Distinctly Kelowna Tours Blog

April 10, 2017

Little Straw Vineyards

distinctly kelowna wine tours little straw wineryLittle Straw Vineyards, established in 1996, is a family owned winery located in West Kelowna, BC. The view from the winery is fabulous, taking in the vineyards, Okanagan Lake and the mountains in Kelowna. The winery is well known for their popular white blend “Tapestry” and is the only winery in Canada that produces Auxerrois ice wine. The majority of the grapes they use come from their own vineyards located on the slopes of Mount Boucherie, an extinct volcano.

We visit Little Straw often as they are on our itinerary for our Westside Bench Tour with a stop for Lunch and our Westside Bench Tasting Experience Tour. We also try to incorporate a visit to Little Straw on our private custom tours. The staff are very friendly and informative and our guests always have a great time visiting the wine shop.

January 22, 2017

British Columbia Wine Awards

distinctly kelowna wine tours awardsSeveral of our partner wineries, that we visit regularly, won medals at the British Columbia Wine Awards last fall. Wineries from Lake Country, Kelowna and West Kelowna brought home several prestigious awards.

Many of our local West Kelowna wineries were recognized at the awards ceremony. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery’s 2014 Reserve Chardonnay was one of only eight platinum award winners. Mission Hill Winery also took silver for its 2013 Five Vineyard Cabernet Merlot and Bronze for its 2014 Reserve Shiraz and 2015 Reserve Pinot Gris.

September 1, 2016

Lake Breeze Vineyards

Lake Breeze Vineyards - Distinctly Kelowna Wine ToursAt the recent 2016 National Wine Awards of Canada, by wine Align, Lake Breeze Vineyards won Canada’s Small Winery of the year. Winemaker Garron Elmes has been making wine at Naramata based Lake Breeze since they opened 21 years ago. The highest rated wine of the competition was the Lake Breeze 2014 Semillon, achieving a platinum medal. They also won gold for their 2012 Winemaker’s Series Riesling, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 The Spice Jar White Blends.

July 30, 2016

Okanagan Valley Fruit Stands

distinctly kelowna wine tours fruit standThe Okanagan is well known for its abundance of locally grown fresh fruit. From late spring to late fall there are a number of wonderful fruit stands open which tourists and locals frequent.

Here are a few local favorites:

Arndt Orchards: 1555B Teasdale Rd. Growing quality cherries in the Okanagan since 1946, Arndt Orchards invites you to visit their Upick cherry orchard from early July through mid-August.

Don-O-Ray Fruits and Vegetables: 3443 Benvoulin Rd. Operating for 35 years, Don-O-Ray Vegetables has been consistently voted ‘Best Fruit/Vegetable Stand’ by the readers of Okanagan Life 2005, 2006 & 2007.

June 4, 2016

Kalala Organic Estate Winery

kalala winery chardonnayKalala Organic Estate Winery is located on the Upper Bench of beautiful West Kelowna.  Kalala means “Miracle Place” and is their symbol for their commitment to harmony with nature, organic viticulture practices, and their wines.

We visit Kalala frequently as they are on our route for our Westside Bench Tour with a stop for Lunch and our Westside Bench Tasting Experience Tour. We also try to incorporate a visit to Kalala on our private custom tours.

Overlooking the Okanagan Lake, the winery has a breathtaking view and an old-world charm. The winery is family owned and operated and guests are always greeted warmly. The staff have a wealth of knowledge and love to share information about their vineyard and wines.

The vineyards were deemed certified organic in September 2010. The philosophy is to allow the varietal characteristics and terroir to be truly expressed and only enhanced by minimal handling during winemaking.

Kalala took home a Gold Medal for their 2011 Aspire and a Silver for their 2011 Dostana at the 2015 Pacific Rim Wine Competition. Most recently they won gold for their 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine at the Chardonnay du Monde competition held in France March, 2016. With complex flavours combined with the organic practice of their wines, Kalala provides a truly unique experience.

 

Distinctly Kelowna Tours is one of Kelowna’s largest wine tour companies, offering winery tours, sightseeing tours, agri-tours, culinary tours and adventure tours throughout the Okanagan Valley to individuals and corporate groups.

April 29, 2016

Our Okanagan Sunflower – Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot - Okanagan SunflowerIn the past few weeks the hills and fields in and around Kelowna have been awash in beautiful yellow flowers. Kelowna’s official flower is the Arrowleaf Balsamroot often referred to by locals as the Okanagan Sunflower. Its name comes from a combination of leaf shape and a fragrant resin, or “balsam”, found in its roots.

All the locals have been taking spectacular photos of these perennial flowers as the season is only a few weeks long. I am fortunate to have these amazing flowers right in my back yard.

This flower is native to much of western North America, is drought tolerant and grows in many types of habitat from mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub. All of the plant is edible, although it doesn’t taste very good! Many Native American groups, utilized the plant as a food and medicine. Grazing animals can be seen eating the plant, especially the flowers and developing seed heads.

