Visiting the Okanagan isn’t cheap, especially during the prime tourist season which begins May to October. The Spring Okanagan Wine Fest kicks off this busy season beginning May 2nd to 13th. The locals are looking forward to Spring as the Winter has lagged on for too long and events are selling out fast around the valley. Since I am incapacitated at the moment with baby on board I’ve been looking to cover the lower budget and free options.
You can find more events included ticketed winery events at TheWineFestivals.com.
Kelowna & West Kelowna Events
Spring Open House Cedar Creek
Dates: May 3rd – 13th 11:00 am -6:00 pm
Free wine tastings including their Spring wine releases throughout the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.
Onsite restaurant set to open in Summer of 2018. Construction may impede parking.
Why go and what to try: Certainly, one of the best views of the Okanagan Lake, I love swinging by this winery because it is not far from my home and they serve up one of my favourite Rosé and Rieslings.
Dates: May 4th, May 11th and each Friday going forward into the Summer. 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Enjoy a free glass of wine each Friday to pair along with the featured food truck of the week. It’s a lovely place to enjoy a picnic surrounded by orchards and vines.
Why go and what to try: A free glass of wine never hurt anyone and SpierHead is one of my favourite boutique wineries in the Kelowna area. I particularly love their Pinot Gris.
Dates: May 6th and May 13th
Food trucks, DJs, artists and artisans will be on site as you taste the wines of Kitsch in Kelowna.
Why go and what to try: It’s fresh vibe attracts millennials (I hate to use that term but it does!). It feels like a party and with views like this there’s always a reason to. Try their Chardonnay for the ultimate summer sipper – lemon and pineapple on the palate.
Dates: May 13th
Complimentary tastings celebrating mothers.
Why go and what to try: Mothers and grandmothers alike will enjoy the fun and lighthearted take on wines with labels like “Hot Flash” blend of Shiraz and Foch, “Rose-EH”, and more. Make for great gifts and is a winery that is lesser known/served if you want to try something new.
Dates: May 5th
Cost: By donation to BC SPCA (Suggested $20)
This dog-friendly event involves wine, happy pooches and 4 iconic wineries along the Lakeshore wine route – CedarCreek, St. Hubertus, Summerhill and Tantalus.
Why go and what to try: Any excuse to help the SPCA is a good excuse, especially when wine is involved! You’ll get a “Pawsport” that get’s stamped at each winery so that you can enter to win a grand prize. Riesling at Tantalus, all the bubbles at Summerhill, Rosé at Tantalus and all the delicious wines at St. Hubertus. You can’t go wrong!
Dates: May 7th
Cost: By donation + purchase of a glass of wine
Reservations recommended for arrivals between 9 and 10:30 pm at Rollingdale Winery. Purchase a glass of wine and peer through the telescope provided by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Why go and what to try: I never pass up a chance to look at the stars through a powerful telescope. It’s amazing and have done so once during a summer event at Mission Creek Park. Our Okanagan skies are offering up Venus and Jupiter right now. I’ve been picking them out each night before bed from my patio. Rollingdale is famed for their organic wine offerings including ice wine.
Dates: May 3rd & 13th 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tour the orchards and vineyards and learn how to make fruit wines before getting treated to complimentary fruit wine tastings.
Why go and what to try: With 13 table wines and 8 dessert wines, this is for those who have a sweet tooth when it comes to their drinks. Complimentary tastings and the orchards in bloom will put an oomph in your step.
Dates: May 3rd & 13th
Cost: 4 tastings for $3
It may not be complimentary but it is certainly budget friendly!
Why go and what to try: As an employee of a local family business I am all about supporting both local and family companies throughout the Okanagan. This little boutique winery is also what I love most about living in a lesser known wine valley. Try their Viognier and Gewürztraminer!
Dates: May 12th and 13th 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Described as a hidden gem, the Oraniensteiner is the star of the party.
Why go and what to try: Why not celebrate and try a unique little varietal for free? Live music on site and
Naramata & Penticton Events
Our dangerously delicious White Knuckle is available in the ultra-convenient 3L packaging in our tasting room and online! Our tasting room is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 – 5:00. We hope to see you soon! www.monstervineyards.ca . . . . . #wine #bcwine #boxwine #boxedwine #whitewine #okanagan #winetasting
Date: May 12th
This is one of my favourite wineries to take any girlfriend of mine on a budget, particularly my sister. This is where I buy her a box of local wine and I don’t mean 6 to 12 bottles. I mean boxed wine. It may be a bit of a dirty word to you, as it was to me until this winery turned me into a believer.
