Visiting the best BC wineries is easier than ever, and it makes for an amazing getaway to the Southern Okanagan.
The Okanagan wine region, which is located in the interior of British Columbia, is the second-largest wine-producing area in Canada. This area produces 80% of all wines in BC.
The region stretches 160 kilometers (99 mi) north of the Canada–US border and is located 400 kilometers east of Vancouver, putting it in the same latitude as the European wine regions of Champagne and Rheingau.
Visiting the best BC Wineries over a long weekend has become our favorite getaway in our beautiful province, and we generally visit twice a year, at the beginning of the season in early May and at harvest time in September or October.
We love to drink wine and go on wine tours (we spent our honeymoon in Napa & Sonoma and love our California wineries), and we love wine tastings and dinner pairings. Our favorites on this list of best BC wineries represent a mix of our favorite wines, the best architecture and the overall wine experience.
There are over 180 wineries in the Okanagan wine region and as we work our way through visiting them all, we encourage you to find out why we love wine from beautiful British Columbia.
Regions of the best BC wineries
The British Columbia Wine Institute lists seven Okanagan viticultural regions:
- Lake Country/North Okanagan
- Kelowna-Central Okanagan
- West Kelowna-Mount Boucherie
- Okanagan Falls
- Oliver/Golden Mile
- Black Sage/Osoyoos
Lake Country/North Okanagan Wineries
Ex Nihilo Vineyards
This 8000 sqft Mediterranean BC winery is located in Lake Country with beautiful views of Okanagan Lake. We have been big fans of their red wines for many years and the wine tastings out on their deck overlooking the lake are a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Ex Nihilo is one of the best BC wineries in this area and it also has the Chaos Bistro Restaurant, which is currently open for dinner.
50th Parallel Estate Winery
This stunning 61-acre property boasts a beautiful open tasting room located next to Block One Restaurant. When you pull into the winery, it is quite an impressive operation, and you will find many guests lingering on the lawns next to the vineyard.
I took a few of my girlfriends to a wine tasting, and then we had a lovely lunch at Block One. This winery is the perfect choice for girls’ trips!
Hot Tip Alert! You can get a free tasting if you show your RBC Avion Visa.
Gray Monk Estate Winery
Perched above Okanagan Lake with stunning panoramic views of mountains, vineyards and the lake, Gray Monk Estate Winery owns and farms 75 acres throughout the Okanagan Valley.
With a bustling wine boutique, a full-service banquet facility and The Lookout Restaurant, this winery is a must-stop on your itinerary.
Also in this area:
- O’Rourke Family Vineyards & O’Rourke Peak Cellars
- Arrowleaf Cellars
- Blind Tiger Vineyards (Marno’s Woodfire Pizza Restaurant on premises)
- Intrigue Winery
Cedar Creek Estate Winery
Cedar Creek has been on my list of best BC wineries since the early 2000s. I first fell in love with their Pinot Noir after having it at a restaurant in Vancouver and then visited their winery a few years later.
They now have Home Block Restaurant to add to your visit and it is a great way to enjoy their wines and their spectacular view.
Martin’s Lane Winery
We first heard about Martin’s Lane from good friends of ours who are serious wine lovers. The building is raw, rugged and striking and they focus on two wines at this vineyard, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
You must phone ahead for reservations and this is not the type of winery for party buses. They focus on an immersive experience for their clientele and it is one you will certainly not forget.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
I am a big fan of organic/biodynamic wines and a visit to this wine region isn’t complete without seeing the famous pyramid! I enjoy their Cipes Brut and you can extend your visit by having lunch at Summerhill’s Organic Bistro.
Also in this area:
- Tantalus Vineyards
- Sandhill Winery/Calona Vineyards
- Kitsch Wines
- Sperling Vineyards
- St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery
- Frequency Winery
- The View Winery & Wards Cider
- Spearhead Winery
- Priest Creek Family Estate Winery
- Camelot Vineyards
- Nagging Doubt Winery
- Burnt Timber Estate Winery
West Kelowna-Mount Boucherie
Quails Gate Winery
I have been in love with Quails Gate Pinot Noir for well over two decades. You will find many of their wines in our wine fridges at home and having lunch at Old Vines Restaurant next to their tasting room is one of my favourite places to spend an afternoon.
Three generations have built this winery into the successful business it is today and it is a must-see on my itinerary whenever I am in the area.
Mission Hill Family Estate
I will be totally honest I’m not a huge fan of Mission Hill’s wines. However, their winery is absolutely stunning and has been an incredible destination for BC’s wine country. I went on their Estate tour back in the 2000s and enjoyed seeing their facilities and tasting their estate wines.
