Kelowna Wine Tours – What You NEED to Know Before You Go!
Thinking about joining a wine tour in Kelowna, BC? Well, this blog will let you know a few important things to ensure you book the right tour and have the best time possible! Here’s everything you need to know about Kelowna wine tours!
Going on a wine tour is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna. The region is perfect for growing a variety of different grapes, and thus there are a variety of wineries and vineyards to visit!
Wine tours are the perfect way to check out many wineries all in one day because not only do you get a designated driver (so you can drink ALL the wine your heart desires) but you also get the local knowledge of a guide – it’s a win-win!
But not all wine tours are created equal, and to be honest, there are a few things you should know about going on a wine tour in Kelowna before you book.
So, based on my own experience on wines tours all over the world (I make a point to do them wherever possible) and my experience on a wine tour in Kelowna, here are all the things you need to know before you go on a Kelowna wine tour!
What you can Expect from a Wine Tour in Kelowna
On most Kelowna wine tours you can expect a fairly similar experience. You’ll get a guide and a driver (who is often also the guide) that will take you and others around to different vineyards to learn about wine, how it’s made, and sample some wine (and by sample, I really mean drink as much as your heart desires!)
Most full-day tours visit 4-6 different wineries and at each stop you’ll try 3+ samples of different wine. You’ll also get the chance to purchase as many bottles of wine as you’d like to bring back with you after the tour. Some wineries will also ship cases straight back home for you (so if you’re traveling you don’t to pack the bottles in your suitcase!)
Wine tours in Kelowna will typically pick you up in the late morning and go for a few hours before dropping you back off at your hotel before dinner time. Most tours also include a stop for lunch at a vineyard restaurant.
Kelowna wine tours are great for wine lovers as you get a chance to try lots of wine, but they’re also perfect for those who enjoy checking out the scenery. Some of the wineries in and around Kelowna are located in the picturesque locations and the views are nothing short of breathtaking.
Typically, your guide will be very knowledgable about both wine and the area. You’ll leave the tour with a whole new understanding of wine made in the region, as well as some local tips for other things to do, places to visit, and other suggestions from your guide about enjoying Kelowna!
Common Questions about Wine Tours in Kelowna
If you’ve never been a on wine tour before, or even specifically a wine tour in Kelowna, you might have a few questions before booking. I mean, they aren’t necessarily “cheap” tours and you should have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into beforehand.
So, here are some common questions visitors generally have about Kelowna wine tours!
How much wine do you actually try?
This all depends on you and the tour company you choose.
For me, I like to try it all! I never make use of the spittoon (which is a fancy word for the bucket some people spit their wine into after trying it.) I live by the rule if someone offers it, I try it – so I tried A LOT of wine on the wine tour I went on in Kelowna.
Some companies also visit more wineries than others and some also give you more tastings than others. I have been on wine tours in places around the world where you get three small sips at each winery – but the wine tour I went on in Kelowna wasn’t like this at all!
Beach Bum Tours was my company of choice (I’ll let you know a little bit more about them below) and there were a lot of wine tastings going on. We visited 5 different wineries and tried between 5-9 samples (large samples at that) at each stop.
Which brings me to the question…
Am I going to get drunk on the tour?
If you want to, YES! But like I said, if you want to skip a few tastings or make use of the spittoon then you won’t get drunk.
But, if you choose a generous tour company and want to try all of the wine on offer, then you’ll likely be feeling pretty good by the end of the day.
Most tours also make a stop for lunch where you can have a meal and try to soak up some of that alcohol. Or you can order a glass of wine and keep your buzz going.
The truth is, it’s your tour – make of it what you will!
Is it only about drinking wine?
No! I mean, obviously, a wine tour is going to be a lot about the wine. And let’s be honest, you’re going to drink a lot of it. But it’s more than that!
In my experience, a good wine tour is also about the area. Your guide will tell you about places of interest as you drive by, you’ll learn about the region, and even get some great ideas of things to do and places to see for the rest of your trip!
You’ll also get to visit some very scenic wineries and vineyards and in Kelowna specifically, you’ll be able to take some gorgeous photographs to remember the day forever (in case you drink too much and it gets a little foggy!)
But in all honesty, a wine tour is a great way to explore Kelowna and the region that’s made it so famous. You’ll leave feeling like you had a proper tour and will have learned about more than just wine.
3 Reasons to do a Wine Tour in Kelowna
Kelowna is world-famous for wine. Sure, you could just drive around to cellar doors and sample wines that way – but that just isn’t as fun. Oh, and not to mention, good tour operators get much bigger tastings!
Here are a few specific reasons a wine tour in Kelowna is better than just driving yourself around to various vineyards:
1. You’ll visit the BEST wineries
A wine tour provides local knowledge and insight into all of the best places to go. There are over 40 different wineries around Kelowna, if that isn’t overwhelming then I don’t know what is!
A local guide will narrow it down to the best places to go for your group based on what you’re into and what type of wine you like. On our tour, we skipped lots of the overly touristic places and went to some wineries a little off-the-beaten-path that most tourists don’t ever hear or know about!
2. Tours come with a designated driver
Drinking and driving in Canada in a big no, no! You can get in a lot of trouble including losing your license. So, if you’re going to be sampling wine then you’ll need one of your friends to be the designated driver, and not drink.
That is unless you go on a tour where your guide is your driver. This way, you and all of your friends can drink as much (or as little) as you want without worrying about who is going to drive!
3. There’s no stress or planning
Let’s be honest, you’re on holidays and the last thing you want to be doing is planning a wine tour. When you go on a wine tour in Kelowna, all you need to do is book the tour and be ready to go at the pick-up time. The rest is sorted out by your tour company and guide.
Choosing the Wine Best Tour in Kelowna
There are many different companies to choose from that offer wine tours in and around Kelowna and the Okanagan in general. Choosing a tour operator and a specific tour can be confusing, especially with the numerous tours to choose from.
I’ve broken Kelowna wine tours into 4 different categories each with my recommended tour. This way, you can easily choose which category best suits you and select a wine tour from there!
1. Full-Day Wine Tours
Full-day Kelowna wine tours typically last around 6 hours and visit more than 5 different wineries. They are best suited to wine lovers who are happy to drink lots and spend the majority of a day sipping wine and touring wineries!
Do expect to pay more for a full-day wine tour though, and also budget for buying lunch if it’s not included in your tour already.
The tour we did in Kelowna: We went on a full-day tour with Beach Bum Tours and had an absolute blast! We visited 6 wineries, and most of them were smaller, unique wineries that we had never heard of before! We drank tons of wine and had lots of laughs with our super friendly and knowledgable guide.
We can highly recommend Beach Bum Tours, and if you’re wanting to book that same tour as us, you can do so directly on their website!
2. Half-Day Wine Tours
Half-day wine tours in Kelowna are the perfect option for travelers that are budget conscious, but also want to try some wine. These tours are much cheaper than the full-day options but will still have sampling lots of wine!
Most half-day Kelown wine tours visit about 3 different wineries and typically last about 4 hours. To me, this is a great option for people who don’t want to drink wine all afternoon.
Tour recommendation: This half-day Kelowna wine tour is a great price, goes for 4 hours, and visits 3 really great wineries! The reviews are amazing and it is good value for money if you ask me!
3. Private Wine Tours
Pirvae wine tours in Kelowna are best suited for those traveling in a larger group. On these tours, your group will be the only ones on the tour and oftentime syour guide can tailor to tour to your interests.
Private Kelowna wine tours are very popular for backelorette parties. These tours are all about having a good time and drinking lots of wine along the way!
Tour recommendation: This private wine tour in Kelowna goes for about 5-6 hours and can a group as large as 11! The tour operator will work with you to design the best itinerary including an awesome lunch stop!
4. Sightseeing and Wine Combo Tours
Choosing a wine tour in Kelowna that also focuses on sightseeing is the perfect choice for those who want to do more than sample wine. It is also a great option for people who enjoy photography (like Daniel) and those who haven;t yet had a chance to see all the amazing sights around Kelowna!
Tour recommendation: This particular wine and sightseeing combo tour from Kelowna is 4 hours long and visit the most scenic 4 wineries in the region. It also includes snacks and ample wine to try along with time to enjoy some beautiful views.
Do we think wine tours in Kelowna are worth the money?
100% yes! We love wine tours and in Kelowna, it is easily one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. Expect to pay between $130-200 per person for a wine tour around Kelowna, but also expect to have a great time!
For us, wine lovers, wine tours are always a great time. In Kelowna, this is especially true because of the gorgeous setting of lakes and mountains surrounding the vineyards!
Let us know in the comments below, have you gone on a wine tour around Kelowna before? What did you think? Would you do it again? We’d love to hear from you!
If you found this blog helpful, then be sure to checkout the rest of our Canada blogs! Some that you might like inlcude:
Enjoy Kelowna and your chosen wine tour!
April 23, 2020