What do you get when you cross a 60 million year old volcano (now dormant), a mountain range that juts up from a pristine 135 km long lake formed by glaciers and fertile vineyards and orchards that produce some of the world’s best wines and succulent fruits? Answer: The Okanagan Valley! And specifically, West Kelowna’s Westside Wine Trail has it all. September is the perfect month to explore this plentiful wine region as the tourist crowds have thinned. Read on for the highlights:
Frind Estate Winery
NOW OPEN! How excited we were to see the OPENING SOON – FRIND ESTATE WINERY sign just a hop, skip from Barona Beach. Further investigation unveils that this winery is the brainchild of uber millionaire, Markus Frind, founder of Plenty of Fish (POF) dating site. This will be one of the only wineries accessible by boat/lake. Much more on our new neighbor soon.
Off the Grid Organic Winery
This fabulous winery lets you sip wine as you pet some of the goats and other animals on the property. Each animal has a charming write-up to tell you about each personality. Another highlight is the on-site food truck. Or you can bring your own picnic, buy one of their fabulous wines and have lunch. The wines are all organic and although we’re not really fans of Gewürztraminer (too sweet), we LOVED Off the Grid’s. It has an orangy rose colour and is not sweet at all but rather kind of “soft” like the French Sauternes wines we love when in France. This is an awesome place to bring the kiddies and sneak in a tasting.
A fun, lively winery on the Westside Wine Trail where the tasting crew often dish out lavish descriptions of their wines. Take a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds with your wine. A locals favorite.
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
Driving into the Mission Hill Winery grounds feels like you’ve landed in Royal territory in Europe. From Barona Beach, the Mission bells can be heard throughout the day. Highly recommended: EXhilaration Brut, a great bubbly. Mission Hill Winery recently made the list for the World’s Best Vineyards 2019!
Kalala Organic Estate Winery
A small winery, you’ll only find these wines at some exclusive local wine stores so we recommend going there directly. Kalala’s 2016 Chardonnay Icewine was awarded one of the “Best Chardonnay’s in the World” at the 2018 Chardonnay du Monde Competition in France.
Little Straw Vineyards
Little Straw is a little sweet 🙂 This family owned winery has a fabulous view and a patio to have a bite to eat. We bought an amazing case of red for $12 per bottle (because they screwed up the label!)
This massive winery incorporates artwork throughout and also has lots of big bus tours going through. Highlight: Take a “Sip and Paint” class with a local artist. Sip wine as you follow the artist’s strokes and create your own masterpiece!
Indigenous World Winery
Great patio and a great gift shop at this First Nations owned winery with a stunning Lake Okanagan view.
Paynter’s Fruit Market