Know Before You Go: The Wine Regions of the Okanagan

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Okanagan Valley is located in the British Columbia Interior. It is Canada’s second-largest wine producing area. In 2018, there were more than 182 licensed wineries from the southern part of the valley to the northern part of the valley. In fact, there is about 8,619 acres of vineyards in the Okanagan territory which is more than 80% of all the wine produced in British Columbia. And, there are several wine regions of the Okanagan. 

For those of you that are not math savvy like myself, that translates to A LOT of fricken wine!

Not only is it a lot of wine, but because Okanagan has such diverse terrains and many different microclimates and soil types throughout the valley, you are getting GOOD wine. This wine isn’t just run of the mill store bought wine. The wine you find at Okanagen is diverse, intricately made, and stronger than you might have ever had. So, it is definitely worth a visit!

Know Before You Go: The Wine Regions of the Okanagan | What are the Regions of Okanagan | Places to Go Wine Tasting in Okanagan | Where to Drink Wine in Okanagan #Okanagan #wine #somuchwine #travel

The Wine Regions of the Okanagan

With that much wine and that much terrain, there is no way you will be able to cover all of Okanagan Valley in one trip. So, we have narrowed down the regions of Okanagen so you know what you are doing before you go!

Know Before You Go: The Wine Regions of Okanagan

There are actually five regions of Okanagen, however, Similkameen Valley usually gets thrown  into the mix because it is so close. But, today, we are only going to talk about the five regions of  Okanagen:

● Black Sage Osoyoos

● Golden Mile

● Kelowna

● Naramata Bench

● Okanagan Falls

Check out each reason below for climate info, grape variety, and a few must see wineries! 

Black Sage Osoyoos

The Black Sage Osoyoos region stretches north from the Osoyoos Lake. It
actually straddles the border with the US state of Washington. This is the
northern part of the Okanagan Valley. The Coast Range to the west blocks cool,
wet climates from the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, the Black Sage and Osoyoos is a
very hot and dry region with very low annual rainfall.

Because this region has a warm and dry climate, you will find the production
of concentrated red wines from the Bordeaux (grape) varieties such as Cabernet,
Sauvignon, and Merlot.

Here are a few wineries to visit in Black Sage Osoyoos:

Golden Mile

You will find the Gold Mile region of Okanagan Valley covering the
western slope and the surrounding town of Oliver. Here you will find
desert-like climates. The Golden Mile vineyards lie on fertile soil types much
like clay. The clay soil helps to retain moisture during dry summers and retain
warmth when it is cold. Typically the Golden Mile has warm, sunny days followed
by cooler nights.

Because of the climate and soil type, there is an extended ripening
period for the grapes that gives them a rich fruit flavor. This region is
particularly well-known for its elegant red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, and Cabernet Franc (grapes). Some are found blended with Bordeaux.

Here are a few wineries to visit in Gold Mile:


Kelowna region is actually a city. And, it is the largest city in the
Okanagan Valley.  The region is one of
the key spots for wine destinations in Canada. The New York Times called
Kelowna the “Napa of the North” because of its fine wine, culinary focus, and
thriving tourist industry.

So, be prepared for a lot of people. If you are like me and loath most
people, you might want to pick a region not so touristy.

Kelowna is one of the coolest areas in all of the Okanagan Valley thus
makes cool climate wine varieties. Wine’s in this region include: Pinot Noir,
Riesling, and Chardonnay.

Here are a few wineries in Kelowna to visit:

Naramata Bench

Naramata Bench is located on the South-eastern shores of Lake Okanagan.
The vineyards sit on the cliffs right above the shores of the lake on the
west-facing slopes. The vineyards enjoy all-day sun exposure with cooling
breezes off the lake. This is a perfect mesoclimate for grape growing as it
slows the ripening process allowing the grapes to develop rich varietal

Naramata Bench’s Lakeside terrain is well suited for the following
aromatic wine varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris which produce
crisp, fresh white wines.

Here are a few wineries to try out in Naramata Bench:

Okanagan Falls

The Okanagan Falls is located between the towns of Penticton and Oliver.
It is on the southern edge of Skaha Lake which is the narrowest part of the
Okanagan Valley. This part of the valley is home to some of the highest
altitude vineyards in all of the Valley.

In this area, it is climatically transitional within the Okanagan
Valley’s climate. It is warmer than Naramata Bench to the North yet cooler than
Osoyoos and Black Sage in the South. The vineyards sit on the Okanagan Falls
high above the valley floor. Because of the variation in climate in this
region, Gewurztraminer can be planted adjacent to Pinot Noir grapes, or
Cabernet Sauvignon can be adjacent to Riesling.

All that mumbo jumbo boils down to Okanagan Falls is quite literally the
perfect region to provide a wide variety of wine styles. Meaning you get the
best of all worlds here! From aromatic whites made from Riesling and
Gewurztraminer to Bordeaux Blends made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, you
can find pretty much any wine you are looking for.

Here are some wineries you should visit in Okanagan Falls:

What region of Okanagan Valley do you want to visit? Share your
experiences and thoughts in the comments below. We would love to know what you

What part of the wine regions of the Okanagan do you plan to go too? Share your plans in the comments below!

In addition to knowing the wine regions of Okanagan, there are many places to go Camping in Okanagan.

 Know Before You Go: The Wine Regions of the Okanagan | What are the Regions of Okanagan | Places to Go Wine Tasting in Okanagan | Where to Drink Wine in Okanagan #Okanagan #wine #somuchwine #travel

Scroll to Top