You know what they say — the further south you go, the bigger and bolder the reds get! But don’t be fooled…there are a plethora of exemplary red wines right here at our footsteps in Kelowna. That’s right, there’s no need to trek all the way down south to Osoyoos or Oliver in search of that blow-your-socks-off Bordeaux-style blend!
Not only does Kelowna boast some of the biggest, boldest reds in the land, but the local wineries also offer an exciting assortment of other fabulous red varietals. Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt, Marechal Foch, and Baco Noir round out the various red wines you can expect to find in the region. As for the heavy hitters, Kelowna is bursting with beautiful expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Syrah.
Ultimately, your next exquisite bottle of red wine is much closer than you think. Here we present the 3 Best Red Wines In Kelowna For 2024
Starting off with a fan favourite, our list of the 3 Best Red Wines In Kelowna for 2024 begins with Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery. The portfolio of wines that Mt Boucherie offers perfectly mirrors the philosophy of their winemaker, Jeff Hundertmark. He believes that while there is a place for big, age-worthy collectables to be cherished and stowed away for years, there is also a place for fresh, ready-to-drink wines.
As such, Mt Boucherie Estate Winery present their wines in four distinct tiers, including their Modest Wines, Original Vines, White Label, and Reserve line, including their beloved Summit and Contessa.
Their Modest Wine collection is made in the spirit of experimentation and risk taking, each year bringing new concepts and flavours. Under this line is their 2021 “By Jove” Sangiovese, hailing from the Ferreira Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. Medium bodied with red fruit, earthy notes, herbs and spices, this is a great food-pairing wine.
Their 2021 Cot Blocked is 100% Malbec, exuding blackberry, sweet tobacco, and violet. Meanwhile, worth noting in their White Label lineup is the unique Blaufrankisch, a rare medium-bodied wine bursting with wild blueberries, sour cherries and baking spices.
The Original Vines lineup of wines was created in an effort to honour their very oldest blocks of vineyards, first established in the 80’s and 90’s. These wines intend to reflect these original sites as best as possible through careful fruit selection and cellaring.
Under this line you’ll find an exceptional Cabernet Franc Merlot, as well as an award-winning 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. This Original Vines Cabernet Sauvignon comes from grapes grown in the Similkameen Valley, and results in a big tannic red showing intense aroma of cassis, cigar box, smoke notes and wild dried herbs.
Mt Boucherie’s Reserve tier is primarily comprised of wines blended from various vineyards, extending from Okanagan Falls down to South Cawston. These wines are generally aged between 12 to 22 months in barrel and will cellar up to 10 years.
Their Reserve tier boasts top of the line Malbec, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlot. But their Summit deserves special praise, which they describe as a culmination of years tending to the vine, carefully cultivating the most premium grapes from their top blocks.
Their 2018 iteration of the Summit blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah, in diminishing order. Cassis, red fruits, and cedar round out this stunner, which can be enjoyed now or cellared to gain complexity.
The cherry on top, though, has to be Mt Boucherie’s Contessa. Perhaps even a step above their Summit (though fiercely debated by locals), this wine boasts black cherry, dried fruits, pie, and wild sage. Blending Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine was aged in French, American, and Hungarian Oak, and can be enjoyed or cellared for a decade, if patience allows.
Red wine lovers — run, don’t walk, towards Mt Boucherie and prepare to fall in love with their incredible selection of red wines. Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery lands in top spot on our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024.
Second on our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024 is Cedar Creek Estate Winery. Red wine lovers will be spoiled for choice at Cedar Creek, where wines are sorted into three different collections. Estate, Platinum, and Aspect. The Estate Collection expresses the entire Okanagan Valley from north to south. With too many incredible wines to name individually from their Estate Collection, a few standout as particularly noteworthy.
Garnering a silver medal at the 2023 Wine Align Awards of Canada, their 2021 Syrah evokes its Rhone Valley origins, with structure, balance, delicate tannins and spice. Look forward to blackberry jam, black and white pepper, and woody notes with a round, soft mouthfeel.
What better than silver if not a gold medal? Enter in Cedar Creek’s 2021 Cabernet Franc, which earned its gold medal at the 2023 Wine Align Awards in recognition of its exceptional balance, elegance, and bursting flavours of berries and herbs. An incredible Pinot Noir and Meritage round out their Estate portfolio which is among the strongest we’ve seen in awhile.
Cedar Creek’s Platinum Collection wines are crafted from single vineyard sites selected for their unique character. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that their Platinum 2021 Pinot Noir earned a silver medal at the 2023 Wine Align Awards. Red wine lovers will salivate over this wine’s dark fruit concentration combined with dried leaf and forest floor. When researching our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna, this Pinot Noir was a fan favourite.
On the heaviest end of the spectrum lies their Platinum Collection 2020 Haynes Creek Syrah, showcasing blackberry pie, juicy red fruits, supple tannins and a big mouthfeel.
While their Aspect Line of wines is reserved for members of their prestigious Aspect Club, some notable Pinot Noirs in the collection just may be worth signing up for. Described as the culmination of their commitment to high-quality, terroir-driven wine, the Aspect wines are derived from their finest vineyards — those whose aspect gives them extra hours of sunlight, yielding slowly and fully ripened grapes.
With so much care and skill going into each bottle, it’s no surprise that Cedar Creek Estate Winery makes our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024.
Recognized as Canada’s only five-time winner of Winery of the Year and receiving multiple best varietal awards on the international stage, Mission Hill has set itself apart for its exceptional quality wines. A staple of wine lovers across the world, Mission Hill once again makes our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024.
With Mission Hill’s commitment to continual experimentation and their desire to understand the soils and clones that best perform in specific areas, they consistently deliver ultra-premium grapes. These grapes, in turn, lead to world class wines.
Encompassing a broad spectrum of vineyard estates across the Okanagan Valley, including more than 30 microclimates, Mission Hill is tremendously positioned to deliver full flavour, well structured and beautiful balanced wines.
When looking at the 3 best red wines in Kelowna, Mission Hill’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolute show and their current 2020 vintage is no exception. It is structured and rich, supported with black fruit, anise, mocha and spice. Using grapes derived from their Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos vineyards, the wine was matured in oak barrels and demonstrates a lengthy finish.
Merlot lovers will appreciate the Mission Hill 2021 Reserve Merlot, full-bodied, well-structured and displaying notes of wild blackberry and dark cherry. Aged 15 months in French oak, the palate is rich with ripe and dark fruits.
Receiving international acclaim was Mission Hill’s 2020 Vista’s Edge Vineyard Cabernet Franc, earning “Best Cabernet Franc” at the 2022 Global Fine Wine Challenge. Fragrant with red berries and crushed herbs, this Cabernet Franc displays fine tannins and a silky texture, due in part to its 15 months spent in French oak.
It is aptly named after the vineyard from which it is derived, located on the southernmost part of the Okanagan Valley and verging on an unprotected area of international border between Canada and the US.
While the point system is not essential to earnings it’s way onto our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna, the 95 Points and a Gold Medal 2020 Reserve Syrah is an absolute powerhouse. Grown on their estate vineyard along the Black Sage Bench and with more than 60 different individual blocks, the winemaker was spoiled with an astounding assortment of premium quality fruit to work with.
The warm and arid climate along the Black Sage Bench allowed this fruit to ripen completely, yielding a full and complex flavour bursting with black fruits, violet and spice.
Harmoniously blending their bordeaux varietals sourced from their Oliver and Osoyoos vineyards, Mission Hill’s 2021 Meritage presents blackberry, brambleberry, dark cherry, and subtle hints of vanilla from is time spent in both French and American oak barrels. But serious red wine drinkers will opt, instead, for their higher tiered bordeaux blend, the highly revered Oculus.
Famous for their rendition of the bordeaux-style blend, Mission Hill’s Oculus is part of their Legacy line of wines, and is made possible through meticulous selection in the vineyard with grapes that have been specifically nurtured for this rare wine. Our team contniues to rave about this wine and it’s no surprise to have made it onto our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024.
The Oculus blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. For those curious about the name, it comes from the Oculus, a window in a dome or wall to the outside, that was first used by the Romans in buildings like the Pantheon. At Mission Hill, a similar apparatus, their very own oculus, provides the only natural light into their underground barrel cellar, which was blasted out of volcanic rock and is otherwise entirely hidden from the outside world. This underground lair ultimately gifts red wine lovers with the coveted Oculus now known worldwide.
There you have it, our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna for 2024! The Okanagan Valley’s diverse terroir and microclimates affords winemakers a myriad of vineyards and blocks from which to choose, resulting in the production of delicious, crave-worthy reds. In fact, a stunning array of red wines awaits you right in the heart of Kelowna.
Whether you seek exotic, robust, light, elegant, spicy, earthy, big, bold, elegant or sophisticated, there is no shortage of exceptional, world class red wines available right here. With so many fantastic options available, we hope this guide to the 3 best red wines in Kelowna will help you navigate the local wine scene in search of the next amazing bottle of red that you can enjoy for years to come.
To learn more about the opportunties to taste the wines on our list of the 3 best red wines in Kelowna, check out our Kelowna Wine Tours