If you love sipping wine while surrounded by beautiful views, you’re going to love our list of the top 5 wineries in Osoyoos.
North America has grown over the last century to become one of the top wine-producing regions of the world. Despite our relatively short history with producing wine, the major producers of America and Canada are becoming notable contenders to the illustrious wine history of Europe.
For the wine-loving travellers who are looking to expand their knowledge of New World grapes, there is no better place to look than Osoyoos – a strip of land just south of Kelowna. Despite being lesser known than its neighbour to the north, Osoyoos absolutely deserves to be on your list when touring Canada’s incredible (and vast) wine country. Read on to discover some of the best and most unique wineries, all of which are sure to leave an impression big enough to outlive that last bottle.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Located a few kilometres north of Osoyoos lake, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is where winemaking meets ecological sustainability. The Burrowing Owl is native to only a small portion of the surrounding land, and since before 1993 has been considered an endangered species. The winery takes special care to ensure that their practices do not harm, but rather promote, the livelihood of the owls and other creatures that might visit the area. In addition to sustainable and responsible practices, Burrowing Owl is committed to producing the highest quality wine from Osoyoos’ nuanced ecosystem. The list of awards found on their website is virtually never-ending, but I would recommend booking a tasting for yourself.
100% of the 5$ tasting fee is donated to the Burrowing Owl Conservation society, so you can enjoy a glass of wine while helping to protect the land – and animals – which define the complexity of Osoyoos.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
If you are looking for wineries in Osoyoos with beautiful views and some of the best cuisine available in Osoyoos, you must pay a visit to Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. This winery is situated at the top of a hill which affords quite a spectacular sight of the valley below. To reach the vineyards, you must make your way up a winding driveway flanked on each side by thriving grapevines, and at the end, you will be met with an exciting list of wine-related activities. For example, Tinhorn Creek is home to Miradoro restaurant, a modern farm-to-table-inspired establishment that serves locally-sourced cuisine with panoramic views. After a tasting, you can order your favourite glass of Tinhorn Creek wine and pair it with the vibrant flavours created by executive chef Jeff Van Geest.
Hidden Chapel Winery
When planning your wine tour of the Osoyoos region, it would not be complete without paying a visit to a small, family-run business. This is what you will find when you arrive at Hidden Chapel Winery. The name is no lie – just a short walk beyond the tasting room will lead you to a miniature chapel, hidden in a small clearing between verdant trees and bushes. During winery hours guests are welcome to take a seat among the pews and admire the intimate, meditative space.
The religious themes do not end at the chapel; every bottle released by the winery has a clever name inspired by the previous land-owner’s piety, including White Wedding, Blushing Bride, and Holy Smoke. I can personally testify that tasting the wine produced by Hidden Chapel is a spiritual experience, as each bottle carries a nuanced flavour very much unique to this particular winery (some examples are intense smoke, high tannins, and ripe berries). And if that isn’t convincing enough, Hidden Chapel invites their guests to take home their crystal tasting glass, itself decorated with a print of the titular chapel.
Rust Wine Co.
If you love art just as much as you love wineries in Osoyoos, Rust Wine Co. is a perfect addition to your wine tour. Like Tinhorn Creek, Rust is situated on the top of a large hill that overlooks the sprawling fields of Oliver and Osoyoos. In front of the aesthetically modern building, which houses both the tasting room and a gallery featuring local British Columbian artisans, is a small garden and picnic table where guests can sip artfully-made wines and enjoy an elevated view. Rust Wine Co. makes it clear that they admire the land which is instrumental in the first step of making wine: growing quality grapes. Their logos are inspired by the natural rust that occurs in the surrounding region of Oliver and Osoyoos, and all images are taken by guests of the winery. Visitors are also welcomed to take a stroll to the Heritage House, located just beside the main tasting room. The spectacular dichotomy between the two buildings is evident that Rust succeeds in paying homage to tradition while consistently producing new, exciting wines.
Kismet Estate Winery
The right food has the potential to make that wine you’re drinking even better. Named after the
Punjabi word for “destiny”, Kismet Estate Winery is the perfect location to explore your inner sommelier as you experience elevated Indian cuisine (served at the neighbouring Masala bistro) paired harmoniously with carefully crafted wines. The environment at Kismet goes even beyond great wine, as culture has become a keystone element of the winery and its background. The story of its humble establishment begins when one of the founding brothers, Sukhwinder Dhaliwal, immigrated to the Okanagan. “We wanted to infuse our culture with everything we do at Kismet.” Explained operations manager Neelam Dhaliwal. When you visit Kismet Estate Winery, be sure to take advantage of the staffs’ expertise. Not only will they provide you with the perfect wine to go with each of their dishes (paneer chicken and Pinot Grigio, mussels and Syrah, even a prawn curry paired with a structured and full-bodied red blend), but they also offer guided tours of one of the best wineries in Osoyoos with a detailed lesson on wine production and viniculture. For seasoned wine lovers and newbies alike, there is little more rewarding than a visit to this family-owned winery and bistro.
More Things to Do…
While visiting the many wineries in Osoyoos is one of the top things to do in Southern British Columbia, there’s much more to this incredibly beautiful province. For more things to do in British Columbia, check out these travel guides below.