I have since visited many times, having lunch on their terrace, which is always a lovely way to spend an afternoon with those stunning views.
If you visit, I highly recommend tasting their estate wines.
Mt Boucherie Estate Winery
I visited Mt Boucherie well over a decade before they broke ground on their 15,000-square-foot visitor center. I loved their humble beginnings and am thrilled to see them grow.
There are many wineries to visit in this region, but Mt Boucherie will always be on my list of best BC wineries to stop for a tasting and now I can also have lunch there at The Modest Butcher.
Also in this area:
- The Hatch Wines
- Volcanic Hills Estate Winery
- Beaumont Family Estate Winery
- Black Swift Vineyards
- Rollingdale Winery
- Indigenous World Winery
- Niche Wine Co.
- Tender Hope Winery
- Grizzli Winery
- Little Straw Vineyards
- Ciao Bella Winery
- Kalala Organic Estate Winery
- Off The Grid Organic Winery
Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
I recently made a last-minute stop at Fitzpatrick and did a tasting of their sparkling wines. I loved the tour and the price point of their wines. I enjoyed their Fitz Bistro overlooking the lake and the Sparkling Bar was a perfect touch for a visit to this winery.
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
I first tasted wines from Sumac Ridge in the early 2000s, when I worked at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. I had a glass of their Gewurztraminer, which apparently was one of the most popular wines on the wine list at the time, and I have been enjoying their wines ever since.
I also like their Cabernet Merlot and the fact that they have been making wines in BC for over 38 years.
Sumac Ridge is on my list of best BC wineries, and I recommend that you stop in for a tasting and learn all about the history of this vineyard.
Also, check out:
- Dirty Laundry Vineyard
- 8th Generation Vineyard
- Giant Head Estate Winery
- Thornhaven Estates Winery
- Lightning Rock Winery
- Lunessence Winery
- Heaven’s Gate Estate Winery
- Silk Scarf Winery
- TH Wines
- Saxon Estate Winery
- Summer Gate Winery
- Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
- Back Door Winery
- Sage Hills Vineyard
- Summerland Estate Winery
- Savard Vines
- Hainle Vineyards
Da Silva Vineyards
I first discovered Da Silva wines back in 2010 when I attended a wine pairing dinner at a local restaurant in Kamloops where the owner of Da Silva was presenting his wines. Back then they were known as Misconduct and their Big Take is still one of my favorite wines.
We love visiting Da Silva Vineyard and we have been wine club members but our favorite part is enjoying their wines paired with the incredible food on the terrace of The Kitchen. The Kitchen at Da Silva Vineyard offers a range of ethnic farm foods, many of them Portuguese or Mexican in origin.
Poplar Grove Winery
I have been a fan of Poplar Grove’s wine for a few years now and I love that this winery is a family-run operation. I first came for the Pinot Gris but have returned to taste their other wines, including their Cabernet Franc.
The best way to taste the wines is at The Restaurant at Poplar Grove.
Laughing Stock Vineyards
I recently discovered Laughing Stock after a tip from a wine-loving friend. This vineyard has a pretty cool history. It was founded by a husband-and-wife team who were originally from the financial industry, hence the name “Laughing Stock.”
The labels on the wines resemble ticker tape, showing the values of widely-held stocks on the days on which the grapes were harvested.
Also, in this area:
- Therapy Vineyards
- Evolve Cellars
- Four Shadows Vineyard
- Upper Bench Winery & Creamery
- Roche Winery & Vineyards
- Monster Vineyards
- Three Sisters Winery
- Township 7
- La Frenzy Winery
- Little Engine Wines
- Red Rooster Winery
- Ruby Blues Winery
- D’Angelo Estate Winery
- Lock & Worth Winery
- Howling Bluff Estate Winery
- Hillside Winery
- Origin Wines
- Black Widow Winery
- Tightrope Winery
- Bench 1775
- Moraine Winery
- Terravista Vineyards
- Lake Breeze Vineyards
- Lang Vineyards
- Deep Roots Winery
- Joie Farms
- Serendipity Winery
- Nichol Vineyard
Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
I have been in love with Blue Mountain’s sparkling wine for over two decades and love returning to taste their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines at their beautiful property.
I first toured this family-owned facility in the early 2000s and I still remember the first time driving out to their vineyard. It is probably one of the most relaxing drives I have taken in BC’s wine country.
See Ya Later Ranch
See Ya Later Ranch is perched high atop Hawthorn Mountain and has unparalleled views for you to enjoy while you sip their wines.
See Ya Later gets its name from the original owner, who used to sign off all of his letters using that slogan. There is a restaurant at the vineyard and they also offer a breathtaking venue for outdoor events and weddings.
