Salmon Arm. Our last vineyard on this tour is the Larch Hill Winery. Larch Hills produces premium cool climate wines and has won numerous awards at festivals across Canada. Overnight at Shuswap Lake.
Enjoy the drive back "home" today as you leave the Shuswap and take your chosen route back to your pick-up location. This has been a trip you will never forget.