If you’re visiting the Okanagan Valley region in British Columbia, Canada, one of the biggest draws are the wineries. But there are so many wineries to pick from that it’s hard to choose which ones to visit. If you’re looking for wineries that offer a little something extra, here are 5 unique Okanagan Valley wineries that will tempt your palate and give you a standout experience.
Indigenous World Winery
To get a good understanding of what Okanagan Valley wineries have to offer, you can’t miss a visit to the Indigenous World Winery. This Kelowna-based winery is owned and operated by Robert and Bernice Louie, descendants of the Okanagan Sylix First Nations.
The staff will give you a brief history about the family and the land the winery sits upon while you sample their incredible selection of wines. Be sure to sample the muscat – the winery has 2.5 acres of vineyards down the valley from the winery where they grow muscat grapes.
Beyond just making wine, Indigenous World has expanded into spirits as well – gin, vodka, and a single malt whisky. They use locally foraged berries, herbs and botanicals to create truly unique and flavourful spirits. You can also grab a charcuterie plate and, if you are very lucky, fresh bannock at the Spirit Bar (availability is very limited!). Their gift shop also has a wonderful selection of Indigenous art, jewelry and accessories to purchase.
Address: 2218 Horizon Drive, Kelowna, V1Z 3L4
The View Winery is special for a couple of reasons. The land has been in the Turton/Ward family for 5 generations, and started out as an apple orchard and market. The old 1922 packinghouse became a winery and cidery in 2006. They sell their wines under the View brand, and ciders under the Wards Cidery label. Plus, they created Canada’s first wine in a can – Bling Sparkling Wine!
The primary building has a homey, rustic vibe that makes your visit feel relaxed and unhurried. You can just feel the history within those walls. You’ll also notice artwork showcasing red pump heels – which pulls together the View’s red high heel logo on their wine labels.
Even if you’re not a big fan of wine or cider, you might just fall in love with their Infinitea line of tea-infused ciders. They are less sweet than a typical cider and come in mouth-watering flavours like tropical green tea, strawberry kiwi, and stone fruit hibiscus.
Be sure to check out their gift shop as well. Here you can purchase their wines and ciders, as well as wine accessories, souvenirs, and other swag.
Address: #1-2287 Ward Road, Kelowna, V1W 4R5
Arrowleaf Cellars hits a lot of the high points when looking for a great winery. The building is beautiful, they have a lot of outdoor seating, and the views across the Okanagan Lake are stunning.
If you don’t want to sit on the covered patio, the winery also has picnic tables overlooking a section of the vineyard.
If you get munchy, you can indulge in sharing a picnic box. You can purchase your choice of a cheese, vegan, or charcuterie option.
But something they offer that you can’t get at just any winery is a rotating selection of fresh, made in-house cream puffs. These sweet delights will take you straight to the heart of Paris and back again with every bite.
The cream puffs are only offered on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months. The winery has two rotating flavours to choose from each weekend, and sales begin at 11am until they are sold out. Although advance bookings are not required, you’re going to want to get there early as there is often a line up!
Reservations for wine tastings are highly recommended as they can get quite busy on weekends especially.
Address: 1574 Camp Road, Lake Country, V4V 1K1
The Vibrant Vine Winery
Are you looking for something a bit more…psychedelic? Stop in for a wine tasting at the Vibrant Vine Winery. The exterior looks unassuming enough. But the minute you walk in the door, you quickly realize this is not going to be your Auntie’s wine tasting.
Once you enter you’re immediately greeted by a staff member handing out 3D glasses. The Vibrant Vine is not only a winery, but also an art gallery featuring 3D art by Phil Lewis, the owner’s son. After you’ve indulged in your wine tasting, a stroll through the building becomes a self-guided art walk of Lewis’ brightly coloured artwork.
Following in the same artistic theme, the winery plays host to live music every Saturday and Sunday outside from April to September. You can grab drinks at their outdoor “Snack Shack” or try a wood-fired pizza from the Curious Cafe.
Or, if you are a budding artist yourself, you can sign up for one of their artist workshops, including learning to paint with watercolours, silk scarf water marbling, and more.
Address: 3240 Pooley Road, Kelowna, V1W 4G7
Frequency Winery & Recording Studio
Here are two things you don’t typically find together under one roof – a winery that also operates as a professional recording studio. But that’s exactly what you’ll experience at the Frequency Winery and Recording Studio. This is the sister winery to the Vibrant Vine Winery, but it’s unique enough that it deserves its own mention. The building itself is quite modest, but you will love what you find inside.
The building is chock full of music memorabilia, instruments, clothing and photos of various musicians. But they also have a full-blown, fully operational recording studio inside. And yes, it’s available to rent! Rental rates include the use of all the equipment (wine not included!).
The winery’s theory is that the vibrations from the music infuse the wines with good vibes, thus enhancing the flavours. There is also a somewhat practical element to this theory as well, as the vibrations from the music probably help the sediment in the wines to settle more quickly. This all may sound a bit “out there” – but there have been studies linking musical tones and frequencies and their impact on how we perceive flavour (called “sonic seasoning”). There have also been studies conducted on how musical vibrations affect the human body. So maybe the idea that the frequencies played in this recording studio affect the wines in the winery aren’t so crazy after all.
Address: 3210 Gulley Road – Kelowna, V1W 4E5
Although there are dozens of Okanagan Valley wineries to visit, there is something to be said for those that offer a more unique experience from just a standard tasting. Whether you’re searching for authentic, rustic, gourmet, kitschy, historic, or just plain memorable, these Okanagan Valley wineries will fulfill any wine-lovers desire for something a little outside the norm.