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Going on a wine tour is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna. The Okanagan Valley region in British Columbia is perfect for growing a variety of different grapes with hot summer days, plenty of sunshine, and mild winters.
Needless to say, there are a TON of wineries and vineyards to visit around Kelowna! As a BC local (and wine lover!), we had our hearts set on taking in some wine tours … and grabbing a few bottles of our favorites to take home.
Wine tours are the perfect way to sample different Kelowna 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, I’ll help you narrow it down. Here are all the things you need to know before you go on a wine tour in Kelowna and the five best tours to choose from!
Our FAVORITE Kelowna Wine Tour
When it comes to value for money and flexibility, our favorite tour in Kelowna is this 4-hour sightseeing wine tour! With the choice between visiting Kelowna or West Kelowna, you get to enjoy this experience at your own pace, which is something we really appreciated when we went.
Priced at $179 CAD per person, this is a fantastic introduction to the wine scene here, and you’ve got round-trip transportation to your accommodation included too! You can secure your spot on this tour here.
1. Why book a wine tour in Kelowna?
Kelowna is world-famous for wine and taking a wine tour here is among the best things to do while visiting BC! Sure, you could just drive around to cellar doors and sample wines that way – but that just isn’t as fun.
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. Oh, and not to mention, good tour operators get much bigger tastings!
Drinking and driving in Canada is 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, a big advantage of a tour is that your guide is also your designated 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!
Let’s be honest, you’re on holiday 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. No stress!
2. 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 tours visit 3-4 different wineries and at each stop, you’ll try 3+ samples of different wines. 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 have to pack the bottles in your suitcase!).
Wine tours in Kelowna will typically pick you up in the late morning or afternoon 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.
Typically, your guide will be very knowledgeable 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!
3. What are the best wine regions to visit in Kelowna?
After growing up in the Okanagan, I can confidently say that there are no bad areas to go wine tasting in Kelowna. While this is true, for the best views and the most notable wineries, we love visiting either West Kelowna or Lake Country. West Kelowna is home to some of the oldest and best wineries in the region. Lake Country, as the name suggests, offers unbeatable views and some high-class winery experiences.
The Okanagan Valley is known as wine country for a reason and the vineyards in Kelowna often win both national and international awards for their top-quality wines.
Kelowna is located between the 49th and 50th parallel making its latitude the same as Champagne in France, so it’s no coincidence that the wines here are so amazing. The long, dry, and hot summers combine to make top-quality fruit-forward wines. The cooler winters invite sweet ice wines to be produced.
4. How much does a wine tour in Kelowna cost?
You can expect to pay somewhere between $100-200 CAD for a wine tour in Kelowna. The cost depends on the length of the tour and any extras that might be included.
Typically the longer tours don’t include the price of lunch, so you’ll need to account for that. However, all the tours we’ll talk about here include transportation, wine tastings, a guide, and all fees and taxes in the tour price.
Of course, the cost of the tour also doesn’t include any bottles of wine you want to purchase to bring home. You’ll likely find a few new favorites, so make sure to have some money set aside for that!
5. How long do wine tours last?
Full-day wine tours in Kelowna will typically last around 6-7 hours. 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!
Half-day wine tours in Kelowna are the perfect option for travelers that are budget conscious but also want to try some wine. Most of these shorter tours visit three different wineries and typically last about four hours. These tours are cheaper than the full-day options but will still have you sampling lots of wine!
6. What are the best wine tours in Kelowna?
If a wine tour is on your agenda while you’re in Kelowna (and it should be!), the hardest part might be choosing one. To help, we’ve handpicked our five favorite wine tours in Kelowna that you don’t want to miss out on!
Kelowna afternoon sightseeing wine tour
This afternoon wine tasting and sightseeing tour allows you to choose between visiting wineries in Kelowna or West Kelowna. You’ll visit four different wineries selected by your guide – you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices on the list, believe me! What I like about this tour is that you don’t feel rushed. While we got to visit four different wineries, we still had enough time at each to taste the wine samples as well as walk through the vineyards.
