We woke bright and early to the streaming sunlight pouring through the window of our hotel room in Canada’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, having stayed our first night in Osoyoos. As if that wasn’t enough to get us up and out of bed, there’s always the thought of a breakfast buffet waiting for us that certainly does the trick (for me, anyway!)
Once we were fuelled on unlimited scrambled egg and bacon – yep, that’s the pretty much the way to my heart – we packed our cases and set off for our first stop of the day: Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen firsthand just how beautiful this gem of a winery really is.
What a view! Honestly I couldn’t quite tell if we were in BC or Tuscany. The estate looked like a beautiful place to stay, but with only 11 guest rooms, you need to book quickly.
Despite feeling a little nervous of the surrounding wildlife (I was SO scared I’d come across a rattlesnake amongst the sage bushes), we stretched our legs whilst waiting for the winery to open. Yes, we arrived at 10am – and yes, it was after 5pm somewhere!
The winery boasts acres of beautiful land, with neatly arranged vineyards set across the sprawling hills. Despite not even being 10am that day, the hot sun beat down upon the ground, but illuminating the incredible views.
Heading back to the winery, we passed rows of different grape varieties, sour berries to taste fresh from the vine, and vineyard labourers dressed head to toe in protective gear for tending the grapes, despite the powerful sun. It really did make me appreciate the process and care that goes into creating this special wine even more.
After the hot work of walking back across the vineyard, we were more than ready to try a tipple or two. The wine tasting menu is pretty fabulous, and at just $3 (which is donated to the conservation of burrowing owls), it’s hard to find an excuse not to try the wines on offer. The friendly staff will talk you through the aromas and tastes from each bottle, whilst you sip away to your heart’s content. I’d highly recommend their delicious Pinot Gris, one of my favourites from the day.
The Osoyoos-Oliver area is one of the best known regions in the Okanagan Valley for its excellent wines – there’s even a passport on offer for you to collect stamps from each winery as you work around those scattered across the area. One point I’d note is that you ideally need to drive between the wineries, which can be a little frustrating for any designated drivers. For that reason, I’d recommend a minibus tour.
Part of the fun is simply flitting between wineries to see which each offers and the unique style that each takes in order to differentiate itself from the next. Our second stop was Silver Sage Winery, which boasted the most beautiful rose gardens. Whilst I thought the colourful blooms of roses were just for decoration, I later discovered they’re actually there to determine any plant diseases in order to prevent the vineyards also becoming infected. Who knew?
Shuffling along the region, we wound up at Hester Creek Winery. We explored the beautiful, lavish interiors and grounds. Of course, there was time for another sample of delicious roses and reds.
Have you ever seen such a perfect patio? This winery also has a beautiful restaurant, which I’d highly recommend if you fancy sampling fine wine, cheese, and even more incredible views.
Just a short stroll from Hester Creek, you’ll find the Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery – it’s almost too convenient to swing by! I’ve said it once before on our trip to Kelowna last year, and I’ll say it once again – I really can’t believe how underrated Canadian wine is.
Despite there being a whole bunch more wineries, unfortunately we really couldn’t fit them all in! Our final winery of the day was Tinhorn Creek.
We learnt a lot about the process of winemaking, and the various aromas that go into each wine. We chatted away to the friendly staff whilst sampling some of their delicious wines.
Having worked up quite the appetite throughout the day, we stopped off for a bite to eat at the winery’s picturesque restaurant.
We munched on meatballs on ciabatta and mushroom pasta whilst admiring the gorgeous views across the acres of vineyard and desert.
Having loved every second of exploring the gorgeous wineries, we got back into the car in search of our next destination in the Okanagan Valley – Penticton.
Passing fruit farm after fruit farm and feeling pretty toasty in the car, we were in desperate search of a cool lake to dip into. Several miles and plenty of amazing views later, we discovered a beach on Skaha Lake, just south of Penticton.
If you’re not shy of a few nudists, it’s the perfect spot for dipping to sunbathe and cool off in the icy waters – and repeat. We stayed a few hours and enjoyed the hot sun and each other’s company.
Penticton was just a short drive from the lake. It’s a lovely little town with a long lakefront that’s perfect for evening walks. We explored the sights, took a moment to chill, sipped wine in the hot sun, and enjoyed dinner and cocktails, before heading back to the hotel after another amazing day.
Looking forward to sharing more of our adventures with you next time!