The Okanagan: Your Wine Vacation Destination
Four spectacular wineries (and one beautiful resort) you need to visit during your next holiday in the Okanagan Valley.
Lined with Vineyards and drenched with sun, it’s easy to love the Okanagan. But with dozens of wineries to visit and resorts to sleep it off, the options could be overwhelming. To make it easier, make sure to swing by these must-hit spots to experience the finer side of the Okanagan.
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
A visit to the Okanagan Crush Pad winery is unlike any other. With its Guest Centre built into the heart of the Summerland winery itself, visitors get a rare first-hand look at the art of crafting premium, organic wine.
To see how wines, sparkling wines, and spirits are made, visitors stroll past clay amphorae—a material that ancient Greeks and Romans used to make and preserve wine—as well as today’s most advanced wine-making equipment.
Open daily for tastings during the touring season, Okanagan Crush Pad is leading the comeback of concrete tanks in wine production. These old-school fermenters were largely abandoned with the arrival of stainless steel, but, in the hands of pros like Okanagan Crush Pad co-owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie and winemaker Matt Dumayne, they can do wonders for wine—neutral vessels that showcase wine’s true terroir.
One of the most progressive wineries in the region, Okanagan Crush Pad focuses on crisp, dry, and un-oaked whites and robust reds with its signature Haywire and Narrative labels. Sip some while relaxing on the winery’s patio overlooking Lake Okanagan or while taking in a live performance during one of its Summer Musical Series evenings.
This is pure Okanagan wine, a singular Okanagan experience.
Poplar Grove Winery
Situated above the sweeping cliffs that rise from Okanagan Lake, Poplar Grove Winery is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench, a premier wine-growing region in the Okanagan Valley.
Known for its finely crafted wines, Poplar Grove Winery is a family affair Tony and Barbara Holler operate the winery and estate vineyards along with their sons Eric, Matthew, and Andrew.
Come and taste Poplar Grove’s 2015 Munson Mountain Pinot Gris and stay for a food and wine experience at the winery’s Barrel Hall; pair that fantastic, aromatic wine with afternoon tapas at Poplar Grove’s Vanilla Pod Restaurant, which is also open for lunch and dinner. The winery’s signature red wine, The Legacy, is also a must-try, made with the best estate grapes from each vintage. The 2011 Legacy is savoury and lush.
Open year-round, Poplar Grove invites you to join its Wine Club for access to library wines, discounts on wine purchases, invitations to exclusive events, and more.
Summer tasting room hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, giving you more time to wine and dine your way through paradise.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
As a leading B.C. winery destination evoking classic south Okanagan terroir, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards clearly stands out.
Crafting wines that rank among the world’s best, the winery is situated just south of Oliver in the famed Golden Mile Bench wine-growing district, with 150 acres between two vineyards on the spectacular Black Sage and Golden Mile benches.
Tinhorn Creek offers an unrivalled visitor experience. Sample exquisite estate-grown wines at the tasting bar or private tasting room. Soak up wine country at the award-winning Miradoro restaurant, with its panoramic views and authentic forno oven. Hike the Golden Mile Bench trail, take a yoga class in the vineyard, or enjoy one of their popular guest chef or special event dinners. Visitors can picnic on the winery’s beautiful dog-friendly grounds or kick off their shoes and dance during a concert at their summer Canadian Concert Series at the outdoor amphitheatre.
Family owned and operated and open seven days a week, Tinhorn Creek was the first winery in Canada to be certified as carbon neutral. Always innovating and completely unique, it maintains its commitment to environmentally and socially sustainable practices to this day.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery prides itself on its distinguished, premium VQA wines—as well as its warm hospitality.
“Sometimes the world of wine can be a little intimidating, but we want people to come in and feel welcome,” says Burrowing Owl’s Kerri Wyse-McNolty. “We make premium wine made to age. Our hospitality is also premium but it’s offered in a very unpretentious and welcoming way. Whether you’re a highly trained connoisseur or a newbie, come on in; we make it fun.”
Spectacularly located on a sandy plateau near the north end of Osoyoos Lake, the winery combines state-of-the-art technologies with time-tested winemaking traditions and environmental leadership.
The boutique 11-room Guest House has a beautiful outdoor salt-water swimming pool—ideal to jump into after a day exploring wine country. With sweeping views of surrounding vineyards, the Sonora Room Restaurant celebrates local, organic ingredients, showcasing seasonal dishes that pair beautifully with the winery’s award-winning wines.
With a longstanding relationship with the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C., the winery charges $3 per person for wine tastings, with all proceeds going to support this vital organization.
Sparkling Hill Resort
With everything discerning travellers could want in an indulgent, relaxing getaway, Sparkling Hill Resort also has something for those looking to enhance their holiday with a focus on healthy living.
The new “Stay Young & Healthy 55+ Wellness Package” is a weeklong escape all about you—a premier vacation experience centred on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Arriving on a Sunday, guests receive a personalized wellness plan, beginning with a visit with our naturopathic physician. The package features 10 treatments custom-selected from a menu of more than 100 that will have you looking, feeling, and functioning your very best.
Throughout the stay, enjoy a gourmet European-style hot breakfast buffet, light lunch, and two-course dinner daily. The package features a follow-up visit with the naturopath, a one-hour group session with our psychiatrist, and full access to the 40,000-square-foot KurSpa and its world-class indoor pool complete with underwater music. KurSpa also has steam and sauna rooms, hot pool and infinity pool, fitness studio, and more.
Plus, daily activities and afternoon coffee, tea, and cake are included.
Take some time for yourself. Packages for 2016 start at $407 per night for one person or $630 per night for two people.