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Fall Harvest Wine Tour in the Thompson Okanagan

By Jenna Labossiere/

Great Taste of Canada

Fall in the Okanagan Valley is one of the best times to explore the region. The leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp, and the sky is clear with the sun shining bright. Fall is also one of the best times for wine touring in the valley as it offers a front row seat to the fall harvest.

During harvest, grapes are collected, separated, and crushed to begin the wine making process. The excitement of harvest fills the wineries as everyone works hard to begin the creation of the year’s wines. What was once a valley of volcanoes now offers a one of a kind terroir perfect for housing more than 200 wineries throughout, each offering cohesive sections to tour at once.

Wherever you are in the Okanagan Valley or within the other wine regions of the Thompson Okanagan, Thompson Valley, and Similkameen Valley, most wineries are still open and ready to welcome visitors. Grab your favourite sweater, sip on a pumpkin spice latte and begin your fall harvest wine tour via biking, walking, carpooling, or with an excellent tour company.

Lake Country

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Photo credit: @50thparallelwine
  • 50th Parallel

    Located on the beautiful hillside of Lake Country overlooking the Okanagan Lake, 50th Parallel is a winery experience like no other. Even though it is a short drive from Kelowna, it offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the views of the vineyards, mountainsides, and lake while you sip on delicious varietals. This winery is the furthest north of the Okanagan valley then any other winery in this blog. Enjoy an excellent Pinot Noir as the only red varietal produced at the winery accompanied by multiple aromatic white wines, the flagship Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, and sparkling wine. Lake Country’s wine trail is quickly growing and offers a great way to spend a fall day exploring it. 

    When planning to visit the winery reservations are recommended, but not required.

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  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery

    Summerhill Pyramid Winery is located on Lakeshore drive in Kelowna and is known for its exceptional organic wine and stunning views. With their passion to live in harmony with the earth and naturally produce delicious varietals and high-quality food ingredients for their restaurant on their property, you do not want to miss this winery. One of the many unique features of the property is a pyramid that is home to the wine cellar where the wine sits to age and where yoga programs are occasionally offered. Summerhill Pyramid Winery was the first certified organic winery in the Okanagan and continues to find new ways to further its efforts in sustainability still to this day.

    Reservations are not necessary to do a wine tasting at the winery.

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  • CedarCreek
    Photo credit: Destination BC / @vancouverfoodie
  • CedarCreek

    Seven minutes down the road from Summerhill Pyramid Winery you will find the magnificent CedarCreek Estate Winery. Nestled on a hillside overlooking Okanagan Lake and surrounded by Vineyards, the views will take your breath away. Home Block restaurant is their resident bistro that offers fresh farm-to-table dishes sourced from the garden on the property and surrounding farms. The waste from the restaurant and winery is composted and fed to the resident chickens when possible. 

    Being situated in the northern part of the Okanagan Valley, it allows for the winery’s grapes to slowly age on the vines and develop their flavours longer, creating award-winning wine. Reservations are required to take part in a wine tasting. 

    Continue to more wineries on the Kelowna wine trail and enjoy being chauffeured around with a guided tour

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Quails Gate
Photo credit: Destination BC / @vancouverfoodie
  • Quails’ Gate Winery

    Quails’ Gate Winery was founded by the Stewart family who first came to the Okanagan and began planting on the land in 1908. In 1961, they planted their first vines and were one of the first properties to enter the wine-making industry in the valley when the winery was founded in 1989. To this day it is still a family owned and operated business.

    Here, enjoy high quality wines and stunning views of the vineyards and the Okanagan Lake from the West side overlooking Kettle Valley in Kelowna. If you are hungry during your tour and looking for a locally sourced snack, the Market at Quails’ Gate offers a selection of sandwiches, baking, and woodstove pizza to enjoy in their picnic area. Along with their decadent restaurant with stunning views and market, they offer dinner in the vineyards throughout the summer and into the fall. Reservations are required to enjoy an incredible indoor or outdoor wine tasting.

    The Westside Wine Trail, in West Kelowna, is ever growing and is composed of different style wineries that are perfect to break up your day on a guided wine tour or your own.

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  • Fitzpatrick Winery

    As you continue South through the Okanagan Valley you will find Fitzpatrick Winery located on the famous Greata Ranch off Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland. Greata Ranch was once one of the Okanagan’s main peach and cherry producers shipping these fruits up throughout the valley via the steam ferry that used to travel up and down the lake. Over the years it has been passed through many hands and now is owned by the Fitzpatrick family who remembered the incredible property from visits in the early 1900’s. Fitzpatrick Winery is an extraordinary winery that specializes in sparkling wine along with other varietals and offers stunning views up and down the Okanagan valley. Reservations are recommended to ensure a spot for wine tasting.

    Fitzpatrick is an excellent halfway stop during your travels to the other Peachland winery and Summerland wineries during your tour.

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Photo credit: Destination BC / Gabriel Cabrera
  • Play Estate Winery

    Play Estate Winery offers a diverse selection of wines, including sparkling wine along with a divine Italian restaurant experience. The name “Play” was inspired by the theater and highlights the winery’s pursuit and overall expression of the Arts.

    Play has the newly created Sonetto Italian Restaurant that promises to make you want to return over and over again. Enjoy stunning views of Skaha Lake and surrounding mountains while sipping on Play’s wines. Reservations are not required to enjoy a wine tasting, except for larger groups, but are recommended to dine at their restaurant.

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  • TIME Winery
    Photo credit: Travel Penticton / Nathan Penner
  • TIME Family of Wines

    TIME Winery is owned and operated by the McWatters family, a legacy family of the Okanagan valley who has created more than 50 vintages of wine in the Okanagan Valley. TIME Winery and Restaurant is home to multiple collections of wine, the McWatters family legacy brand the McWatters Collection, Evolve Cellars, TIME Winery, and our newest label addition, Chronos. 

    Located in Penticton, this restaurant and winery offers multiple tastings and delicious food. Reservations are recommended to enjoy this establishment.

    Multiple wineries are spread throughout Penticton and offer an opportunity to explore the views of both Okanagan and Skaha lake on guided tours.

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Poplar Grove
Photo credit: Destination BC / Kari Medig
  • Poplar Grove

    Poplar Grove is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench, founded in 1993. Recognized for their expert wine making, they thrive and succeed at creating distinctive wines that reflect the Okanagan. The winery is home to 140 acres of estate vineyards featuring eight key varietals of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Sustainability is very important to Poplar Grove and many efforts, including solar panels on the roof of all their buildings, are being made to reduce their impact on this earth.

    Along with their wine, they are home to a restaurant that makes for an excellent stop to enjoy lunch or dinner during your wine tour. Reservations are highly recommended to ensure you have a spot in the tasting room when you arrive.

    The Naramata Bench is famous for it’s endless wineries. Looking for a way to explore the Bench without having to drive? Rent a bike or book a wine tour to enjoy your day. 

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  • Hillside Winery

    What was originally an apricot orchard became a sloping 3.5 acre vineyard on the Naramata Bench that would become Hillside Winery. From the winery’s origin story of being one of the first vineyards to lobby for the Farmgate Winery Policy, a policy that would allow small vineyards of five acres or less to produce and sell on their premise. To the unique architecture of a 72 foot tower, designed by Robert MacKenzie back in 1997, you will enjoy learning about this winery's story just as much as you enjoy trying their multiple varietals of wine. 

    Here you can enjoy wines from a large selection of reds and whites that are driven by the unique terroir of the Naramata Bench. Stop at The Bistro at Hillside Winery for lunch as they offer small dishes packed with flavour sourced from local ingredients allowing for a sharing styled meal. It is recommended to book a wine tasting prior to arriving to enjoy an indoor and outdoor tasting.

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  • Covert Farms Family Estate

    Covert Farm Family Estate is a 650-acre regenerative farm and winery that offers an oasis for you to enjoy the Oliver landscape and unique varietals of wine. Covert Farm is one of the most family friendly wineries in the valley with a yard full of activities for kids and adults, including a slip-and-slide for the hot summer days. Enjoy a wine tasting along with a harvest tractor tour of the property where you can pick your own pumpkin, and the option to roast smokies and s’mores at the communal firepit.  

    With three different vineyard blocks throughout the valley, Covert Farms puts viticulture as the main focus in their production and is constantly looking for new ways to be more sustainable and resilient against climate change. Reservations are required to book a tour and wine tasting.

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  • District Wine Village
    Photo credit: District Wine Village
  • District Wine Village

    The District Wine Village is home to 13 wineries, one brewery, one distillery, an eatery, and a Multi-Purpose Amphitheater with 610 person capacity, all in one location for your convenience and pleasure. This beautiful facility offers wine from all over the valley and the Thompson Okanagan region. Here, you can spend your afternoon sipping on wine on the many terraces of the wineries. During the fall, the District Wine Village hosts multiple events like fall harvest and Oktoberfest. 

    The village is the first ever winery cluster in the Thompson Okanagan that offers a unique facility for existing wineries and beginning wineries to showcase their best varietals. Reservations are not required at the wine village. 

    Explore the many Oliver wineries located within short distances of each other via local wine tours

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  • Phantom Creek Estates

    Phantom Creek Estates will take your breath away from the first moment you see it on the hillside from the highway. Built to inspire and amaze, this winery has ensured it is just as appealing to the eye as it is to your taste buds. Their organically certified vineyards sit on the Black Sage Bench and on the Golden Mile Bench.  

    Enjoy stunning views of the valley and the beautiful architecture and art while enjoying flavorful wine and delicious food. Book a tasting and a private tour and explore the beautiful property.

    There are many hidden gems of wineries to enjoy in Osoyoos along with multiple wine tour operators.

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This story has been adapted from an original article available at: