Best Red Wines In Kelowna
Kelowna’s wine country is known for it’s unique terroir, endless sunshine and variety of wines. For wine lovers looking for the best red wines in Kelowna, the type of red wine grapes grown in Kelowna will depend on the specific microclimate and soil conditions of the region. Some red wine grapes that are known to produce the best red wines in Kelowna include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine grape known for its tannic structure and flavors of black currant, black cherry, and blackberry. It is often aged in oak barrels, which can give it notes of vanilla, cedar, and spice.
Merlot is a medium- to full-bodied red wine grape known for its soft tannins and flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate. It is often aged in oak barrels, which can give it notes of vanilla, tobacco, and spice.
Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied red wine grape known for its delicate structure and flavors of red fruit, such as cherry and strawberry. It is often aged in oak barrels, which can give it notes of vanilla, spice, and earthy character.
It is difficult to determine which of these red wine grapes are the “best” as wine preferences are subjective and can vary greatly from person to person. It may be helpful to try a few different red wines made from these grapes to determine your own personal preferences. While preferences vary, the three grape varietals listed above have continued to produce the best red wines in Kelowna for decades. Let’s take a deep dive into each grape, it’s characteristics and which wineries continue to produce the best red wines in Kelowna.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine grape variety that is grown in many wine-producing regions around the world, including France, Italy, Spain, United States and Canada. It is known for producing wines that are full-bodied, tannic, and high in alcohol content. This is the big bold red of our list!
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are large and dark-skinned, with thick, tough skins that are resistant to disease and pests. They are typically grown in warm, dry climates with plenty of sunshine, and they prefer well-draining, rocky soil. The vines are typically trained to grow upright, with the grapes being grown in a cordon system where the fruit is allowed to grow along a horizontal wire.
When it comes to flavour, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are known for their dark fruit flavors, including black currant, black cherry, and blackberry. They also have strong tannins, which give the wine a firm, dry, and astringent mouthfeel. In addition to these flavours, Cabernet Sauvignon wines may also have notes of cedar, tobacco, and leather, as well as hints of green bell pepper, mint, and eucalyptus. Of the wines mentioned here, Cabernet Sauvignon will be the “heaviest” of the best red wines in Kelowna.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines are often aged in oak barrels, which can add additional flavors and aromas to the wine, such as vanilla, coconut, and spice. The wine is typically best enjoyed with hearty, full-flavored dishes, such as grilled or roasted meats, or rich, creamy cheeses.
There are many different regions and wineries that produce Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and the style of the wine can vary significantly depending on where it is grown and how it is produced. Some of the most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines come from the Napa Valley in California, the Bordeaux region in France, and the Tuscany region in Italy, although the Okanagan Valley is becoming well known for it’s quality of Cabernet Sauvignon making it one of the best red wines in Kelowna.
Now that we have some background information on Cabernet Sauvignon, which winery is producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Kelowna?
Mission Hill Family Estate 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Mission Hill is a full-bodied red wine made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, find aromas of black currants, black cherries, and dark chocolate, as well as a hint of oak from aging in barrels. The wine also has good tannins and a long finish.
As a reserve wine, the 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Mission Hill is made from specially selected grapes and has undergone extended aging in barrels, which gives it additional depth and complexity. ** This wine is our top pick for best red wines in Kelowna
Merlot is a red wine grape variety that is widely grown in many wine-producing regions around the world, particularly in France, Italy, California, Australia and the Okanagan Valley. It is known for producing medium- to full-bodied wines that are typically soft, velvety, and fruity, with flavours and aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and plum.
Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, another popular red wine grape, to create a more balanced wine with softer tannins and a rounder mouthfeel. It is also often used as a single varietal wine, particularly in regions where it is well-suited to the climate and terroir such as the vineyards in the Kelowna area.
Merlot grapes are dark blue in color and have a thin skin, which makes them less tannic and more approachable than other red wine grapes. They are also known for their versatility and ability to adapt to a wide range of growing conditions, which makes them a popular choice for winemakers.
Why is Merlot always mentioned in conversations around the best red wines in Kelowna? Merlot wines are often described as having a soft, velvety texture and flavours of black cherry, blackberry, and plum, with hints of chocolate, tobacco, and herbs. They are typically medium- to full-bodied and have moderate to high acidity, making them a good food wine and easily approachable!
Merlot is grown in many wine-producing regions around the world, and is the dominant grape variety in the Bordeaux region, where it is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to produce some of the most famous and highly prized wines in the world. In Italy, it is grown in the Piedmont and Tuscany regions, where it is often used to make Super Tuscans, a style of wine that blends traditional Italian grapes with international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In California, it is grown in Napa Valley and other wine-producing regions, and in Australia, it is grown in the Hunter Valley and other regions. Throughout the Okanagan Valley, Merlot can be found as far north as Lake Country and as far south as Osoyoos. It’s popularity and subtle notes position it well on our list of best red wines in Kelowna.
Now that we have some background information on Cabernet Sauvignon, which winery is producing some of the best Merlot in Kelowna?
Including grapes harvested in vineyards from the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys, the 2020 Premier Merlot was Oaked for 4 months in French Barrels with a fermentation of 3 weeks. Aromas of violet and raspberry compliment a full mid-palate with soft tannins, making this the favourite of our vineyard manager. This wine pairs well with a Blue Cheese Burger or grilled Fillet Mignon! ** This is our second pick on our list of best red wines in Kelowna.
Always on the list of best red wines in Kelowna, Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety that is widely grown in many wine-producing regions around the world, particularly in France, California, Oregon and of course Kelowna. It is known for producing elegant, light- to medium-bodied wines that are typically fragrant, fruity, and complex, with flavours and aromas of red and black cherry, raspberry, and mushroom.
Pinot Noir grapes are thin-skinned and high in natural acidity, which gives them a delicate flavor profile and a reputation for being one of the most challenging grapes to grow and vinify. They are also prone to developing a wide range of flavours and aromas depending on the climate and terroir in which they are grown, which makes Pinot Noir wines some of the most diverse and expressive in the world. A perfect compliment to our other choices as the best red wines in Kelowna.
Pinot Noir wines are often described as having a light to medium body with flavors of red and black cherry, raspberry, and mushroom, with hints of earth, spice, and floral notes. They are typically low in tannins and high in acidity, making them a good food wine that pairs well with a wide range of dishes. As wine lovers explore their journey into wine and get into more complex reds, the easy drinking and pairing ability of Pinot Noir makes it a staple as one of the best red wines in Kelowna.
Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety in the Burgundy region, where it is used to produce some of the most famous and highly prized red wines in the world. In California, it is grown in Napa Valley and other wine-producing regions, and in Oregon, it is grown in the Willamette Valley, where it is known for producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the United States. Locally, Pinot Noir can be found on virtually all vineyards in the Kelowna area and is prized by winemakers across the Okanagan Valley. Its no doubt Pinot Noir is always a fan favourite when discussing the best red wines in Kelowna.
Now that we have some background information on Pinot Noir, which winery is producing some of the best Pinot Noir in Kelowna?
The Estate series, our flagship Pinot Noir, retains the qualities it has been defined by for a decade. This Pinot Noir features a dark, ruby red hue, while on the nose you’ll experience aromas of Black Cherry, Anise and Hazelnut. On the palette, flavours of dark ripe berries, dark cocoa and peppercorn with silky tannins and wet stone textures. This is our third pick on our list of best red wines in Kelowna.
It’s worth noting that Kelowna wine country is diverse and although these are our selections as the best red wines in Kelowna, we encourage you to visit as many local wineries as possible by checking out the best Kelowna wine tour packages