A handy guide to touring Okanagan wineries throughout the year, from Wicked Tours, the Kelowna wine tour experts.
With BC’s first vines planted in Kelowna and the region blossoming into an internationally recognized wine hub, it is no surprise that people visit twelve months a year to experience Kelowna’s vineyards. The area is impressive throughout the year, but your experience will differ depending on which season you come to enjoy our Okanagan valley wine.
We put together this handy guide so you know what to expect with our Okanagan wine tours throughout the seasons – then, it’s up to you to decide when to come and immerse yourself in our unrivalled vineyards. No matter which month you choose, we will be here to welcome you with open arms and full glasses!
Spring in the Okanagan
Birds chirping, dewy mornings, buds popping – Spring in the Okanagan will put some pep in your step! This is an excellent time to visit Kelowna or Penticton wineries, as it is well before peak season gears up, and you can enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere. Winemakers and tasting staff are likely to be relaxed and chatty, allowing you to interact and ask more questions.
Extended hours for many wineries start to go into effect by March, and many release their newest bottles for the year during the Spring, so it’s a great time to get your hands on those vintages before they sell out.
Weather-wise, Spring is filled with mild and sunny days, perfect for touring the region’s wineries. The snow stays up in the mountains, while the vines in the valley below burst into bloom, offering picturesque scenery for your photos. Our Lake Country Wine Tour is an excellent choice for this season: it combines the beautiful and natural landscapes of the area with some rustic, must-see wineries.
Kelowna During Summer
Ahhh, summer in the Okanagan is perhaps the most significant reason people live, work and visit the area. Summer is hot and busy; it is a prime time for vacationers to soak up the sand, sun, and grapes. The weather will not disappoint. Your visit will be filled with sun-kissed days that give those lake views a unique sparkle.
Like a crisp fizzanté, Kelowna’s wineries are bubbling during the summer, especially on long weekends. Expect it to be crowded and busy. July and August are the peak months. Planning and booking your wine tour in advance is a must to avoid disappointment. Mid-week tours will be your best bet to reduce the crowds you encounter.
If you have a Naramata wine tour on your summer bucket list, we highly recommend our Penticton Wine Tour, a guest and Tour Guide favourite. This full-day tour includes five wineries, 20-25 tastings, lunch, and a sparkling wine tasting. We will take you to the stunning Naramata Bench, which boasts some of the valley’s best views.
Fall Harvest in the Okanagan
Some say September is the best time to visit Kelowna’s enticing wineries. With the summer crowds having drifted away and an average daily high of 22⁰ Celsius, it is a lovely time to explore the valley. All the wineries are still fully open. It is common for many of them to release new red wines in the fall, offering you a unique tasting experience and the perfect opportunity for collectors to stock their cellars.
Autumn in the Okanagan is harvest season, and the vines put on a show! They are bursting with coloured foliage and full of juicy grapes, and the golden hues offer gorgeous backdrops for your photos. Many events and festivals occur to celebrate this particular time of year.
Each fall, the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival is held for ten days in October. It celebrates the harvest season with various events throughout the valley, including winery tours, unique dining and pairing experiences, seminars, and more.
Our Lake Country Wine Tour is a Kelowna wine tour highlighting the best of the season. Stunning shorelines, excellent wineries, and lunch at the renowned Summerhill Pyramid Winery with an unforgettable view perfectly capture the beauty of fall in the Okanagan.
Winter Winery Festivities
Not all wineries are open during the winter, and some operate on reduced hours, but there are dozens of wineries open daily throughout the season. Even though it is the off-season, there are many beautiful experiences to be had when visiting Kelowna’s wineries in the winter. There are fewer crowds, and booking a tour or tasting on short notice can be more accessible.
The vineyards transform when covered with a fluffy blanket of snow, offering some of the most stunning scenic views of the year. Throughout November and December, many wineries host Christmas markets where you can find local artisans showcasing their talents. These events often offer the chance to cozy beside an outdoor fire with a mug of mulled wine and listen to live music. The Festival Market at Quails’ Gate, the Festival of Trees at Mission Hill Winery, and the Summerhill Christmas market are just some of the many festive events you can explore during the winter.
Our Westside Wine Trail Tour is an excellent choice for winter if you want to visit some of West Kelowna’s wineries. Five wineries, lunch, and a visit to Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery’s private tasting room make this tour one of our most popular and available year-round.
Wine Tastes Good Any Month of the Year
Like every bottle of wine, each month in the Okanagan has something unique to offer. Regardless of when you choose to visit, year-round enjoyment is enjoyable. We hope this guide gives you an idea of what to expect each season and can help you plan your next trip.
Wicked Tours has you covered if you are looking for a wine tour in Kelowna or anywhere throughout the Okanagan. Our award-winning wine tours are available twelve months a year and provide an enjoyable way to explore our idyllic wine country, learn about the wine-making process, and indulge in some delicious tastings. Contact us to learn more, or book your wine tour today!