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After growing up in the Okanagan Valley, I like to think of myself as a bit of a wine connoisseur (or maybe I’m just really great at drinking wine?). A lot of my family still live in the area, so Dan and I often go back to visit and always make sure to sneak in a wine tour. There are over 170 wineries in the valley, after all!
We’ve recently been exploring the famous Naramata Bench region in Penticton that stretches 25 km (15.5 miles) up from the town of Penticton towards Naramata. Along the way, we’ve tried a few incredible wine tours around some of the best wineries in the area. Our verdict? If you’re a fan of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Melot, or Chardonnay, this is the place for you!
We LOVE that this area is full of family-run and locally-owned wineries. Not only is every wine unique, but the wineries themselves are so special too. You can tell that so much love goes into growing every grape, which in our opinion makes the wine taste that much better.
If you love getting dressed up and touring through stunning vineyards, taking in the views, and sipping delicious wine flights as much as we do, we think you’ll love these wine tours in Penticton. They’re among the best things to do in BC and perfect for a bachelorette party, girls’ day, or if you’d simply like to enjoy a nice afternoon sipping some of the top wines in the province.
Without further ado, here are 5 amazing tours that will have you on cloud wine!
Our TOP Penticton Wine Tour
With the flexibility to customize your itinerary or follow their set route of 5 incredible wineries, our top pick for wine tours in Penticton is this Naramata full-day private wine tour! Some of my favorite spots included the Poplar Grove Winery and the picturesque Lake Breeze Winery – all wine tasting fees are included too.
With prices ranging from $222 to $279 CAD per person (depending on group size), this is also great value for money and a great introduction to the wine scene in Naramata Bench! You can secure your tickets for the tour online here.
Why Book a Wine Tour in Penticton?
One of the most popular things to do in Penticton is to go on a wine tasting tour. With over 185 wineries in the Okanagan Valley, you really don’t have to go far to taste some amazing grapes!
Tastings at wineries typically allow you to sample between four or five different wines, which can push you over the legal limit quickly. If you plan to visit multiple wineries, having a safe driver really is important. Booking a wine tour will take all the stress out by providing safe transportation throughout your day.
Most wine tours also include the price of tastings in the tour and organize a fast-track tasting experience, which is especially useful for larger groups and when visiting in the peak summer season.
With a wine tour, your day will be planned for you, giving you plenty of time to explore the vineyards as well as sample and learn about the wines. All that’s left for you to do is relax, sip, and enjoy.
Related Read: By the way, there are some amazing wineries in Kelowna too!
What are the Best Wine Regions to Visit in Penticton?
If you drive about 20 minutes north of downtown Penticton along the east side of Okanagan Lake, you will find yourself in a beautiful area called Naramata Bench, the heart of wine in the Penticton area.
Home to over 40 wineries, Naramata Bench is also one of the best and most beautiful regions to go wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley. The whole area provides stunning views of Okanagan Lake while continuously producing award-winning wines.
Penticton’s climate is perfect for wine growing, receiving only about 12 inches (30 cm) of rain annually with long and hot summers. Naramata’s lakeside location helps keep temperatures moderate while receiving lots of sunlight, making it a prime spot for growing grapes.
The Naramata region is also known for its red grapes producing delicious fruit-forward Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrahs. If you prefer white wines, the area is also very popular for Pinot Gris and Riesling.
The Best Wine Tours in Penticton
1. Naramata full-day private wine tour
Indulging in a wine tour in the Naramata region is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the local wine scene, and this private full-day tour takes that to a whole new level!
One of the things we love so much about private tours is that you can personalize what you do on the tour exactly to what you want. Accompanied by your driver and personal guide for the day, you’re free to set your own itinerary or follow their set route of 5 incredible wineries in the area.
If you don’t have any special requests in mind – I recommend going with their standard tour! We particularly loved visiting the Poplar Grove Winery, the couple running the winery were just so lovely and welcoming, and their Pinot Gris is just out of this world! We also had the option of having lunch here or at the TIME Winery Kitchen (at an additional cost).
