If you’re looking to go wine tasting in Kelowna, many people prefer West Kelowna. West Kelowna is very different than Kelowna and many visitors conflate the two. The west side of the bridge is known for the prestigious vineyards, some of which are the best wineries in West Kelowna if not Canada. The sheer number of wineries in a close proximity to each other make it appealing for those on time budget too. The architecture of the preeminent wineries like Mission Hill and Quail’s Gate have helped put the Okanagan on the map BUT wine makers like Jason Parkes keep things approachable and fun.
The wineries in West Kelowna suggested are not only sure to give an exceptional experience but also offer delicious wines and stunning architecture. If you’re looking for prominence and character the these are the best wineries in West Kelowna.
We suggest having a designated driver to get to these specific wineries. Although, if you have enough guests you can get a local wine tour company to help design a tour specific to your taste and budget.
You can also have a driver if there are one to four of you looking to tour.
Tour Companies We Suggest:
Gal’s Designated Drivers – They drive your vehicle!
Orion Wine Tours – Perfect for smaller groups
Wicked Wine Tours – Reputable company with great options year round + cannabis tours!
Vivid Tours – Wine tours, ebike wine tours and beer tours
Sip Happens Wine Tours – Many options for all areas of the Okanagan including boat tours
If you’re new to the area or if you are a local Crown & Thieves is a must stop. It is jaw dropping. The owner and wine maker, Jason Parkes, collected antiques from around the world and curated them in this winery designed to mimic that of a ruin. The interior is as if Peaky Blinders opened a winery in an old church. Three stories includes a speakeasy with a stage where Parkes performs with his ban Proper Man. The main floor offers traditional wine tasting and the third floor is a restaurant with a view. Pay attention to year round events held in the speakeasy from comedy shows to holiday events.
Mission Hill is one of those must stop wineries. This West Kelowna winery was the first to show how the Okanagan wine valley is worthy to be in the same sentence as Napa, Tuscany and Bordeaux. It was the first to invest so much in the architecture shaping the visitor’s experience from entrance to exit. Wine tastings in a volcanic wine cave, The Terrace restaurant with a stellar view of the vineyard and Okanagan lake, as well as the wine tasting experience, all make for this grandiose experience. The architect, Tom Kundig, was inspired by architecture from Italian churches and indeed it reminds me of a scene from San Gimignano. Food, wine, culinary classes, winery tours, are all second to none.
In the winter we highly recommend taking a culinary class in their theatre or booking a winter lunch in the Chagall room. The food is worthy of a Michelin star and we feel it may just be a matter of time as the Michelin Guide begins its sweep through Canada.
Frind boasts itself as the only lakefront winery in North America. Before you hit the comments saying how there are many wineries with lake access… yes you are right but NONE others have a tasting room right on the lake like Frind does. Just steps to the beach, the tasting room and wines are breathtaking. I love to go during the wintertime for their dome dining. But during the summer you’ll find the patio packed with those dining at the onsite restaurant Annie’s Bistro, sharing a bottle of wine in the Okanagan sun.
Another Jason Parkes winery that impresses yet has a minimalist feel taking advantage of the views and letting the wines speak for themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Crown & Thieves, Black Swift exterior is clean concrete lines, natural wood finishes, wall paper that stitches together the art of each label and huge Black Swift birds. If you ever observe the wineries through the year you’ll often see Black Swift birds flying in this incredible formation where they appear to be of one mind, one entity. It is a marvel to witness. Grab a bottle and see if you can catch them.
Mount Boucherie, just off of Boucherie Road in West Kelowna is a winery that takes advantage of all the angles. There’s no bad view from any floor of Mt Boucherie Estate Winery and rounding out their architecture & wine with their in house restaurant, The Modest Butcher, it is one of the best wineries in West Kelowna. It does get busy because it is so picturesque making it a must stop for influencers and photographers, so reservations are suggested!
How about you? What winery is your favourite in West Kelowna?
Are you one of those who conflate West Kelowna & Kelowna?