The tour includes round-trip transportation from wherever you’re staying in Kelowna or West Kelowna – whether that’s a hotel or even a friend’s house. This meant we knew we had a designated driver for the afternoon along with plenty of space to bring home a few bottles (or boxes – we’re not judging!) of wines from each vineyard.
This is a small group tour with a maximum of 11 people. Tickets are $179 CAD each which includes all tasting fees and transportation. The dress code is smart casual and I like getting a little bit dressed up for these!
If an afternoon of great wine and scenery sounds right for you, book a spot on this tour online here.
Lake Country “Scenic Sip” wine tour
If you want a bit more time to enjoy the amazing wines and landscapes around Kelowna, this full-day Lake Country tour is our pick. You’ll head just 10 minutes north of Kelowna to the Lake Country area. The views here are incredible and the wine …. well that’s amazing too!
It’s easy to see why this tour is known as the “Scenic Sip” tour. Along with visits to five of the best wineries in Lake Country, you’ll have stunning views of one of the most beautiful places in BC. The views between the wineries are jaw-dropping but nothing compared to how beautiful the vineyards themselves were. A special shoutout to 50th Parallel Estate Winery with its views of Okanagan Lake!
Our guide was great and we felt like we had lots of time to soak up the views and sip on some of the best wines in British Columbia. Your guide can even help arrange shipping if you find wines you love and want to have at home.
The tour is $199 CAD and can be booked for two people or larger groups of up to 14 if you’re planning a special event or bachelorette weekend. The cost includes tasting fees, bottled water, and round-trip transportation in a comfy air-conditioned van from Kelowna. You can also have lunch at O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars (at your own expense) which has amazing pizza served in a gorgeous restaurant.
Full-day wine tour in West Kelowna
If spending a whole day touring amazing wineries sounds good to you, this full-day wine tour in West Kelowna delivers.
You’ll spend seven hours at four different wineries including two of the best in the Okanagan – Quails’ Gate Winery and Mission Hill Estate Winery. Both of these are iconic wineries around here and have quite a prestigious reputation for delivering stunning views and exceptional wines. I can say both of these are well worth the stop and we can’t wait to go back to both of them!
You will also visit Black Swift Vineyards which is a newer winery and we loved the wine tasting on the patio here. The tour finishes at the Mount Boucherie Estate Winery with a lunchtime stop (at your own expense) at their restaurant known as Modest Butcher Kitchen. The food here is great, but the stunning lake view makes it even better!
The tour includes pickup and dropoff from your hotel, all tasting fees, and a total of 20 wine tastings! We think this is a stellar deal for only $198 CAD per person. Book a spot on this full-day tour online through Viator here.
Lake Country scenic wine tour
Another tour that effortlessly combines sightseeing with great wine is this Lake Country scenic wine tour. Over four hours, you’ll visit some of the area’s award-winning wineries and enjoy the views. It feels like a mini-holiday!
The guides are great at making the tours fun and they’re a wealth of knowledge. They’ll even suggest dinner recommendations or other spots you should visit while in Kelowna!
This tour takes you to four different wineries – Ancient Hill Estate Winery, Blind Tiger Vineyards, Arrowleaf Cellars, and Intrigue Wines. We especially loved Ancient Hill Winery where all the grapes are grown and processed right on-site!
This is one of the most affordable Kelowna wine tours on our list at $140 CAD per person for two people or $130 CAD each for groups of four or more. The cost includes all tasting fees and transportation. Reserve a spot on this wine tour by booking it here!
Wine tour on an E-bike with lunch
Visit some of the best Kelowna wineries on your own time and get some exercise on this wine tour on an e-bike. This is a self-guided tour, which is super nice. While we love guided tours, sometimes it’s great to be on your own time so you can linger at the wineries you like and not feel like you have to follow a group.
The tour starts in downtown Kelowna where you’ll pick up your e-bikes and download a special wine tasting app. The bikes come with a phone mount that will act as your navigator as you bike past beautiful beaches, including the popular Boyce-Gyro Beach, before heading up into the countryside where you’ll visit three wineries.
You’ll start at Sperling Vineyard for your first wine tasting and then continue on to Priest Creek Estate Winery for your second tasting before finishing off at your third vineyard, Meadow Vista. This winery is known for its delicious honey-infused wine and here is where you will enjoy a farm-to-table style lunch (that’s included in the tour price!) on the patio.
You can choose from multiple departure times from 10 am to 1 pm all costing $139 CAD which includes your e-bike rental, all equipment (like a helmet and bike bag), wine tasting fees, and even lunch. I love that this tour lets you go at your own pace and spend quality time with your friends. Make sure to reserve your bike and a spot on this tour with Viator!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
7. How much wine do you actually try?
This all depends on you and the tour 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 tours I went on in Kelowna.
Some tours, like the full-day options, also visit more wineries than others and give you more tastings. I have been on wine tours in places around the world where you get three small sips at each winery – but the wine tours I went on in Kelowna weren’t like this at all!
Related Read: If you haven’t had your fill of wine tours yet, there are some incredible wine tours around Penticton in the Naramata Bench area.
8. 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 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!
9. When is the best time to take a wine tour in Kelowna?
Anytime! I’m only half joking here … there are wine tours offered all year long in Kelowna.
Peak season to take a tour is typically May to October, but if you’re visiting Kelowna in the winter, you can sip on a bold red while looking out on snow-blanketed vineyards. Doesn’t that just sound amazing?
10. 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.
Choosing a wine tour in Kelowna that also focuses on sightseeing like this tour 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!
Related Read: Kelowna isn’t just known for wine, but beer too! Read all about the amazing craft breweries in Kelowna!
11. Is a wine tour in Kelowna worth it?
Yes! 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 picturesque locations and the views are nothing short of breathtaking.
Where to Stay in Kelowna, BC
Finding where to stay in Kelowna for your wine tour can be tricky. For starters, you need to book well in advance (especially during the summer months) if you want to enjoy a large selection of hotels. For this reason, I suggest booking a place ASAP!
Using Booking.com is great because lots of hotels offer free cancelation. So, just lock in a place (or two) for now and make the final decision later (we always do this!).
If you need some help choosing, Dan and I have stayed at a lot of different hotels in Kelowna and have narrowed it down to our absolute favorites!
Coast Capri Hotel Kelowna – Our top choice
We’ve stayed at our fair share of hotels in Kelowna, but last time we stayed at the Coast Capri Hotel and loved it! Our pool-view room was perfect with a huge balcony, two large queen beds, and even a desk area so that we could get some work done (when we weren’t busy down by the pool, of course!).
One of the best things about the Coast Capri Hotel is that it’s affordable without sacrificing any of the comforts you’ll need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay – suitable for almost all travelers and budgets. The location is central and the amenities are top-notch. If you’re visiting in the summer be sure to go to the pool where you can order food and drinks to enjoy poolside – we even had cocktails in the pool one night!
You can book this hotel on Booking.com. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible because these guys are often fully booked!
Kelowna International Hostel – Best budget option
The Kelowna International Hostel is centrally located and although it’s not fancy, it’s $90 CAD for a private room or only $35 CAD for a bunk. You can make your own free pancakes every morning and they have fun weekly events like Tuesday pasta night! It’s also highly rated as a clean hostel with friendly staff. You can book a room on Hostelworld.com.
Delta Hotels Grand Okangan Resort – Best luxury hotel
The Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort does come at a hefty price with rooms at $500+ CAD a night but it’s superbly located. It has both an indoor and outdoor pool as well as an onsite casino! If you can afford it, treat yourself! Book a room online here for your luxury getaway.
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Thanks for reading!
For us as 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! We hope you enjoy Kelowna and whatever wine tour you choose. Cheers!
If you found this blog helpful, then be sure to check out the rest of our Canada blogs! Some that you might like include: