Okanagan Wine Tours
Okanagan Wine Tours: Four Different Regional Terroirs, Grapes, Blends
Welcome to our high end WINE rental villa in the heart of the Okanagan Wineries.
I. Self-Guided Wine Tours and The Platinum 2016 Medal Winners
It’s possible to spend a week exploring and tasting. In Villa Orion you will find the actual Winery & Wines Information and maps. While driving, follow burgundy-and-white wine route road signs. The Okanagan Wine Tours Guide (John Schreiner, 2010) is an excellent wine touring resource book, which you will find in Villa Orion.
With more than 120 wineries, the Okanagan Valley is British Columbia’s oldest, largest, and most popular wine-producing region.
Location Villa Orion on Google Maps
Explore on Google Maps the stunning location of Villa Orion (= Orion Consultings Ltd.= the owner).
Okanagan Wine Tours: 4 Sub-Regions
1. Naramata Bench: Site of more than 20 boutique wineries and the nearby Bottleneck Drive wine route through Summerland.
2. Okanagan “OK” Falls: Higher altitude vineyards with breathtaking lake and bluff views between Penticton and Oliver.
3. Oliver, the “Wine Capital of Canada,” with nearly a dozen vineyards along the “Golden Mile.” Osyoos and Black Sage Bench: One of Canada’s hottest areas, home to BC’s southernmost wineries.
4. Kelowna: the Okanagan’s largest city with some impressive wineries.
Okanagan Wine Tour 1: From Villa Orion to Naramata Bench Wineries
Tour the awe-inspiring 15-kilometre Naramata Road and bottle up your adventures to take memories home.
Along the Naramata Bench, you’ll find the 28 member wineries of the Naramata Bench Winery Association (http://naramatabench.com).
Villa Orion is lying at the beginning of the Naramata Bench.
This new season 2016 the NBWA added the following new wineries: Bella Wines, Daydreamer Wines and The Three Sister Winery. As well as the debuts of the Sig’s Grille at Therapy, an outdoor lounge at Quidni and The Bistro at Bench 1775.
Mark Saturday, September 10 for the Annual Naramata Tailgate party to be hosted at Red Rooster. Tickets sales in June 2016.
Suggestions – look at the winery map for your own choices – for a stop. Bike a scenic stretch of the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail from Chute Lake to Penticton. This route passes by Naramata Bench wineries. Stop in for wine tastings, or pick up “Naramata Bench Blue” artisanal cheese for a trailside picnic.
Poplar Grove Winery
At the terrace of their Vanilla Pod Restaurant you will get a panoramic sensational views overlooking Penticton, Villa Orion and Okanagan lake mesmerizes you. It’s only a 8 minutes walk from Villa Orion! Opt for a special Food-And-Wine Pairing Experience in the Barrel Room. A senior team member will lead a small group through a personalized flight of five wines paired with five tasting plates. For further details: www.poplargrove.ca.
Red Rooster Winery
In International Blind Tasting, you will get a journey from BC to all corners of the wine world. Taste vintages from Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and of course BC. In the Cheese Tasting Seminar you will discern the different taste sensatons, sweet, savory and spice and how they work to complement different grape varietals.. The Pecking Room Patio Grill is open for lunch 12 noon till 3.30 pm and Happy Hour 3.30 to 5 pm. From Villa Orion you can have a sensational 25 minutes’ walk over the KVR to this winery. For further details: www. redroosterwinery.com
Hillside Winery Bistro
Hillside is the original BC winery to produce Muscat Ottonel, an unique aromatic white wine with a delicious flavour. The highly acclaimed Bistro was recently voted one of Canada’s top 100 patios to dine. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Imagine a wedding or anniversary on one of two patios with breathtaking garden, vineyard, orchard and lake views. From Villa Orion you can have a sensational 25 minutes’ walk over the KVR to this winery. For further details: www. hillsidewinery.ca
Bench 1775 Winery
This winery has a fantastic beach and a spectacular terrace overlooking Okanagan Lake. Events are scheduled including live music. A new Bistro, open from 11 am to 7 pm, augments the casual picnic area, to provide casual fare to pair with the affordable, high quality wines. For further details: www.bench1775.com
Kettle Valley Winery
The oldest original owners’ winery on Naramata Bench. Kettle Valley started with two buddies making wine as a hobby in an appartment. Ultimately, they became brothers-in-law, secured the third license on The Bench and are making their 25th vintage this year. What’s new is the recent portfolio of Great Northern Vineyard wines, which features their wives’ Cawston vineyard in the Similkameen and son Andrew Watts’ skills as assistant winemaker. For further details: www.kettlevalleywinery.com
