Nov 12, 2012 / 5:00 am
When the mercury drops and colours change in the vineyard to a brilliant gold, winery touring in Kelowna can take on a special charm with fewer crowds and often more personalized wine tasting experiences. Many of our wonderful Kelowna wineries are open year-round, some even feature year-round dining options. Not to mention the special events that take place throughout the winter, from craft fairs and Christmas light-ups, to culinary classes.
Kelowna has 5 distinct wine trails in its vicinity: the Lakeshore Wine Route, the Fab Five of East Kelowna Wine Trail, Lake Country’s Scenic Sip, the Westside Wine Trail, and the Downtown Heritage Visit. Each trail has a special charm in the winter months. Here are some examples of wineries that are open for tastings and seasonal experiences throughout the cooler months.
The wineries along the Fab Five of East Kelowna wine trail present Winter Wineland in support of The Kelowna Community Food Bank on November 17 from noon to 4 pm. This open-house style event will take place at 5 of the Fab Five wineries: The View, Spierhead, Vibrant Vine, House of Rose and Camelot. Visitors will get to enjoy festive treats, holiday shopping and great savings on select wines and gifts. If you go, you are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or plan to make a cash donation, for The Kelowna Community Food Bank.
Quails’ Gate Winery, which will host its Sugar Plum Fair on November 18, is a winter beauty. Its rustic elegance and special holiday décor lend to a beautiful ambience. Then there’s the Old Vines Restaurant, a local favourite, which is open for lunch and dinner, year-round. The Sugar Plum Fair will feature artisan gift ideas, crafts, and artwork by local artists in a festive winery atmostphere.
A little farther up the hill is Mission Hill Family Estate, another winter treat. Not only is its tasting room open year round, but some festive shopping can be done in its retail store, and it offers some fantastic culinary classes each year that have become a staple of the winter for many.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery is on the Lakeshore Wine Route, and it is another terrific spot for winter wine tasting. A celebrated sparkling wine house, a stop at Summerhill is a must to pick up your holiday party bubbles. The Summerhill Sunset Bistro is a restaurant which prides itself on offering 100% wild and/or organic fare, following along the philosophy of the organic winery.
Also on the Lakeshore Wine Route is CedarCreek Estate Winery, which is also open throughout the winter for wine tastings and is always so pretty in the winter months.
Stop in at Calona Wines downtown any time of the year for wine tastings or purchases in their wine shop. This stop on the Downtown Heritage Visit is special in that this winery is BC’s first commercial winery, and testament to the fact that Kelowna is the birthplace of the BC wine industry.
And finally, Gray Monk Winery, along the Lake Country’s Scenic Sip, is another year-round winery where you can enjoy tastings and find festive holiday treats in their wine shop.
The Kelowna Wine Trails are full of inspiring winter winery wonderlands, so be sure to build in some wine touring in your winter calendar!
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