Also in this area:
- Stags Hollow Winery
- Liquidity Wines
- Blasted Church Vineyards
- Nighthawk Vineyards
- Noble Ridge Vineyards
- Bonamici Cellars
- Wild Goose Winery
- Meyer Family Vineyards
- Echo Bay Vineyards
- Black Market Wine Co.
Covert Farms Family Estate
I cannot rave enough about visiting Covert Farms! As a mom who loves going on wine tours, Covert Farms has parents covered.
The kids have their own “wine juice” tasting after the owner’s daughter whisks them away to explore the farm and meet all the animals. Parents are left alone to blissfully enjoy a wine tasting for 30 minutes before the kids return.
There is an enormous jumping pillow that kids and adults can use and it is so much fun! I suggest planning to have a picnic here and enjoy a bottle of wine. It is a beautiful property and one of my favourite ways to leisurely enjoy a wine tasting.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
I first did a wine tour at Tinhorn Creek in the early 2000s before they opened the spectacular Miradoro Restaurant.
We will usually always include Tinhorn Creek on our itinerary when we are in town and on our last trip we stopped in the morning before they opened to hike along the Golden Mile Trail, which starts at their property.
It offers gorgeous views of the valley and is a wonderful way to walk off any wine hangovers you may have. Bring water and watch for wildlife.
I highly recommend doing the hike and then going for a wine tasting and lunch at Miradoro afterward. It is the absolute perfect way to start your day!
Maverick Estate Winery
We had listened to friends of ours rave about Maverick wines for over a year before we finally stopped in to visit. The employees who took us through the wine tasting were engaging and fun and we enjoyed hearing the history of the winery.
My husband loves port and ended up taking two cases home with us! We also became wine club members and just received our first shipment. This is a cute little winery and well worth stopping for a wine tasting.
Hester Creek is a staple in BC’s wine country. It makes you feel as though you are in Tuscany. As one of the oldest properties in the southern Okanagan, it is a must-see vineyard for many different reasons.
First off, their wines are a staple in our home. Secondly, their restaurant Terrafina is one of our absolute favourites. Thirdly, their villas offer beautiful accommodations that add to the whole experience.
As a bonus, Hester Creek’s restaurant Terrafina offers cooking classes which is an incredible experience to add to your wine adventures.
Culmina Family Estate Winery
Our first visit to Culmina was a last-minute decision to stop after leaving a nearby winery. It turned out to be one of our favorites that day. We learned the history of Culmina and all about their terroir, but it was done in such a way that it was informative, fun and fascinating.
The owners are the Triggs family, Don Triggs being the co-founder of Jackson-Triggs. Instead of retiring, he turned his passions to creating his own family vineyard with his wife and youngest daughter.
C.C. Jentsch Cellars
I recently discovered C.C. Jentsch at a dinner with friends, where they served a 2015 bottle of The Chase. Are you sensing a theme here? I have many friends who love wine as much as I do!
I have discovered so many fantastic wineries through recommendations from friends. And the price point of these wines is amazing.
And the love story behind the label is just the sweetest thing!
Also in this area:
- Checkmate Artisanal Winery
- Kistmet Estate Winery (Masala Bistro on premises)
- Gehringer Brothers
- Jackson-Triggs Winery
- Cassini Cellars
- Hidden Chapel Winery
- Road 13 Vineyards
- Rust Wine Co.
- Castoro de Oro Estate Winery
- Gold Hill Winery
- River Stone Estate Winery
Phantom Creek Estates
We had the pleasure of visiting Phantom Creek during their opening weekend this summer and then we returned again during harvest for their incredible Founder’s Cellar Experience.
This winery is an incredible addition to BC’s wine country. I highly recommend allowing some extra time for your visit as you want to explore the beautiful vineyard and lounge around their south-facing amphitheater. The sky is the limit with this operation; we look forward to what the future holds.
I bought an entire case of their Rose and fell in love with their 2017 Kobau Merlot during their incredible 5 courses curated dinner and wine pairing. I consider this one of the best BC wineries and I am so excited for all that is to come at Phantom Creek Estates.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Burrowing Owl is where we choose to stay on our getaways to the Southern Okanagan, the wines are incredible. We are obsessed with their port-style wine Coruja and their Merlot is a hit amongst many of our friends.
Burrowing Owl is one of the few Okanagan wineries with an onsite restaurant called The Sonora Room which offers excellent culinary feasts and their Guest House with pool and hot tub offers an intimate and luxurious guest experience in 10 rooms.
They also have Tesla chargers which is a bonus after a long drive from Vancouver or the North Okanagan, where we live.
I cannot speak highly enough of our experiences at Burrowing Owl. We have done their Ultimate Tour & Tasting, The Connoisseur Tasting, we have stayed at The Guest House, enjoyed dinners at The Sonora Room and gratefully charged our Tesla.
Pick one or do them all! Want to take a peek around Burrowing Owl before you arrive? They offer virtual tours of all aspects of their winery.
Platinum Bench Estate Winery & Artisan Bread Co.
As the signs say, we came for the bread and stayed for the wine! Platinum Bench is famous for its incredible bread that is baked fresh every morning. I highly recommend getting there before noon if you want to try their bread, as they always sell out because they are so delicious.
But Platinum Bench is not just about their bread. They have some pretty good wines too. I personally love their reds but visit for a tasting and discover why this little winery is a favorite of many, including Jillian Harris.
I stumbled across Lariana a couple of years ago and fell in love with both their wines and their little tasting room. It has a very industrial feel and I love how they labeled their wines, using the words of each vintage year.
My favorites are their Carmenere and Viognier and as a member of their wine club, we get to enjoy many of their past vintages. This is a very respectable little boutique winery.
This Tuscan-inspired winery was introduced to us by friends who were members of the sought-after LaStella Winery Society Club, which boasts a waiting list of 2-3 years!
We enjoyed a private tour and tasting afterward on their beautiful terrace. I love their LaStellina Rosato and Moscato D’Osoyoos wines and my husband favors their reds.
LaStella also makes some incredible olive oil which nicely compliments their Tuscan-themed vineyard.
My BFF introduced me to Mooncurser many years ago by bringing a bottle of one of their reds to a dinner party. She has since brought many more bottles of Mooncurser for the two of us to enjoy together and I have loved all of them.
Mooncurser also has The Hideout guest house, which overlooks the vineyard and is steps away from their tasting room. You will receive a complimentary bottle of wine and tasting with every booking.
Also in this area:
- Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery
- Le Vieux Pin Winery
- French Door Winery
- Oliver Twist Winery
- Silver Sage Winery
- Bartier Bros Vineyard & Winery
- Here’s the Thing Vineyards
- Church and State Wines
- Black Hills Winery
- Desert Hills Estate Winery
- Nk’Mip Cellars (Patio Restaurant on premises)
- Adega on 45th Estate Winery
- Lakeside Cellars
- Blue Sky Estate Winery
- Bordertown Cider & Winery
- Young & Wyse Collection
What to bring on your tour of the Best BC Wineries
BC’s Okanagan region is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but each season brings many different temperatures. Despite the cold winters, this area sees amazing summers full of sunshine and hot temperatures (for Canada!).
If you are visiting during the spring and fall, it is always a good idea to pack a light sweater, as the evenings can get a little breezy. Pack comfortable, stylish shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking and tasting. Don’t forget your sunglasses, especially during the summer months.
And most importantly, I highly recommend bringing one or two styrofoam wine carriers with you. The last thing you want is your new favorite wines to be rolling around or constantly rattling in your trunk.
If you are flying, consider buying some wine-shaped bubble wrap so you can safely protect your bottles in your suitcase.
The Southern Okanagan wineries always get the most attention but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some amazing, up and coming wineries in the Thompson-Okanagan region.
Monte Creek Ranch
Kamloops’ largest winery, Monte Creek Ranch, has been open for five years with plans of expansion to continue the growth of this very popular vineyard.
It is the perfect spot for a stop on your road trip, offering you a beautiful wine shop offering farm products, natural honey, a selection of gift items, books and, of course, bottles of wine.
During the summer, you can enjoy lunch at The Terrace Restaurant or enjoy a picnic on the lawns of this stunning ranch.
Privato Vineyard and Winery
The inspiration behind the name of this family-owned boutique winery comes from the Italian word meaning private. It is a beautiful setting and one of Kamloops‘ hidden gems.
Privato offers a variety of wine-tasting options, local music on Sunday, and a food truck on-site, depending on the season. They also have a cidery on-site called Woodward Cider Co…I’ll save that for another post.
Harper’s Trail Estate Winery
Located on the outskirts of Kamloops, Harper’s Trail is set along the Thompson River with a stunning backdrop of hoodoos and rolling hills.
There is a patio area where wines can be enjoyed by the bottle or the glass and you can bring a picnic to extend your visit.
Final Thoughts on the ultimate guide to the best BC wineries by region.
It goes without saying that I love the wines and wineries in BC’s wine country. Whether it is a day trip or a weekend getaway, I highly recommend exploring our province’s beautiful vineyards for an authentic Canadian experience.
This post can also be viewed on Google web stories as The Best Wineries in BC.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
You can follow her travel adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.