Another wonderful winery we visited was the Lake Breeze Winery, situated right on the edge of the lake with such gorgeous views. To top it all off, the wine (especially the Pinotage), was brilliant too!
On this tour, you’ll party to your own music between stops, go at your own pace, and enjoy the experience that’s tailored to you and you alone. The drivers are super friendly, and the transportation is comfortable with lots of space to bring home bottles of wine from each stop.
We think a private tour like this one would be perfect for bachelorette parties, birthdays, or family gatherings, where you and your group will be in full control – just make sure mom doesn’t leave with too many bottles!
The price of this 5-hour tour does vary a little based on how many people you book for, with 2 people costing $269 CAD each, but if you book for a group of 4–12 people, the price drops to $199 CAD each.
Your ticket also includes round-trip transportation from Penticton or Summerland in an air-conditioned van, bottled water, and tasting fees at all five wineries. It’s a great way to explore some incredible local venues, but the tour does book up fast – check availability and secure your dates here!
2. Naramata wine trail Sip Disturber half-day wine tour
If spending four hours visiting four award-winning wineries in Naramata Bench sounds like a dream come true, then this half-day wine tour will be right up your alley! As a public tour, the driver does a fantastic job of setting the mood and making the tour inclusive and fun from the get-go.
There’s a maximum of 14 people per trip, so it’s quite a small tour and not crowded at all. On our trip, we had 6 others with us and had a blast getting to know everyone while trying out some great wines.
We also loved that this tour includes pickup from and drop-off to all hotels in Penticton – it’s super convenient after you’ve had a few glasses of wine!
Kicking off at MOCOJO Winery, we recommend trying out their famous Pinot Blanc before moving on to Moraine Estate Winery, which is a stunning venue that’s also family-run. It’d be wrong not to bring home a bottle of Cliffhanger Red or White…
The Three Sisters Winery has a lovely patio with seating that’s perfect for soaking up some sun with your flight of wine, and last, but certainly not least, there’s the boutique and flower-power-fueled Ruby Blues Winery. Surrounded by some wacky but wonderful decor, we had a great time getting to know the owner whose passion for wine really shines through.
As for the organizers of the tour, they do occasionally shake things up a bit, sometimes including other wineries in the lineup, so be sure to ask beforehand for the full itinerary!
Tickets for this tour are $190 CAD per person, with all tasting fees, round-trip transportation, bottled water, and even the tip for your guides included! Of course, if you’re like us and feel tempted to take a bottle home, this will be at an extra cost. You can book your tickets for this experience here.
3. Naramata Bench 5 winery tour
For those looking for a longer wine tasting tour, this 6-hour Naramata wine tour has you covered! With a reputation in the Okanagan for having very friendly and entertaining guides who do a fantastic job of making the experience fun and educational, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as we did.
At each of the 5 stops, you’ll taste a wide range of incredible wines, from the incredible Portfolio Red Blend at Laughing Stock Vineyards to the floral Adelaide White 2019 at Wesbert Winery! And don’t worry about transportation – your designated driver will take care of everything, so you can simply sit back, relax, and savor the flavors of the region’s finest wines.
With a maximum of 14 travelers per tour, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know everyone, and I’m sure you’ll have a few new friends by the end of the day!
Tickets for this tour are $219 CAD per person and include all transportation, including round-trip hotel transport from Penticton, all tasting fees, your friendly tour guide, and bottled water. You can also organize a lunch stop (at your own expense) at Poplar Grove Winery.
This tour should be booked well in advance to avoid missing out!
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.
4. Summerland wine tour
On the western side of Penticton, right across the lake from Naramata, you will find the small and beautiful town of Summerland. It’s fitting then that Summerland is famous for a series of roads connecting its wineries, known as Bottleneck Drive!
This half-day private wine experience includes visits to four exceptional wineries in Summerland, an area that is relatively new to the wine scene, but oh-so-amazing. You’ll find smaller and lesser-known wineries here, making the whole experience feel very exclusive, and you may even find a hidden gem or two.
Our guide, Eve, was excellent throughout the tour, breaking out the jokes and telling us all about the wineries we were visiting. It’s clear she knows exactly what she’s doing, and even helped us when we were unsure which wines to pick!
The tour begins with a stop at Sage Hills Organic Vineyard before moving on to the 8th Generation Vineyard. Both wineries offer incredible rosé, white, and red wines. It’s really difficult to pick a favorite among all of those choices.
Next up on the itinerary is a visit to the picturesque farm-style vineyard at SummerGate Winery, followed by a final stop at Lunessence Winery to cap off the day’s wine-tasting adventure. Pro tip – the 2019 Merlot at Lunessence was a big hit!
As this is a private tour, the price varies based on the number of people in the booking, with 2 guests costing $225 CAD each and groups of 4 or more costing $149 CAD per person. Booking this tour is super easy, and you can request vineyards of your choice too!
Don’t forget to arrange your tickets ahead of time and get ready to enjoy some fantastic wine.
5. Okanagan wine country – Velo Vino wine and cycle tour
If you love biking and being active but also want to enjoy visiting some of the very best wines around, this private half-day wine and cycle tour has you covered!
We think this is a great spin on the classic wine tour – taking a bike at the start helps to slow down the pace, allowing you to really savor all the incredible views along the way.
Your journey will begin with a morning bike ride along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail before stopping for a scenic picnic lunch to refuel. It’s quite an easy ride, so anyone with a basic level of physical fitness should have no problem at all!
Of course, we’d all probably end up head-first in a vineyard if we rode around between wineries, so after your picnic lunch you’ll hop into a provided vehicle and spend the afternoon touring through three boutique wineries in Naramata. Sounds like a perfect day, doesn’t it?
This private cycle and wine tour costs $235 CAD per person and requires at least two people per booking. Please note that while a picnic lunch is included in the cost, the wine tasting fees are not. Tasting fees typically range from $5-$20 CAD per winery, depending on where you go. Secure your tickets for this experience online here!
Related Read: If you love wine-tasting tours, why not try out these incredible Vancouver brewery tours the next time you’re in town?
Where to Stay in Penticton, BC
Penticton is a city with a ton of hotels to choose from, which is great because they really are needed in the peak summer season. Most of the hotels have pools, and some even have cooking facilities!
Sahara Courtyard – $
If you’re visiting Penticton and on a limited budget, I hate to break it to you, but there aren’t many cheap options. There are no hostels in the city and most of the cheapest hotels have terrible reviews. Your best choice is Sahara Courtyard Inn, where rooms go for as low as $103 CAD. The hotel features a large outdoor pool with plenty of seating. All rooms also have air conditioning (an essential in Penticton in the summer!)
Hotel Penticton – $$
If you don’t mind spending a little more, then we recommend Hotel Penticton. This is where we stayed the last time when we were in Penticton and really enjoyed our stay. The rooms looked like they were recently renovated with modern finishes, and we loved the large indoor pool and hot tub (perfect for when the weather isn’t ideal.) Rooms here start from $129 CAD, and you can secure your stay online here.
Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott – $$$
For those of you who want a luxury stay, you can’t go wrong with Fairfield Inn and Suites. It is one of the newest hotels in the city and features all of the amenities you could ever want, including an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and gym.
They also have rooms that sleep up to four people as well as your pet! Rooms start at $137 CAD per night and can be booked online here.
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!
Penticton is a wine lover’s paradise with its stunning vineyards, delicious wines, and picturesque valleys. We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post showcasing some of the most incredible wine tasting tours to be found here! While you’re in the area, why not keep the good times rolling with a visit to the best breweries in Kelowna?
Before your trip to this part of British Columbia, have a look around at our other Okanagan blogs for more ideas! As well, here are three more useful blogs to help make your stay even more special: