New health and safety protocols mean that many wineries have adapted their practices and have added new, intimate experiences to their roster of services available to guests. Below is a run-down of some of the exciting and fun experiences you can book to get more in-depth during next your wine tasting experience.
Join the team at 50th Parallel as they get into the nitty gritty of the wineries’ history, vineyard practices, and the philosophy behind the wine-making. Two experiences are available: Grapes to Glass is a one-hour experience including premium tasting for $35/person or Mini Grapes to Glass for $15/person, which includes an essential tasting and takes half an hour.
Enjoy an intimate, reservation-only experience at CedarCreek Estate Winery that shows off winemaker Taylor Whelan’s daily selections and the terroir-driven flavours from Home Block Chef, Neil Taylor. Options include the private, 30-minute Farm to Glass visit for $22/person or the hour-long Vineyard & Barrel Tasting Experience that takes guests on a behind the scenes walking tour for $40/person. These experiences can also be enhanced with a Taste of Home Block, featuring paired small plates for an additional $18/person.
The intimate experiences don’t end there—opportunities for a two-course paired lunch or three-course paired dinner, as well as the ultimate Platinum Library Experience, are available.
Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards lays along the shores of Okanagan Lake south of Kelowna and specializes in bubbles! In their Watch for Flying Corks experience guests will learn about the process of creating traditional method bubbly. Three tastings are included for $15/person and the experience lasts approximately 30 minutes.
What’s the difference between wine and Icewine? Find out at Grizzli Winery! Learn about the different processes in growing, harvesting, and producing grapes to produce Canadian Icewine on the Signature Tour at Grizzli Winery. This experience lasts 30 to 40 minutes and is $18/person, reservations required. If you’d like a mix of both Icewine and regular wine, the Distinctly Tour takes guests on a private tour of the Grizzli estate while tasting a variety of wine. This tour is $28/person and is approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Please note, these experiences will only be available after August 1, 2020.
In the hills of East Kelowna, enjoy an hour-long private tour and tasting through the vineyards of Kitsch Winery. Highlights include drinking Chardonnay in the source vineyard to fully understand grape to glass and views from the 20-acre property that overlooks Kelowna and Okanagan Lake. This experience is $40/person. Kitsch also has a picnic license, which means you can savour a bottle of their wine while enjoying the property and munching on delectable tastes from curated baskets (vegan option available). Picnic baskets are $65, serve two to three people, and must be booked in advance.
Mission Hill Family Estate is also offering reservation-only experiences at this time, giving guests the ultimate opportunity to enjoy the remarkable architecture, delectable food pairings, and, of course, exceptional wine. Tasting at the Tower is a 30-minute seated tasting of special Reserve wines for $25/person. Choose A Taste of Single Vineyard Wines to savour the Terroir Collection, this experience is 60 minutes and $35/person. If food and wine pairings are of interest, experiences range from 1 to 2.5 hours, featuring food specially prepared and paired with wines chosen by the sommelier.
The cozy tasting room at Off the Grid means only one group is able to do a tasting at a time, resulting in guests receiving extra special attention from the tasting room staff. Tastings include an Intro to Off the Grid Wines for $10/person or a Specialty Tasting for $20/person, which takes visitors through some of the natural, wild ferment, and experimental wines being produced.
In the Lake Country hills, north of Kelowna and looking over Okanagan Lake, O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars features a seated wine tasting, with the option to pair it with specially selected cheese. Tours are also available giving a behind the scenes look at the winery, onsite garden, and the vineyard. You can also choose to put it all together! Enjoy a vineyard and garden tour and end with a relaxed and cozy tasting paired with cheese and charcuterie.
Enjoy a relaxing and personalized tasting at SpearHead Winery this summer. With red-, white- or pinot-only tastings available, guests are seated outdoors on the winery grounds and a tasting staff member is dedicated exclusively to the group (up to six). Reservations are recommended and each tasting flight is $10/person.
Have a seat in the tasting room of Tantalus Vineyards and take in the view of the vineyards and Okanagan Lake. Two private tasting opportunities are available, the Flagship Tasting which is $10/person for a maximum six people. The Reserve Tasting is an elevated experience that features wines from old vine plantings that date back to 1978 including Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir for $15/person.
Spend time walking through the old-growth orchards and vineyards of The View Winery while learning about the five-generation family land and the terroir that creates the wines during The Vineyard Experience. After enjoying the outdoors, sip on five wines or ciders in the tasting room. The entire visit will take 1 to 1.5 hours for $30/person.
Wine tasting and wine touring are fun ways to learn about Kelowna and the surrounding area—while out exploring, remember to have a designated driver or plan a safe ride by booking with a tour operator.