This is the best place in Canada to taste the exquisite wines of the Okanagan and valley-grown, farm-fresh products!
Gourmet prepared regional cuisine, tapas-style fare or cheese and fruit platters served on beautiful patios overlooking spectacular lake and valley views — it’s all here for those wishing to indulge in a sensory delight. For an added treat, consider sitting back and letting someone show you around wine country.
Day 1 — Vancouver to Kelowna (4.5 hours)
Depart Vancouver at 8:00 am. Arrive in Kelowna via Trans Canada Highway #1, Coquihalla Highway #5A and Highway #97. While in West Kelowna, plan a visit to Grizzli Winery and the many other wineries of the Westside Wine Trail before continuing on to Kelowna.
Welcome to Kelowna and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada’s most visited winery and largest certified organic vineyard for a vineyard lunch and VIP tour. The property also features a four story high, 8% replica pyramid of Egypt used scientifically for aging their wines.
Not far down the road, your next stop is Cedar Creek Estate Winery. It all started at Cedar Creek in 1986 when apple orchards were replaced with quality European varietals including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As they say, “the rest is history” for the Fitzpatrick family who originally settled in the valley in 1913, as the winery has been named Canadian winery of the year for the second time in five years!
Since you’re in one of the most beautiful areas of Kelowna, a drive further along the lakeshore is a must to visit Carmelli’s Goat Cheese Farm. Carmelli’s goat milk contains no additives or preservatives and they use no stimulation processes in their production, making sure every type of cheese reaches its true maturity. You can sample any cheese and we suggest taking a little slice to go along with the wine you bought earlier this afternoon. The two will make a perfect pairing in your hotel room. Try their home made Gelato — unbelievable!
We suggest two wine-paired dinner suggestions tonight. The first is at Raudz Restaurant — an award winning restaurant featuring the chef from the world-famous Wickininnish Inn. The 90-year-old heritage brick building is the setting for the 56 seat restaurant finished with Vancouver Island fir and fitted with an exhibition kitchen. Every seat has a view of the kitchen where Chef Rod Butters and his team create culinary excitement. This is creative cuisine at its best inspired by the Okanagan’s finest ingredients. The second is at the Hotel Eldorado’s Lakeside Dining Room.
Boasting fantastically prepared AAA Angus beef selections, fabulous chops, the Eldorado has the most extensive seafood offering and award-winning wine list featuring over 150 different labels. A favourite locals destination, nothing beats dining lakeside at “The El”. Overnight in your first class Kelowna hotel.
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Day 2 — Kelowna
Your day begins with an unusual trip to Arlo’s Honey Farm nestled in the beautiful hills of South East Kelowna. Here you see and hear about the dance of the honey bee and how this orchestrates the pollination of our flowers, fruits, berries and vegetables. Come for a short tour or to taste award winning honey and tour their gift shop and market for pollen, bees wax, fresh fruit, berries and vegetables in season. Arlo’s honey products are sold at the Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market.
Just down the road is the Okanagan Lavender Farm, one of Kelowna’s most unique and popular attractions. Visitors take self-guided tours to pick lavender, shop the country store for handcrafted essential oils, culinary and home products. Learn how to user lavender to enhance their lives and their recipes. Sample lavender tea, lavender shortbread and much more!
Around the corner, a visit to Tantalus Vineyards is a must! Tantalus is committed to sustainable business practices. As such, winery guests enter their LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) candidate winery, the first of its kind in British Columbia. Tantalus is situated on the eastern slopes of the Okanagan Valley overlooking the shores of Lake Okanagan and the city of Kelowna. Originally known as Pioneer Vineyards, the site was first planted to grapes in 1927 and is one of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in British Columbia.
Make your way north out of Kelowna on Hwy 97 to Okanagan Landing and enjoy miles of lakefront travel and vineyard covered hills on the 30-minute journey to today’s lunch stop: the Grapevine Restaurant at Gray Monk Estate Winery. Gray Monk is one of the Okanagan’s oldest and most recognized estate wineries. They offer exceptional dining with panoramic views overlooking Okanagan Lake paired with award-winning wines — Yummy white wines!
On your way back into Kelowna, we suggest getting off the beaten path and taking a side trip on your return to a place where you can witness an entirely different produce crop being grown. Welcome to Falcon Ridge Farms, home to more than 400,000 Echinacea plants that produce a variety of products including tea, honey, jams, jellies, throat sprays, herbal mouthwash and beeswax candles. Group tours are available year round.
Make your way to the pasture lands of south Kelowna and your last stop of the afternoon at Pioneer Country Market. Dating back five generations to 1875 when John Casorso settled in the area, his descendents still maintain a close relationship with the land. An array of experiences is offered here. You can be taken back in time viewing the extensive agricultural museum items — both inside and outside. You can also wander around and see firsthand how the many different vegetables are grown. This might be the perfect time for a “pick me up” with a cup of tea or a freshly brewed latte in the restaurant. If you’re looking to take something home from your Okanagan trip, the country store has a huge selection of preserves, fresh fruits and vegetables from around the valley.
For history buffs, the Pioneer Country Farm Market coincidently is not far from the original site of the Father Pandosy Mission, an Oblate Spanish missionary. In 1860 Father Charles founded the settlement where priests ministered to the area’s Indian population and to the growing number of settlers. At its most prosperous, the Mission farm held roughly 2000 acres. It was the first white settlement in the interior and also the first place in BC where grapes were grown!
Day 3 — Return to Vancouver