Self Guided Winery Tour

Self Guided Tours of KelownaBy Dave Dmytryshyn

As the publisher of the Kelowna Visitors Map, a fold out map of Kelowna and West Kelowna, I welcome you to the sunny Okanagan. The maps can be found at the front desk, and I encourage you to ask Guest Services for one to help you on your way to a Self Guided Winery tour of Kelowna.

Since you are staying in a hotel in either Kelowna or West Kelowna, I’ve described some easy, self guided tours that will take you through our beautiful city, orchards and countryside to the wineries; many of which are located in the best spots for a photograph. Even if you’re not interested in wine, you will enjoy the tour and won’t get lost when you use one of our maps to mark your route. So if this also sounds like a Self Guided Wine tour it is. If you have a GPS you can mark the winery locations as a way point, see the Kelowna Visitors Map for locations marked with big pink dots.  For a list of guided tours of all types see Visit site or book now

City Center.

The BC Wine Museum & VQA wine shop, as the well as the Kelowna Art Gallery, are located in the Cultural District downtown at 1304 Ellis Street. Other Museums and Art Galleries are also in this area .

To start your self guided winery tour see Kelowna’s oldest winery, Calona Vineyards, is located at 1125 Richter Street. It is home to 3 VQA Brands including Peller Estates, Calona Vineyards and Sandhill. The Winery does tastings but no tours. It is located next to Tree Brewing, where you can do a beer tasting and pick up a case of “Thirsty Beaver” beer, also available in most pubs.

KelownaArtWalk Kelowna Art Walk in Downtown Kelowna

Knox Mountain, located on the North end of downtown, boasts a great view of the city, you can either hike or drive right to the top. It is just down from Calona Vineyards winery. See the article on page 38.

If you are interested in having some fine food with your fine Okanagan wine visit Labussola Fine Italian Dining, The Yellow House and Mamma Rosa are other excellent spots to enjoy fine food and wine.

Southwest Mission.

To get to the Mission wineries head south on Pandosy Street. Water Street turns into Pandosy at HWY 97, which eventually turns into Lakeshore Road. This is the Lakeshore Wine Route that is marked In the Okanagan Wineries section of the Kelowna Visitors Map, use it for directions. There are 4 wineries in this area with spectacular views overlooking Okanagan Lake. Start your tour at Tantalus Vineyards, for a great view of the farms and vineyards sloping down towards the lake. Follow Dehart Rd back to Lakeshore Road going South. Go straight before it veers west to follow the lake, and you end up on Chute Lake Road. The entrance to Summerhill Pyramid Winery is about 500 meters past the intersection. They have a wine shop, a restaurant and offer tours.

There are two other wineries close by, St. Hubertus Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery. Return to Lakeshore Road and head west along Okanagan Lake to reach them. Just past Cedar Creek is Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan, where you can buy a little goat cheese to go with your wine.

Lakeshore-Wine-Route View of Okanagan Lake

On your way back stay on Lakeshore Road and you will drive past many restaurants, parks and beaches. If you choose to see some more wineries, just turn right, going east, on KLO Road, to visit the FabFive wineries of East Kelowna.

East Kelowna.

East Kelowna is actually in the Southeast area of the city. Start your tour from KLO road and follow it to Spiers Road (just across the bridge over Mission Creek).   This is where you start your tour of the East Kelowna wineries known as the Fab Five Wine Route. They are charming, intimate and fun. Use the Kelowna Visitors Map and start with #8 on the map where you will find Sperling Vineyards. The Fab Five consists of The View, Spierhead, The Vibrant Vine, Camelot and House of Rose Winery. 

fargate-winery House of Rose vineyard

On the way back, stop at the Mission Creek Greenway located between House of Rose and Camelot. Here you can access some great easy hiking trails.. The East Kelowna bench is a plateau with paved country roads and lots of orchards and agriculture.

On the corner of East Kelowna Road and McCullogh Rd is McCulloch Station Pub, which is a great place for lunch or dinner overlooking orchards and golf courses. Beside the Pub is Orchard Greens Golf Club which also has restaurant, aptly named The Bunkhouse Restaurant.

Just past East Kelowna Rd on McCulloch Rd is East Kelowna Cider Co. Here they use apples instead of grapes to make their cider. They offer tours of the family farm sharing knowledge & information about the orchard and the cider making process. The Ross’s “are “Orchardists who have been in the industry for 70 years”. Dave is third generation, he and his wife Theresa formed the East Kelowna Cider Co. to diversify the farm and keep up with the ever changing tastes and trends of consumers.

picker-copy

North Kelowna

These wineries are actually in the District of Lake Country. The fold out Kelowna Visitors Map includes this area in the North Kelowna Inset Map portion. From downtown, head north on HWY 97 out of Kelowna past UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna Airport until you enter Lake Country. Lake Country is a sprawling area that extends from the valley, over a gentle slope to Okanagan Lake on the West, where we find 3 more wineries. Take a left off HWY 97 to Berry Road and follow the signs to Arrowleaf, Ex Nihilo Vineyards and Gray Monk Estate Wineries.

Oyama Isthums Oyama Isthmus

Gray Monk Estate Winery has the Grapevine Restaurant and a new, enlarged wine shop. Pick up a bottle of Latitude 50, their well known white wine: it is excellent and a good price to! These Wineries are located close to Latitude 50. Explore the area while you are out there, it is beautiful

West Kelowna

The West Kelowna wineries are close by, just 10 minutes from downtown Kelowna over the bridge. The Kelowna Visitors Map also includes West Kelowna and the wineries are marked on the map with a big pink dot. From HWY 97 turn left at Boucherie Road and follow it up and over the hill to get to most of the wineries. Just off Boucherie Rd you will find Kelowna’s newest winery, Volcanic Hills,with the blu Saffron Bistro, and right beside it Mt. Boucherie Winery.

Both wineries have wine shops and offer tours. Mt. Boucherie (the mountain) is a small mountain that looms over the wineries, and is an extinct volcano. Volcanic soil is very good for growing wine grapes. Further down Boucherie Road you will find Quails Gate Winery, which features tours, tasting and the Old Vines Restaurant with a spectacular view of the vineyards and the lake. The next winery is the largest in the area. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery is located on top of the hill, just up Mission Hill Road off Boucherie Road. It boasts a spectacular view from its high vantage point, impressive architecture and a large wine shop, tours and tasting and the Terrace Restaurant.

If you think it is time to hit the beach, just keep driving on Gellatly Road. West Kelowna Waterfront has the newly developed Gellatly Bay Water park with a Zip line over the water, a nice walkway, Willow Beach and the Gellatly Nut Farm.

Willow-beach Willow Beach in West Kelowna

Go a little further and visit Kalala Organic Winery on Glencoe Road which is just past downtown West Kelowna off HWY 97. You will also find orchards and fruit stands along the way.

Westbank First Nation

At Westbank First Nation (WFN), located between Kelowna and West Kelowna, you will find a variety of recreational and cultural activities suitable for the whole family. An afternoon spent at Two Eagles Golf Course—a state of the art golf facility overlooking Okanagan Lake—is the perfect addition to a weekend of winery tours. Then, following a round (or two) of golf, visit 19 Okanagan Grill & Bar, the course’s adjoining fine dining restaurant known as one of the most popular restaurants on the Westside.

Just minutes from downtown Kelowna, 19 Greens Premier Putting Course sits right next to the lake on Campbell Road. The 18-hole putting course, and 18-hole mini-golf course, offers a fun outing for all ages. Just off Hwy 97, between West Kelowna and Kelowna, sits Whiplash Cable Wakepark, Safari Ridge Adventure Paintball and Outdoor Laser Tag, and Westside Go-Karts. Adventure seekers are sure to love these impressive parks.

To learn about the Okanagan’s unique First Nations culture and history, drop in for a tour at the Sncwips Heritage Museum, which houses a collection of preserved and restored First Nations art and artefacts that reflect the heritage and natural history of the syilx/Okanagan People.

WFN-museum

Summerland, & Penticton

These wineries are shown on the “Okanagan Wineries” page of the Kelowna Visitors Map. While staying in Kelowna or West Kelowna, a tour of all these wineries can easily be done in a day trip. If you enjoyed touring the Kelowna wineries this tour would be well worth it. There are a couple of wineries off HWY 97 on the way. Go through downtown Summerland, a very nice little town, and follow Victoria Street to access several small wineries. Most are along the slopes of Giants Head Mountain, another volcanic mountain, and close to an existing stretch of the old Kettle Valley Railway.

summerland-lakeview Okangan Lake from Summerland

You may also want to take a 90 minute ride on the historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway.  After Summerland make your way to the East side of Penticton, first to Johnson Road and then Naramata Road. You will find lots of wineries along the Naramata Bench, too many to mention here. Most are located on the Eastern slope of Okanagan Lake and have nice wine shops, restaurants and great views.      

For a list of guided tours of all types see Monashee Adventure Tours

 

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