Okanagan Wine Tour Information
If you're thinking about an Okanagan wine tour you have a number of options for making the most of visiting beautiful Okanagan wineries, and for making your wine tours in BC an unforgettable experience!
Many people visit the valley just for wine tour vacations. Wineries in the Okanagan region are spread throughout the 144 km long Valley, and many are clustered together in rural areas around cities and towns, making touring by subregion convenient and easy.
If you're planning a self-guided tour, or just out and about on a leisure drive, you'll see well routed "wine route signs" along the roads and highway that will help you find groups of wineries.
The South Okanagan has the greatest concentration of wineries in the entire valley, and lies next to the Similkameen Valley wine region.
There are various wine subregions in the valley:
while the Central and North Okanagan includes Penticton and Summerland wineries, the Naramata Bench, Peachland, Kelowna wineries and north to Vernon BC.
Almost all Okanagan wineries are less than an hour's drive in any direction from the city of Penticton.
You may prefer a guided wine country tour, and there are numerous wine tour companies that offer you complete Okanagan wine tour packages.
A guided tour usually consists of an afternoon or all day excursion, with visits to a number (usually about 4 - 6) of preplanned wineries, and will generally include a meal at one of the vineyards.
If you're new to wine tours in BC, and the Okanagan, or even wine tasting in general, a guided tour is also excellent as the tour companies and operators are very knowledgeable about all the aspects of the Okanagan wine industry.
This is also a good option if you or your group all plan to do wine tasting, and you don't have a designated driver.
And in some areas, like the Naramata Bench along the Kettle Valley Trail, you can also do bicycle wine tours, either on your own or one provided by a tour company.
Touring by bike, particularly on the KVR trail, should be a well planned trip, not only for touring, but also for biking, and may limit you to wineries along designated bike routes.
Best Time To Visit
The best time of year for an Okanagan wine tour is during the warmer months, between spring and fall, and summer is, of course, the busiest time.
Not all wineries offer tours and tastings, so it there's a particular winery you want to visit, you may need to call ahead to see if you can book a private tasting. Many wineries offer limited hours during the winter, and some even close entirely.
Do wineries charge for tasting? Some do and some don't.
Wineries that do charge a small fee for tasting generally offer that fee back if you purchase a bottle of wine during your tour.
Most wineries offer tastings of 4 to 6 different types of wine; combinations of reds and whites, fruit wines, dessert wines, and wonderful Canadian Ice Wine.
Also, some wines are only available for purchase at local wineries, so if there is one that you really enjoy, you may want to buy some from the vineyard wine store.
You may be here during an Okanagan Wine Festival (there are 4 throughout the year), when there are many events and opportunities for experiencing a variety of wineries, wines, and some really delicious cuisine!
British Columbia Wine Museum
A great place to learn about Okanagan wine is the BC Wine Museum in the city of Kelowna. The Wine Museum is located in the historical Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna's cultural district and offers extensive insights into the history and culture of the grape, and also to the wine industry in British Columbia.Visit
The Wine Museum
1304 Ellis Street
Kelowna, BC V1Y 1Z8
Telephone: (250) 868-0441
Hours are Monday to Friday, 10:00am - 6:00pm, Saturday, 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday and Holidays, 11:00am - 5:00pm
The museum displays historic bottles, wine-making equipment, labels, and artifacts from the history of winemaking and viticulture.
If it's your first Okanagan wine tour here, or you can't decide which winery to visit, it's a wonderful place to start to learn about the wine industry in the Okanagan, and get some recommendations.
There's also wine appreciation courses, and on-going wine related seminars are available year round. The museum offers exhibits, programs, special events and limited edition V.Q.A. British Columbia wines for sale.
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Enjoy your Okanagan wine tour!!
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