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The best Okanagan wineries: your ultimate guide (written by a local)


best okanagan wineries
Vineyards of the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Photo credit: Kristen Thompson of


I’m not writing this guide to the best Okanagan wineries as a sommelier or journalist on a press trip. I’m writing it as a long-time, passionate (translation: obsessed) wine drinker who lives in the region and has spent countless hours and days visiting more than 80 of its wineries. From Lake Country in the North to Osoyoos in the South, there are no shortages of excellent wineries in the Okanagan Valley of B.C., Canada to keep us winos happy.


I was thrown into the world of wine at age 18 as a fine dining server at a Fairmont Resort, and quickly grew to appreciate all that is wine while working in high-end restaurants through university. As I started travelling more, I had the pleasure of visiting wineries all over the world (Australia, Europe, the U.S.A. – but mostly the Okanagan), turning wine tasting into an epic hobby. Visiting wineries gives me a certain joie de vivre. I appreciate everything from an oaky, buttery chardonnay, to a fruity, patio-pounder rosé, to a peppery, full-bodied Syrah.


But it’s not just about what I think. This article takes into account opinions from friends and family who live in the area and have also spent a considerable amount of time visiting Okanagan Valley wineries.


best okanagan wineries
Some of my fave gals (and wine critics) at a tasting at Nagging Doubt Winery in East Kelowna.


With so many wineries and sub-regions in the Okanagan Valley, it’s incredibly difficult to choose which wineries to visit, especially if you have limited time. I have this problem and I LIVE in the Okanagan (Kelowna). So I’ll tell you what I think are the overall best wineries in each area, and even my top 10 picks for the whole valley, so you can choose to focus on one or two areas, or do the driving to hit up the best of the best.


DISCLAIMER: With so many wineries and a range of individual preferences in wine (plus the fact that I haven’t been to all of them), this a subjective opinion piece. There are many good wineries I haven’t mentioned below, simply because there are too many. I’ve tried to pick the best overall based first on the quality of wine, and second, the atmosphere, scenery, and tasting experience. If you disagree, let me know, and I’ll drink two to three glasses of wine to reduce my risk of giving a shit, then consider updating this article (wink, wink). 


Okanagan wine tasting: what to know before you go


With 84% of the province’s vineyard acreage, the Okanagan Valley is B.C.’s premiere wine-growing region. Along with Ontario’s wine region, it makes the best wine in all of Canada. The valley stretches over 250 kilometres, with gentle mountains hugging calm, dark blue lakes and vineyards rising up from the shores. If you’re not pressed for time while in the Okanagan and hope to accomplish more than a daily wine buzz, check out this post on Kelowna to Osoyoos: the ultimate Okanagan road trip for loads of good ideas for what to do in the area in addition to visiting wineries.


best okanagan wine
 A selection of palate-pleasing Okanagan Valley whites.


Okanagan wineries are generally all open from April until October, seven days a week, from about 10 a.m. until five or six p.m. Many are open year-round, but several close from November until March (check before you visit as opening months, days, and times vary by winery). Small groups can visit most wineries on a walk-in basis. Large groups should call ahead and book a tasting. All of the wineries listed below take walk-ins unless otherwise noted. Most have a five dollar tasting fee, which is waived with the purchase of wine.


This is the best map and listing of Okanagan wineries I’ve been able to find online.


Since it isn’t good to keep things bottled up (especially wine), here we go with the best Okanagan wineries, starting with the North of the valley to the South, and ending with the top 10.


epic winery sunset, Cedar Creek Winery
Sunset views from Cedar Creek Estate Winery. Photo credit: Nicole Greer



Lake Country Wineries


This area doesn’t have the volume of wineries or as much  “wow” factor as some of the other sub regions listed below. The benefit of Lake Country though is that it’s close to Kelowna and the international airport, so very accessible, with great lake views and a range of varietals for tasting.





Why: A beautiful and impressive property with a selection of crisp, fruity whites and expressive Pinot Noirs (the only red varietal available).

Wines to try: Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir Rosé, and the multiple Pinot Noirs.

Restaurant: Yes, Block One Restaurant.



Why: Spectacular lake and vineyard views and a wide selection of varietals to suit all palate preferences at a good price point.

Wines to try: reds from the Odyssey reserve series.

Restaurant: Yes, The Lookout Restaurant.



Why: This newer, contemporary winery has friendly service and a nice range of whites (but only one red – a Pinot Noir).

Wines to try: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rosé.

Restaurant: Yes, the Garden Bistro is a lovely, modern patio.



Honourable mention


  • ARROWLEAF CELLARS, for its good price point, awesome lake views, and tasty Bacchus.


Gray Monk winery, Lake Country, BC
View from Gray Monk Winery in Lake Country, B.C.


Kelowna and West Kelowna Wineries


Heading further south into the valley, there are more than 30 wineries in Kelowna and West Kelowna, and I’ve marked them with (K) or (WK) to help you plan. If you only have time for one area, West Kelowna is the one to choose, although I’d hate for you to miss out on Cedar Creek Winery.





Why: In my opinion, this is the best Kelowna winery. In fact, this is my favourite winery in the whole valley. It’s the total package, with a large portfolio of high-quality whites, reds, and rosés, plus great service, amazing lake views, and a beautiful new tasting room that opened in August 2019. If you like chardonnay, you’ll find a good one here at a lower price point than others in the valley. You may even end up joining the wine club like we did.

Wines to try: All are good, but fan favourites are the Estate Chardonnay, Estate Syrah, and Block 4 Pinot Noir (I also love the Desert Hills Merlot, and I can’t forget about the Platinum Viognier… oh, and the Platinum Rosé is amazing). I repeat, they’re all good.

Restaurant: Yes, the beautifully modern Home Block Restaurant opened in 2019. It features a large patio overlooking the lake and delectable terroir-to-table dishes.


cedar creek winery tasting room
Cedar Creek’s beautiful new tasting room opened in August, 2019




Why: Oh, my heart. Another of the best Kelowna wineries, I am in love with this winery, as are most who visit. It offers a selection of amazing wine, stunning vineyard and lake views, great service and an excellent restaurant.

Wines to try: All are good, but try the Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Old Vines Foch.

Restaurant: Yes. Old Vines Restaurant is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in the Okanagan.


best okanagan wineries
Enjoying wine and charcuterie with friends in the vineyards at Quails Gate Winery in West Kelowna.



Why: Enter the immaculate Mission Hill and you’ll feel more like you’re in Europe than Canada (I purposely didn’t include a photo). It’s highly impressive, with beautiful architecture, a wonderful tasting room and gift shop, and spectacular lake views. If you have time, it’s worth paying for a private sommelier-guided tasting and tour where you can sample the higher-end wines and check out the cellars.

Wines to try: reds from the Legacy Collection (Oculus, Quatrain, Compendium, etc.)

Restaurant: Yes, The Terrace Restaurant.



Why: Friendly service and equally excellent whites and reds (especially the Sauvignon Blancs) to please a variety of wine preferences.

Wines to try: Sauvignon Blanc, Old Vines Auxerrois (and try to say “auxerrois” without sounding ridiculous), and the Southern Cross red blend.

Restaurant: Yes, The Barrel Top Grill.


best okanagan wineries
Rosé all day. Some Okanagan favourites.


Honourable mentions


  • THE HATCH (WK), hugely popular for its unique decor, hipster vibe, bold branding, and funky items for sale. There’s even “free babysitting” (see photo below) and quirky, entertaining staff.
  • NAGGING DOUBT (K), a quiet, hidden gem in East Kelowna. Tastings are by-appointment only with Rob, the winemaker and owner, who creates a selection of impressive whites and reds. I particularly love the Siegerrebe white and two red blends (The Leap and The Pull).
  • SANDHILL (K), for its prime downtown Kelowna location, good wines, and Friday night happy hours with live music.
  • SUMMERHILL PYRAMID WINERY (K) is popular with tour groups and is a cool property with a patio restaurant overlooking the lake. It deserves a nod for its vibe, certified organic status, and some lovely high-end reds, like the Spade Foot Toad Syrah.


the hatch winery Kelowna
“Free babysitting” at The Hatch Winery in West Kelowna


Summerland/Peachland Wineries


This area doesn’t have a large selection of super impressive wineries like the other sub-regions of the Okanagan do, but if you like quaint, quieter wine tasting experiences, this may be the perfect area for you to explore.





Why: A super classy, modern tasting room, friendly staff and smooth wines that are especially good on a hot summer day.

Wines to try: The Chardonnay, Rosé, and sparkling wines stood out for me.

Restaurant? Yes, The Bistro.



Why: This quaint, family-run winery offers an intimate tasting experience, knowledgeable staff (the owners and winemakers usually do the tastings), and some memorable, unique wines.

Wines to try: The White Pinot is amazing, and the Malbec and Shiraz-Viognier are lovely.

Restaurant: No


Honourable mention


  • DIRTY LAUNDRY VINEYARDS, for those who enjoy sweeter wines, and for its fun and interesting branding and back-story.


best okanagan wineries
“All you need is love. And wine. Definitely wine.” 


Penticton/Naramata Wineries


This area has A LOT of heavy hitters. You could spend three full days here and still not visit all the wineries. If you’re going to pick one area of the Okanagan Valley to focus on, this one will not disappoint.





Why: The most beautiful and bright white modern tasting room, exceptional wines (so much so that we became wine club members), beautiful views of Skaha Lake, and knowledgeable, friendly staff.

Wines to try: I enjoy them all, but the Chardonnay, Syrah, and the Red Icon Bordeaux blend are my top picks.

Restaurant: No


best okanagan wineries
Hubs at Painted Rock Estate Winery in Penticton.



Why: This Mediterranean-style winery boasts beautiful grounds and a large range of clean, crisp, fruit-driven wines.

Wines to try: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc

Restaurant: Yes, the Patio Restaurant.



Why: A statement winery with a beautiful tasting room, sweeping views of the vineyards and lake, and elegant wines to match.

Wines to try: Chardonnay and Syrah

Restaurant: Yes, the Vanilla Pod Restaurant.



Why: Anyone in the finance sector will appreciate this winery, with stock ticker symbols and prices from the time of production covering the bottles. If you’re a red lover, this is a must-do on the Naramata bench. Call ahead for reservations.

Wines to try: Any of the reds, but the Portfolio Bordeaux blend is our favourite.

Restaurant: No


Honourable mentions


  • LA FRENZ WINERY, for a selection of fabulous wines that are reliably good visit after visit… after visit.
  • LITTLE ENGINE WINES, for wines that match fruit characteristics with balance and complexity (the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are some of the best we’ve had in valley).


Burrowing Owl winery Oliver BC
“And then the wine whispered: say what you really think.” Burrowing Owl wine shop.


Okanagan Falls/Oliver/Osoyoos Wineries


As you drive further south towards the U.S.A. border, you’ll find another high concentration of excellent wineries in and around the towns of Okanagan Falls, Oliver, and Osoyoos. You could easily spend a few days or more in this generally quiet area of the province.





Why: Excellent service and a wide selection of wines that are ALL good, featuring a range of textures, bodies, and finishes.

Wines to try: All have pros, but the Trebbiano (the only in the valley), Rosé, and Garland (Cabernet-dominant red blend) are my faves.

Restaurant: Yes, Terrafina Restaurant.



Why: A classic (and classy) Okanagan winery, with high-quality wines and vineyards as far as the eye can see. The views from the tower are brilliant.

Wines to try: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Restaurant: Yes, The Sonora Room.


Burrowing Owl winery
View of the pool and vineyards at Burrowing Owl Winery near Oliver, B.C.



Why: This seated, by-reservation only wine flight experience featuring full-bodied wines with depth and complexity makes you feel fancy.

Wines to try: Viognier, Syrah, Carmenere, and Nota Bene.

Restaurant: No



Why: An intimate tasting experience with wonderful staff and a selection of wines offering diverse flavour profiles.

Wines to try: Allesio Pinot Blanc and Reserve Pinot Noir.

Restaurant: No


Hester creek Oliver wineries
That time we dragged our kids wine tasting. Cohen and Vayla at Hester Creek Winery, Oliver, B.C.


Honourable mentions


  • MEYER FAMILY VINEYARDS, for a memorable and quaint tasting experience that deliciously pairs popcorn with buttery Chardonnays and chocolate with jammy Pinot Noirs.
  • MOON CURSER VINEYARDS, for a wide selection of quality reds.
  • TINHORN CREEK VINEYARDS, for a reliably good selection of wines and welcoming tasting experience.


If you love reds…


I’ll be honest – good reds are harder to find in the Okanagan Valley than good whites. If you’re a red lover, a few wineries with multiple, consistently good red wines are: Cedar Creek in Kelowna, Painted Rock in Penticton, Laughing Stock in Naramata, Black Hills in Okanagan Falls, Hester Creek in Oliver, and Moon Curser in Osoyoos.


best okanagan valley red wine
Okanagan reds line the shelves of my wine rack


The Epic Grand Finale: the Top 10 Best Okanagan Wineries


Life is too short to drink bad wine. So here’s what I think are the VERY BEST OKANAGAN WINERIES based on both wine AND experience. I realize this is bold, opinionated, and subjective. But I’m excited, so here we go!


  1. Cedar Creek Estate Winery, Kelowna
  2. Quails Gate Winery, West Kelowna
  3. Hester Creek Estate Winery, Oliver
  4. Painted Rock Estate Winery, Penticton
  5. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, West Kelowna
  6. Poplar Grove Winery, Naramata
  7. Black Hills Estate Winery, Okanagan Falls
  8. Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Oliver
  9. Laughing Stock Vineyards, Naramata
  10. Lake Breeze Vineyards, Naramata


Well, I guess it’s time to book your wine tour or designated driver so you can sample some of these beauties! And like I always say, everything is better with a wine buzz.


Need more wine in your life? Here are my articles on wine tasting in Tuscany, Italy and Portugal’s Douro Valley. Looking for more on B.C.’s beautiful Okanagan Valley? Check out my post on Big White Ski Resort if you’re planning a winter visit.


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  1. Josy A

    Thaaaaaank you!

    You sent me a link to this post before my trip to the Okanagan and it was sooo useful to help let me know where we should visit! I managed to make it to several of the wineries on your list, and I spent waaaay too much money (oops)

    Anyway, we had a great trip, so thank you for the tips, you superstar!!

    June 14, 2019 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      AMAZING, so happy you found my post useful and were able to visit some of the awesome wineries in the area!!! That’s what happens with good wine – you always spend too much! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      June 14, 2019 Reply
  2. Jane S

    Thank you for this amazing post! We are going to Kelowna for an event and have a free afternoon to do some amazing tasting. We don’t want to sign up for those big tour groups (as we have some specific wineries to visit thanks to your recommendation), but at the same time no one wants to drive and give up tasting. I’m wondering how did you travel in the area? Is it easy to get a Taxi in Kelowna or West Kelowna area?Otherwise, is there any private driver services you’ve used before? Thanks a lot!!!

    October 8, 2019 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi there and thanks for your comment! We normally have a DD but your best option is renting a limo. Sounds expensive but it’s not bad. It’ll be much cheaper than taking a cab or paying individually for a wine tour. I’d try Kelowna limo or Sun valley limo. It’ll be fun and fancy!! Hope you love the beautiful Okanagan and our wineries. Don’t miss cedar creek and quails gate!