Why go and what to try: Live music will be on site and their bottles, inspired by the Okanagan lake monster, glow in the dark!
Date: May 12th
See Okanagan artists in action painting en plein air throughout Lang Vineyards. 2018 wine releases will be served.
Why go and what to try: Ideal for art lovers or for someone who wants to take a piece of Okanagan vineyard for their home, it’s a unique opportunity to interact with local artists. The Lang Vineyards, opened in 1990, latest release is a Marechal Foch 2016 and will be featured.
The Naramata Bench Wineries are pleased to be hosting ROLL OUT THE BARRELS as part of the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, Saturday, October 7, 12pm to 5pm (times may vary by winery). Join #winemakers who will be rolling out their barrels for a behind-the-scenes opportunity to taste wines straight from barrel. This is a self-guided, complimentary event @perseuswine @poplargrovewinery @blackwidowwine @tightropewinery @bench1775 #moraineestatewinery. #wine #bcwine #naramatabench #winetasting #winery #winelover
Date: May 12th
Participating wineries roll out their barrels for you to learn about the process of wine making and even get a sneak peak at future wines.
Why go and what to try: Get hands on with the vintners and learn about what makes the Naramata Bench so special within the Okanagan wine valley. So many varieties are grown on the Naramata Bench. It is my personal favourite when it comes to tastings and wineries within the Okanagan wine valley.
Dates: May 4th to 13th
Cost: $10 Tours
New winery! I’m always excited to see a new winery open. There is constantly new construction happening around the valley and you’re never quite sure if it is a new home, restaurant or wine tasting room. This massive building in Penticton is sure to become a main stop for wine enthusiasts visiting the area.
Why go and what to try: It’s a new winery. Go try everything and see what the hype is about!
Date: May 12th
Described as a divine tasting, the entire day revolves around the Sacrosanct Cabernet Franc 2016 release along with the other Small Blessings series of wines. Pizza, live music and the winemaker will be on site.
Why go and what to try: With that view, their fun labels and delicious wines you should stop in. Complimentary wine tastings of Cabernet Franc, I mean, hello?!
“It’s a very spiritual place surrounded by birds and flowers,” says Deborah Wilde, proprietor of @hiddenchapel. “It creates a very different winery experience.” We invite you to visit Hidden Chapel, meet Deborah and uncover what’s hidden away in the vineyard….#uncorkthesun. . . . . #bcwinemonth #route97 #oliverosoyoos #bcwine #winebc #hiddenchapelwinery
Dates: May 3rd to May 13th
Cost: By donation
You could wine a case of wine as their new releases are poured from May 3rd to 13th.
Why go and what to try: New releases will be poured including the 2017 whites, rosé and the return of their popular sparkling rosé. Additionally, there’s an actual hidden chapel in the pines on the grounds of Hidden Chapel Winery.
Dates: May 4th to 13th
Celebrate the Year of the Dog with Castoro de Oro. Free flights of wine will be served as will free treats for your pups should you bring them along for the wine festival.
Why go and what to try: If you don’t have your own pup, Mr. Walnut will be on site! Also, entire flights of wine tastings are complimentary!
Words cannot describe the beauty of these vines! it’s #WineWednesday and #NationalWineDay today so come on in and celebrate with a Wine Tasting! Come in and ask to try our award winning Living Desert red or Syrah. Cheers! ?#bordertownwine #winetasting #okanagan #wineoclock #osoyoosbc #familyestate #winealot #beautifulbritishcolumbia #rescuesomewinetrappedinabottle
Dates: May 12th 1- 4:00
Food, live music, new releases, it is sure to be a good time!
Why go and what to try: Osoyoos is famed for reds. If you’re a red wine lover then venture to Osoyoos so that you can taste the complexity of the south Okanagan where the weather is hotter for longer, it borders Canada’s only desert after all.
What events do you plan to attend?
Let me know in the comments below!