I live in a unique part of Canada unlike any other region in the country. The warm, dry summers and mild winters are an ideal environment for vineyards and orchards. I’ve never been interested in wine, or alcohol of any kind, but when you’re surrounded by 200+ wineries, you have to take advantage of your surroundings, right? My friend from Vancouver recently stayed with me for a weekend and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to explore the amazing wineries in my own backyard. We visited five wineries in Peachland/Summerland with Sagebrush Tours and it was a great experience!
Winery #1: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards
Our first stop was Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards. This winery has a rich history in the region and its roots date back to 1913. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable and gave us a lot of background information before we tasted the wines. The winery is famous for its sparkling wines, so we tried the Fitz Brut which was really nice, but not my favourite from the wide selection we tried. My favourite was the Unwinder Ehrenfelser, which had a tropical taste and a lovely peach forward flavour. It was really light and summery, and easy to drink! I am not a wine connoisseur and my pallet hasn’t developed fully developed yet so these wine reviews will be primarily white wine biased.
I usually enjoy Rieslings but the Riesling at this winery was too tart for me. It had lemon and lime notes which made it too bitter for my taste. My friend really enjoyed it though, so maybe you should check it out for a nice refreshing citrus summer wine!
The winery itself is in a stunning location overlooking Okanagan lake and also features a bistro with breathtaking views. The winery’s marketing is excellent, there is a cohesive theme carried throughout the tasting room with the brand’s colours and custom design. The label was also my favourite out of all the wineries we visited.
Winery #2: Sage Hills Winery
Our second stop on our wine tour was Sage Hills Winery in Summerland. The tasting room at the winery was one of the smallest out of the wineries we visited, but it was thoughtfully designed with careful attention to detail. The view was also beautiful, overlooking the lake.
Sage Hills is a sustainable and organic winery that prioritizes organic farming and ethical practices, which is great. The Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend was my favourite wine from this winery. It’s described as having aromas of guava, melon and crisp Ambrosia apple notes. It was a nice refreshing wine that I debated purchasing but decided against it for whatever strange reason! The Gewürztraminer was also lovely and my second favourite. The lychee scent and flavour was strong on this one, which I really enjoyed. I would go back to the winery and purchase both, they were delicious!
Winery #3: Okanagan Crush Pad
Our third stop was just down the road from Sage Hills at a winery called Okanagan Crush Pad. Industrial and modern, the tasting room features large concrete tanks instead of traditional oak barrels. A small patio outside allows visitors to taste their wine surrounded by the beautiful vineyards.
The winery makes three signature brands: Haywire, Free Form and Narrative. The Free Form Rose and the Narrative Gewürztraminer were the most memorable wines that we tried.
The tasting experience at this winery was nice and the people poring the wine were very knowledgeable. They also sold jams and chutneys at the winery which you could sample and they were delicious.
Winery #4: 8th Generation Vineyard
8th Generation Vineyard was the second last stop on our tour. As the name suggests, the vineyard has a long history of wine making. For 235 years, the Schales family has been invested in creating wine. Starting in Germany, Christian Schales planted his first grapes in 1783. The winery’s rich history is echoed in its delicious wine and beautiful tasting room.
I really enjoyed our time at this winery, even though it was the busiest one we visited. I ended up purchasing their Pinot Meunier Rosé which was delicious and a nice refreshing summer drink. A lot of the wine started to taste the same to me once we got to our last few wineries, so I don’t remember any other memorable wines here, but they were all really nice.
Winery #5: Sumac Ridge
Our last stop on our wine adventure was Sumac Ridge Estate Winery. This winery was the least memorable for me, and the tasting experience wasn’t as enjoyable because the person helping us seemed very new and wasn’t able to tell us any stories or interesting facts about the wine. However, I did enjoy the Sauvignon Blanc, which I’ve discovered is one of my new favourite types of wine! I don’t have much to say about this winery unfortunately. It was the end of our tour and we were getting tired so we didn’t have the most amazing experience, but the wine was still high quality.
Overall, I would highly recommend booking a wine tour Sagebrush tours because our tour guide Steven was extremely knowledgable and told us so many cool facts about the Okanagan wine region. I had limited knowledge about wine going into the tour, but I learnt so much from Steven. Sagebrush also does nature tours and wine tours in other regions of the Okanagan. If you’re visiting Kelowna or the surrounding area this summer, check them out!
This grandma has had enough wine for a while now, but I’m glad I had this amazing experience!