      October 8, 2019 Reply
  3. Alex HB

    Great list! However, you neglected most of the Osoyoos area. This is where some of the best reds can be found. I would definitely add Lariana Cellars to that list for people looking for reds, and maybe Nk’Mip too!

    February 23, 2020 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Thanks Alex. I only included wineries I’ve been to, so I could accurately give my opinion on them. It’s hard to get to all of them, but I’m slowly working on it! I included Moon Curser in Ososyoos in the reds section and have been to Nk’Mip and liked the reds, but for me they weren’t as good as some of the other wineries I included. Just my opinion though and I’d love to broaden this list as I visit more wineries (Lariana is on the list for this May). Cheers!

      February 27, 2020 Reply
  4. Edwin

    We’re thinking of visiting some wineries in the region in August, so really appreciate this post! It’s nice to see something as broad yet opinionated like this, with concise and informative reviews and plenty of photos. Best part is reading an opinion that’s unfettered by concerns about vendor or sponsor relationships.

    July 4, 2020 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Thanks for your comment Edwin! I hope you enjoy our amazing wineries this August.

      July 4, 2020 Reply
  5. Lindsay Bonnett


    Great article! Could you rank your favourite restaurants as well in the entire valley? Looking for some good ones for a birthday weekend in the Okanagan!

    July 9, 2020 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi Lindsay! Thanks for your comment. I am mostly familiar with Kelowna and West Kelowna restaurants, and that is where the best range of restaurants is. One of my favourites is Homeblock restaurant at Cedar Creek Winery in South Kelowna. For downtown Kelowna, I really like Raudz, Krafty Kitchen, Salt & Brick, and Cactus Club has a great vibe as it’s right on the water by the yacht club. For West Kelowna, hands down my favourite is Old Vines restaurant at Quails Gate Winery. In Penticton, Salty’s is awesome – great vibe and right across from the beach – more laid back but good food and cocktails. I hope that helps as a start!

      July 14, 2020 Reply
  6. Gordon

    We really enjoy Penticton and travel from Vancouver each year for a few days stay. We also enjoy the area wines, however, after loading the SUV with a few cases and returning to Vancouver we find we could have purchased at the BC Liquor store that is 1 block away. So my question is … are there any good wines/wineries I should visit that are unavailable at the local BC gov liquor store?

    July 11, 2020 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi Gordon, in my time living here and visiting wineries, I’ve found there are a lot that aren’t available at the BC liquor store. Most of the big wineries have a few varietals available, but you won’t find many of the smaller lot, very popular varietals, and high end varietals. A few of my favourite wines that I can never find at the liquor store would be the Gehringer sauvignon blanc, Cedar Creek Platinum pinot noir rose and Platinum Block 4 pinot noir, Painted Rock “Icon” and Hester Creek “the judge” (both Bordeaux blends), Silkscarf white pinot, Arrowleaf Bacchus… to name a few. A couple wineries that likely don’t have ANY wines at the BC store would be Nagging Doubt in East Kelowna and Fairview Cellars near Oliver, not exactly sure what else as wines/wineries come and go from the liquor store as you’ve probably noticed. Enjoy your wine tour this year!

      July 14, 2020 Reply
  7. Dean Handspiker

    Thank you so much for this list! I’ve planned out 5 days of tours, meals and shopping using your recommendations here and looking forward to heading off soon to stock up.

    August 12, 2020 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      I somehow missed this comment, but thank you for it and I hope you had a wonderful time in the Okanagan and enjoyed my recommendations!

      November 9, 2020 Reply
  8. Irene

    Thank you for your list. I prefer the ones you can’t buy in the liquor stores. Do you have any to recommend that offer Juice or something else to drink (then tap water) for the DD, who doesn’t drink alcohol. Maybe one with a great view or other interesting thing on the property for him to do, while I taste? Thank you.

    March 19, 2021 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi there, I’m happy you enjoyed my list. Unfortunately I can’t think of one winery that offers something other than tap water, although I’d imagine it exists! I am always drinking the wine. 🙂 But many have restaurants so if you asked they may give you juice or sparkling water. Many wineries have beautiful lake views to admire that make for amazing photos (some that come to mind are Cedar creek, quails gate, poplar grove and gray monk). Most also have shops with wine related gizmos, crafty things, art, etc that the DD can browse while you’re tasting (like Mission Hill, Little straw, Quails gate, and burrowing Owl). Hope that helps!

      March 29, 2021 Reply
  9. Marie

    hello there!! My husband and I are planning to go this June to visit our 3rd wedding anniversary, any resto you highly recommend either in Kelowna or Penticton BC? Also wound like to ask what place you will recommend to stay. Thank you!

    April 12, 2021 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi Marie, you will love it here! For restaurants in Kelowna I recommend Home Block at Cedar Creek Winery, Old Vines Restaurant at Quails Gate winery, Raudz downtown, and for more casual options I love Salt & Brick, Skinny Dukes, and Cactus Club downtown (it’s on the water at the yacht club). I’m not as familiar with Penticton restaurants but Salty’s is a super fun and happening spot right across from the beach with great food and drinks. For hotels, I’d recommend the Delta Grand in downtown Kelowna or the Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna. Hope that helps!

      April 13, 2021 Reply
  10. Danielle

    Thank you so much for your list! My boyfriend and I are traveling to BC from Manitoba later this month and I can’t wait to try some of your suggestions! This may be a silly question.. I have never been to a winery before, in fact this will be my second time in BC, but are any of the areas at winery’s dog friendly? We are traveling with our dog and we’re trying to figure out if we’ll need to find a dog daycare for the day, or if we would be fine to bring him. Any direction would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    July 5, 2021 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi there, I’m happy you found my winery blog useful. I believe some of the wineries are dog-friendly, but I’m not exactly sure which ones. It may be best to call ahead. Some of the more upscale wineries like Quails Gate and Cedar Creek won’t allow dogs, but some of the smaller, family-run wineries might. Sorry I’m not much help on that one, but have a great trip to Kelowna!

      July 6, 2021 Reply
  11. Sarha and Thomas

    Thank you so mich Dabi for your list. Arriving fron Quebec city, my girlfriend and I went to the Valley for the first time. We used almost exclusively your article to do tasting from Kelowna to Osoyoos. We are very grateful since we had an amazing experience in every winery mentionned! Really great recommendations!

    Greay job, very useful.

    June 9, 2022 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      I’m so happy you had an awesome experience!

      June 9, 2022 Reply
  12. Ray

    Thank you for sharing this list. Have you checked out Bench 1775? Highly recommend you check it out in the Namarata area. Amazing wine tasting experience. Food was unique for the region – asian fusion. The best part was the mountain and Oakanagan Lake views. Wish I could share pictures!

    August 9, 2022 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Yes we’ve been to Bench 1775 and enjoyed it!

      September 3, 2022 Reply
  13. Emma

    Thanks so much for this article. I’m heading to Canada in May and really looking forward to exploring this area. We are going to be in a large RV and planning on parking up somewhere for a few days. Would you have any recommendations that would mean we could walk between vineyards? Thanks!

    April 18, 2023 Reply
    • YOLO Travel Experiences

      Hi Emma, unfortunately, most of the wineries are on highways or busy roads with not great places to walk. The one area I could think of that you could walk between some of the wineries would be the West kelowna wineries on boucherie Road. There are a good 4-5 wineries that you could walk between (boucherie, volcanic hills, the hatch, little straw, and quails gate)… but I’m not sure there’s a walking path or sidewalk along boucherie Road.

      April 18, 2023 Reply



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