Moraine Estate Winery
Tripadvisor’s rave reviews about the knowledgeable staff and the quality of their wines compels a visit to “hidden gem”. Bring a picnic or select items from the cooler to nibble. At the 2016 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Riesling 2015 achieved Gold; Cliffhanger Red 2014 Silver and Gewurztraminer 2015 Bronze. At the International Pinot Competition it was Double Gold for Pinot Noir 2013 and Bronze for Pinot Noir 2012. For further details: www.morainewinery.com
At Sig’s Grill@Therapy find your cure in grilled comfort cuisine. If music heals you, enjoy free bands, 1 to 4 pm on every Saturday from July 1 through to September 3. For further details: www.therapyvineyards.com
Elephant Island Winery
Its Tasting Barn frowns on “Wine snobbery”, encourages bringing your pets on a leash and welcomes children to the toy stocked kids’ centre. For further details: www.elephantislandwine.com
Upper Bench Winery & Creamery
Canada’s first Curds & Corks Club. This 2016 season expect big, bold and beautiful new reds including Yard Wine, Four Shadows Vineyard-specifc Merlot sourced from neighbours south of Upper Bench and a delicious 100 percent Cabernet Franc Rosé. For further details: www.upperbench.ca
Okanagan Wine Tours 2: From Villa Orion to Okanagan Falls
List of Wineries in Okanagan Falls Wine Association
The Okanagan Falls Winery Association is a collection of 14 of British Columbia’s premier wineries. Look at http://www.ofwa.ca/wineries/ Our selection:
Blasted Church, QUICK FACTS:
Opened: 2000 as Prpich Vineyards; renamed Blasted Church in 2002
Proprietors: Chris and Evelyn Campbell
Winemaker: Elaine Vickers
Assistant Winemaker: Evan Saunders
Viticulturist: Trevor Hammond
Vineyard size: 17 hectares
Key grape varieties: Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Lemberger, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ehrenfelser, Optima, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Musqué, Pinot Blanc.
Production: 28,000 cases
Wines: The winery’s reserve tier, about three per cent of production, is released as the Revered Series. The regular tier is called the Storytelling Series reflecting the narrative themes of the labels.
Liquidity Wines, QUICK FACTS:
General Manager: Ruth Hanbury
Winemaker/Viticulturist: Alison Moyes
Vineyard size: 12 hectares
Key grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Merlot, Riesling, Dornfelder
Production: 6,500 cases in 2015 vintage
Wines: Bubbly, Riesling, Pinot Gris, White Blend, Viognier, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Dividend (red blend).
Meyer Family Vineyards, QUICK FACTS:
Proprietors: JAK Meyer and Janice Meyer-Stevens
Winemaker: Chris Carson
Viticulturist: Chris Carson
Vineyard Size: 8.6 hectares
Key grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer
Production: 6,000 cases in 2012 vintage
Wines: Micro Cuvée Pinot Noir, McLean Creek Road Pinot Noir, Reimer Vineyard Pinot Noir, Old Block, Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir, Micro Cuvée Chardonnay, McLean Creek Road Chardonnay, Tribute Series Chardonnay, Stevens Block Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley Chardonnay, Rosé, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sparkling Wine.
Proprietors: John and Trish Skinner
Winemaker: Alain Sutre (Bordeaux consultant), Gabriel Reis (Assistant Wine Maker)
Viticulturist: Barry Green
Vineyard Size: 10.1 hectares
Key Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Syrah
Production: 6,000 cases
Wines: Chardonnay, Rosé, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Red Icon.
See Ya Later Ranch, QUICK FACTS:
Opened: 1986 (as LeComte Estate Winery)
Proprietors: Constellation Brands
Winemaker: David Saysomsack
Vineyard Manager: Jordan Clarke
Vineyard Size: 69 hectares
Key Grape Varieties: Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir
Production: 30,000 cases
Wines: Red: Ping, Rover, Major’s Block, Pinot Noir; White: Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Jimmy My Pal
Late harvest: Hunny
Wild Goose Winery, QUICK FACTS:
Proprietors: Roland Kruger, Hagen Kruger, Adolf Kruger
Winemaker: Hagen Kruger
Viticulturist: Hagen Kruger
Vineyard size: 11 hectares
Key grape varieties: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
Production: 13,000 cases in 2013
Wines: Riesling, Riesling Stoney Slope, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Mystic River Gewürztraminer, Mystic River Pinot Blanc, Autumn Gold, Blanc de Noirs, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Black Brant, Red Horizon Meritage
Food Facilities: Smoke & Oak Bistro “Southern Okanagan BBQ infused with German soul!”
