Wondering where to go in British Columbia now that the weather is getting warmer?
You may want to consider doing a winery tour in the Okanagan Valley which features 370 licensed wineries, a few of which have been around for almost 100 years.
If you have only one weekend to spare, then I highly recommend that you visit these 3 vineyards in one weekend.
They are all located in West Kelowna, which is notable for its award-winning wineries:
Mission Hill Winery
Founded in 1981 by Anthony Von Mandl, five-time Winery of the Year awardee Mission Hill is probably Canada’s best-known winemaker.
It’s a favourite destination for locals and international visitors alike due to its spectacular view and excellent wines.
It features a scenic open-air restaurant overlooking Okanagan lake, stunning contemporary architecture, an amphitheatre, a wine tour, and tastings.
Make sure to book ahead at their popular Terrace restaurant, which features a $70/pp 2-course lunch menu and a $150/pp 4-course dinner menu that makes exclusive use of locally sourced in-season ingredients.
If you want to pick up a few bottles for your own wine cellar (or to give to others as a gift) you may want to check out their Compendium Cabernet Sauvignon, Oculus Merlot, and Perpetua Chardonnay, which are among the most highly rated.
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
Open since 1968, Mt. Boucherie is located on the same slopes facing the Okanagan Lake as Mission Hill.
Occupying 200 acres of land, it is one of the largest wine-making enterprises in the Okanagan Valley.
When you visit this winery, you’ll come across a brand-new 15,000 sqft wine experience centre that also boasts a dining lounge, tasting room and several private event facilities.
The Mt. Boucherie operation is led by esteemed winemaker Jeff Hundertmark whose primary aim is to showcase the diversity of BC wine through low yields, honest winemaking, and patient ageing.
Make sure to bring home bottles of their Merlot Icewine, their Winemaker’s Reserve Zinfandel and their Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah.
Quails’ Gate Winery
A family farm since 1956, Quails’ Gate is one of the oldest wineries in the area.
Set on 125 acres above the Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna, the winery runs tours several times a day from June to mid-October and only by appointment for the rest of the year.
The winemaking team, led by owner Tony Stewart, aims for quality over quantity.
This results in wines that are consistent in quality, character and flavour. Quails’ Gate is best known for its Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, which were served to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Canada in 2011.
Wine tastings are offered in the spacious wine shop, and sumptuous meals are offered year-round at the Old Vines Restaurant. During the summer season, brunch is offered on the garden patio.