 

Distinctly Kelowna Tours is one of Kelowna’s largest wine tour companies, offering winery tours, sightseeing tours, agri-tours, culinary tours and adventure tours throughout the Okanagan Valley to individuals and corporate groups.

March 29, 2016

Agricultural Tourism

distinctly kelowna tours lavenderThe Okanagan Valley has many wonderful agricultural venues which welcome tourists to come and explore. After enjoying a memorable wine tour, contact Distinctly Kelowna Tours for another wonderful Okanagan experience (for private groups of 8 or more guests).

Some of our most popular Kelowna area destinations include:

Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm: Enjoy a self-guided walking tour displaying over 60 varieties of lavender, attend a class, pick your own bouquet or visit the gift shop featuring products made from locally grown and distilled lavender. Lavender has long been recognized for its ability to soothe nerves and reduce tension. Its scent has been used for centuries for its sedative effects.  Owner Andrea McFadden comes from a third generation farming family.

Elysium Garden-Nursery: Four acres of stunning perennial gardens, a ‘Japanese inspired’ garden and a unique specialty nursery. Carved out of a lovely old apple orchard and surrounded by unobstructed mountain views and pastoral countryside.

Arlo’s Honey Farm: Enjoy a true farm experience of grass roots beekeeping. Offers not only award winning honey, but pollen, bees wax, propolis, fresh fruit, berries and vegetables in season. Take part in an educational tour describing the honey bee’s life, their existence in nature, an understanding of sustainable agriculture, and a close up and personal visit with a working hive.

Gellatly Nut Farm: Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park is 4 hectares of a working heritage farm. BC’s oldest nut farm has 800 nut trees and shrubs in the park. Varieties include walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and butternuts which are for sale in season. The park also features 485 feet of lake front with a public beach, a heritage house, log cabin, wedding arbor and various other heritage buildings.

A few favorite venues outside of Kelowna:

Davison Orchards: located in Vernon. A family farm since 1933 growing a wide variety of quality Okanagan produce. They specialize in fresh pressed Apple juice, fresh baked pie and treats along with a huge assortment of homemade jams and preserves. Take an orchard tour and learn about history and farming.

Summerland Ornamental Gardens: While Agriculture Canada owns the land and buildings, and provides a base level of maintenance and support for this historic garden, the Friends of the Garden Society is responsible for enhancing the garden experience, educating the public and promoting the gardens to the community. The garden tour includes a rose garden, canyon walk and lookout, friendship plaza, KVR trestle lookout, picnic area, visitor center, gazebo, rockery, meadow, xeriscape plaza and garden.

 

Distinctly Kelowna Tours is one of Kelowna’s largest wine tour companies, offering winery tours, sightseeing tours, agri-tours, culinary tours and adventure tours throughout the Okanagan Valley to individuals and corporate groups.

March 9, 2016

Kelowna Area Wine Trails

distinctly kelowna wine tours grapesThere are five unique wine trails in the Kelowna area: Lake Country’s Scenic Sip, the Westside Wine Trail, the Lakeshore Wine Route, the Kelowna Fab Five and the Downtown Grapes and Grains.

Our most popular tours, the Westside Bench Tour with a stop for lunch and our Westside Bench Tasting Experience visit wineries along the Westside Wine Trail. The Westside Wine Trail boasts some of the oldest and most established vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. The vineyards are planted in a mixture of volcanic rock and clay. Many of the wineries are located neat the extinct volcano, Mt. Boucherie. The wineries along the trail include Ciao Bella Winery, Beaumont Family Estate Winery, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Little Straw Vineyards, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, Mission Hill Family Estate, Off the Grid Organic Winery, Quails’ Gate Estate winery, Rollingdale Winery, The Hatch and Volcanic Hills Estate Winery.

Our next most popular tours are our Eastside Bench Wine Tours which travel along the Lakeshore Wine Route. Take in spectacular lake views at all of the Lakeshore wineries. This wine route is also home to some of the oldest vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. The wineries include CedarCreek Estate Winery, St. Hubertus Estate Winery, Tantalus Vineyards and Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

Our third most popular wine tour is our Northern Bench Wine Tour which explores Lake Country’s Scenic Sip. The vineyard sites exhibit a diversity of microclimates and the benches are protected from frost. There are six wineries which have come together to promote the Lake Country area wineries. They include 50th Parallel Estate, Ancient Hill Estate Winery, Arrowleaf Cellars, Ex Nihilo Vineyards, Gray Monk Estate Winery and Intrigue Wines.

Contact us today to book your Kelowna Wine Tour.

 

Distinctly Kelowna Tours is one of Kelowna’s largest wine tour companies, offering winery tours, sightseeing tours, agri-tours, culinary tours and adventure tours throughout the Okanagan Valley to individuals and corporate groups.