Okanagan Wine Tours 3: From Villa Orion to Oliver and Osoyoos
The Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association (OOWA) redefined its brand image in 2011 to better reflect its geographical boundaries and 39 member wineries. Look at http://www.oliverosoyoos.com/Media/About-the-region.
Black Hills Winery.
Look at: http://www.blackhillswinery.com
We are pleased to be offering a new program in 2016: the opportunity to enjoy an intimate, behind-the-scenes tour of our winery and vineyards. Included within this 90-minute experience is a full portfolio tasting of the Black Hills wines paired with a delicious wine-paired Charceuterie plate. Plus all participants will enjoy a special barrel tasting in the Cellar. These special tasting tours will be conducted by our Winemaker, Graham Pierce who will guide you on an informative and entertaining experience. Let them take you inside and experience the world of passion of our winery. Special Tour & Tasting Price: $75.00 per person, Club pricing $50.00 per person. Limited daily seating. Reservations are required. Following times and dates: June 24, 2016, 11:00 am 1:00 pm 3:00 pm; June 27, 11:00 am 1:00 pm 3:00 pm; July 4, July 8, July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 22, September 6, September 15 and Septemeber 22, 2016 11:00 am 1:00 pm 3:00 pm
Winters in the Okanagan can dip below -8°C/18°F, ideal for harvesting naturally frozen grapes to create sweet Icewine. In 2010, BC Icewine won gold medals at the Chardonnay du Monde and the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Burrowing Owl Winery.
Look at: https://www.burrowingowlwine.ca/
Church and State Winery
Look at: http://churchandstatewines.com/
Look at: http://gehringerwines.ca/
Hester Creek Winery
Look at: http://hestercreek.ca
Look at: http://www.inniskillin.com
Jackson Triggs Winery
Look at: http://www.jacksontriggswinery.com
Road 13 Winery
Look at: http://road13vineyards.com/
Look at: http://www.tinhorn.com/
Okanagan Wine Tours 4: From Villa Orion to Kelowna
In 2013, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery won an esteemed International Trophy – the competition’s top prize – for the “World’s Best Pinot Noir” award at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery features al fresco dining at Terrace, ranked among the world’s top winery restaurants by Travel + Leisure magazine. The impeccably landscaped grounds are impressive – The New York Times described Mission Hill as “the Versailles of the Valley.”
Burrowing Owl boasts a devoted following. Sample award-winning red wines, and climb the winery bell tower to learn about the unique desert environment that includes rattlesnakes and bighorn sheep.
Wine Access magazine twice honoured CedarCreek Estate Winery as Canada’s Winery of the Year. Enjoy its Mediterranean architecture, open-air restaurant, and concert pavilion overlooking Lake Okanagan.
Tour and taste at Quails’ Gate, and then pick up picnic treats from Allison House Market, a restored 1870s pioneer log cabin.
Wineries range from large, luxurious facilities to small family-run vineyards. Tour magnificent estates such as Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, or enjoy intimate tastings at boutique wineries like Le Vieux Pin. Annual wine festivals celebrate regional vintages.
Combine wine touring with the Okanagan’s laid-back lifestyle. Go golfing at Nk’mip. Try a winery cycling tour. Or dine at winery restaurants, such as Quails’ Gate Old Vines Restaurant, and savour dishes with ingredients from the Okanagan Valley or BC’s coast.
II. Guided Okanagan Wine Tours
Relax and let other’s do the planning!
Grape Escapes Offering daily tours throughout the Okanagan Valley.
Grape Friends Lounge & Tours Inc A friendly local company, based in the Penticton area.
Okanagan Experience Tours The most vehicle options and private custom tours catered to your taste in wine. All-inclusive wine tour packages.
Top Cat Tours One of the oldest established wine touring companies in the Okanagan, with scheduled & private tours.
Ambrosia Tours Numerous tour itineraries and themes available throughout the summer.
Distinctly Kelowna Tours Scheduled and private tours offered throughout the Okanagan, based in Kelowna.
Okanagan Wine Country Tours They can create multi-day custom wine tours including VIP tastings and special events.
Uncorked! Uncorked Okanagan Wine Tours offer more tastings, more wineries and more fun!
Wicked Wine Tours Passion, experience, expertise – elements that transform a guest experience, making you feel unique and creating memories that last a lifetime.