Westside Wine Trail
Discover the delights of BC’s very own Westside Wine Trail in West Kelowna! From Chardonnay to Merlot, this scenic and charming wine trail has something for everyone. Follow our guide for a memorable excursion and learn all you need to know about the wines of BC’s beautiful Westside Wine Trail.
Identifying Local Wineries & Vineyards
With over 21 wineries and vineyards to choose from, you’ll want to be sure to narrow down your options on the Westside Wine Trail. Take some time to do a bit of research; look up watermark labels, focuses, tasting notes and descriptions of each winery’s distinctive bottles online, or plan ahead by setting up a tour in advance with the help of the Tourism Kelowna Visitor Info Centre. That way, you’ll make the most of your day in West Kelowna wine country!
While doing your research, you’ll find out what each of the wineries offer – from big productions to small batches. Don’t forget to look up the Kelowna wine trail map. This way, you can make sure to visit as many local establishments as possible. Some wineries offer incredible bistros so be sure to check that out if you’re looking for a full experience. Once you plan out your day in advance, it’s time to embark on the Westside Wine Trail and try delicious local wines!
The Westside Wine Trail is home to many local wineries and vineyards of various sizes. Whether you plan a day trip or just pick two or three local spots, you can spend the afternoon sipping wines produced locally in the sun drenched Okanagan Valley. Taking a visit to small family-owned producers like Off The Grid Organic Winery, Indigenous World Winery, and Rollingdale Winery will give you a chance to taste interesting varietals of wine that aren’t readily available except locally. You may even get to meet the winemaker and find out what it takes to produce award-winning BCVQA wines!
The Westside Wine Trail offers tastings, tours, and events that provide visitors with an intimate winery experience. Many offer picnic areas for a gentle lunch or dinner with views of the vineyards surrounding you. Spending your afternoon strolling around these idyllic vineyards, savouring the best local wines this area has to offer is a truly authentic Okanagan Valley experience. Whether it is a tasting flight at one of the many tasting rooms in town or simply listening to music from local artists while sipping grippy Syrah, you won’t regret making time to visit these unique wineries!
Plan An Itinerary For The Trip
Plan your itinerary out in advance! As you do, make sure to take into account the route you’ll take, factoring in both travel time and the number of wineries you’re able to visit. Book tasting appointments ahead of your trip as many West Kelowna wineries only operate by appointment. If possible, set aside some extra time for unplanned stops along the way – it could make for an even more rewarding experience! As a general rule, 5-6 winery stops for the day should be about right.
Have an idea of the type of wines you’d like to sample before heading out – whether it’s Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. Knowing what types of wine you want to try can help narrow down where exactly you want to go along the route and ensure you are using your time efficiently
Touring Wineries With Tasting Rooms
All wineries along the Westside Wine Trail offer tasting rooms, allowing you to taste a sampling of each wineries current offerings and learn more about their wines and winemaking process. Tasting fees can vary between properties but it’s best to budget between $5 and $25 per person at each winery. One exception is Mission Hill Winery which currently has tasting experiences starting at $40 / person. In the past, tasting fees were waived with purchase of a bottle, however this practice has ended for the most part so don’t be surprised at the end of your tasting!
Tastings typically include the winery’s current releases, plus occasional sneak peek tastings of small-batch wines. Some wineries may offer private tastings or access to library or reserve wines. These experiences generally include an intimate educational session in addition to the sample wines, often tailored with specific cheese and food pairings. Tasting rooms are a great opportunity to get to know the wine you’re drinking: ask questions about growing practices and varietal info, even meet the winemakers if possible.
Hiring A Kelowna Wine Tour Company
Hiring a Kelowna Wine Tour company before your visit is one of the most important parts of touring the Westside Wine Trail. While some like the flexibility of wine touring on their own, joining a local wine tour has many advantages.
First, you won’t have to worry about the driving and as you’ll be consuming alcohol for the balance of the day, this is the safest approach and allows you and your friends to relax and enjoy. Second, you won’t have to worry about those wine tour fees discussed above. Most wine tours include all the tasting fees so once you book your tour, you won’t have to worry about costly bills handed to you as you leave each winery. Other than wine purchases and your lunch tab, everything else is covered with your tour.
Wine enthusiasts can choose to join an organized tour or explore the trails on their own, but no matter how you choose to do it, your day will be filled with ample opportunity to sample some of the Okanagan Valley’s finest wines. From hearty reds and crisp whites, to delicious sweet dessert wines, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget, after working up an appetite touring the numerous vineyards, visitors can enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants or cafés that are located just steps away from many of the wineries.
The Westside Wine Trail is arguably one of the most popular wine trails in the entire Okanagan. With a diverse and rich selection of wineries and varietals, there’s something for every wine lover, whether novice or expert. For more information on the wineries and wine tours available along the Westside Wine Trail, here’s a list of the most popular Kelowna wine tours.