Fun fact: Just because it is winter, it doesn’t mean wine touring stops in Osoyoos, British Columbia.
While many of us associate visiting the Osoyoos wineries with summertime — where you are destined to hear terms like “patio pounder” or “summer sipper” — it is in fact a year-round activity with many of the local tasting rooms staying open through the winter months.
In case you were wondering, wine tasting has actually become our go-to winter sport, so move over hockey.
As for why you should go, it almost seems unnecessary to give reasons because if you are like us, wine touring is always a good idea. However, there are certainly some major benefits to going during the winter months that you won’t experience at other times of the year.
So if you are needing just one reason why you should check out our local wineries before spring, we will raise you that one and give you four more.
Starting with the obvious, wine touring in the wintertime is fantastic due to the reduced volume of people visiting each location. You will always be able to find a parking spot, there are minimal wait times in the tasting rooms themselves and slots for reservations are significantly easier to come by!
It is still recommended that you plan ahead, but you won’t be up against the summer crowds or needing your elbows to fight for counter space!
More One-on-One Time with Wine Experts
Going hand-in-hand with the reduced crowds, being less busy means more one-on-one time with the wine experts at each location — which can sometimes be the winemaker themselves!
With tasting room sommeliers not having to deal with multiple groups at one time, you can spend more time picking their brains and deepening your knowledge of some of the best wines in the world! We also recommend coming equipped with some questions!
Cozy / Unique Tasting Experiences
Have you ever thought about lacing up your boots or strapping on a pair of snowshoes, hiking through a vineyard and partaking in a digital scavenger hunt before ending at a tasting room for a flight of wine? This unique experience is being offered at Tinhorn Creek over the month of January — something exclusive to the wintertime.
A handful of unique offerings and experiences like these can be found at wineries throughout the region during the offseason, but more importantly, the tasting experience feels different and the word that comes to mind is ‘cozy.’
Tastings feel less rushed, some wineries offer heated patios or tabletop fires that compliment a glass of wine perfectly and a nice series of reds can really warm up the soul on a cold Okanagan day.
These cozy feelings give winter wine touring a dash of incredible.
Advantageous Time for Cellar Tours
During the peak of summer, wine tasting and the outdoors go hand-in-hand: patios, vineyard tours, farm experiences etc. In the winter, when the weather isn’t as nice, staying indoors is much more desirable.
This gives a good incentive to combine a tasting experience with a cellar tour! A handful of wineries will pull back the curtain and give guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their cellars where the magic happens.
Wintertime is optimal for seeking these experiences out because one, you are indoors, two, there isn’t anything growing on the vines, and three, remember what we said about reduced crowds and not having to fight for reservation spots?
Stunning Winter Scenery
Pictures won’t do it full justice to how beautiful the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Region is during winter.
The rolling hills, lined with rows upon rows of vines are certainly picturesque throughout the year, however, there is something special about seeing the perfectly parallel laneways of leafless vineyards, creating a sharp orange-brown contrast against the blanket of snow that lies beneath them.
We especially recommend finding wineries with a bit of elevation such as ones along the Golden Mile Bench or the Black Sage Bench, which amplifies the view as a result of your panoramic vantage point.
Scenes of peaceful and vacant vineyards surrounded by snowy hills are a winter-exclusive experience.
Bonus: Chance at Sampling New Releases
We are on a roll we thought we would throw in one more bonus reason: the chance at being one of the first to taste the 2022 new releases.
During the winter months, wineries are spending time bottling up their 2022 harvest, with the aim of rolling out new selections in the spring. There is the chance, however, that some varietals are bottled earlier than others and lucky tasters get a chance to experience these new releases before they hit shelves or are available to the public!
Where to go Winter Wine Tasting near Osoyoos
So now that we’ve convinced you that winter wine touring is a great idea, where can you go? We’ve pulled together a list of the wineries in the area, along with their hours and any additional notes you might need ahead of a visit. Keep in mind that although it is less busy, we still recommended calling a vineyard in advance of a tasting.
- ADEGA ON 45TH: Open Daily 10am-5pm
- BARTIER BROS: Closed for tastings until Spring 2023
- BLACK HILLS: Open Daily 10am-5pm. Reservations Recommended
- BLUE SKY: Open Daily 11am – 5pm
- BORDERTOWN: Open Daily 11am-4pm.
- BURROWING OWL: Open Mon, Tue, Wed 10am-4pm, Thu-Sun 10am-5pm. Reservations Recommended
- CASTORO DE ORO: Open Daily 11am-5pm
- CHECKMATE ARTISANAL WINERY: Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. Reservations Recommended
- CHURCH AND STATE: Open Tues-Sat 11am-4:30pm.
- COVERT FARMS: Closed until April 2023
- CULMINA: Open Wed-Sat 10am-4pm. Reservations Recommended
- DESERT HILLS ESTATE WINERY: Open Thurs-Mon 11am-5pm
- DISTRICT WINE VILLAGE : Open Daily 11am-6pm
- FAIRVIEW CELLARS: Closed until April 2023
- FRENCH DOOR WINERY: Closed until April 2023
- GADZOOK VINERY: Open Thurs-Sun 11am-5pm
- GEHRINGER BROTHERS: Open Mon-Fri 10am-4:30pm
- GOLD HILL: Open Fri-Sun 11am-5pm
- HERE’S THE THING: Closed until April 2023
- HESTER CREEK: Open Daily 10am-6pm
- HIDDEN CHAPEL: Open Fri- Mon 11am-5pm. Reservations only.
- INTERSECTION: Open Wed- Sun 11am-5pm
- JACKSON-TRIGGS: Open Daily 11am-5pm
- KISMET: Open Daily 10pm-6pm
- LA CASA BIANCA: Open Daily 10am-5pm
- LAKESIDE CELLARS: Thursday-Tuesday (Closed Wednesdays), 11am-5pm
- LARIANA: CLOSED FOR TASTINGS.
- LA STELLA: Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm (purchase only)
- LE VIEUX PIN: Open Mon-Fri 11am-5pm (purchase only)
- LIBER WINERY: Open Fri-Sun 12pm-5pm.
- MAVERICK: By appointment only
- MOON CURSER: Closed for Tastings until April 2023; Sales Only (call winery)
- NK’MIP CELLARS: Open Daily 10am-7:30pm
- NOSTALGIA WINES: Open Tues-Sun 12pm-4pm (from Nov 1 until mid-March)
- PHANTOM CREEK: Closed until February 2023
- PIPE DREAMS: Open Tues-Sun 12pm-6pm
- PLATINUM BENCH WINERY: Closed for the season
- QUINTA FERREIRA ESTATE WINERY: Open Fri-Sun 10am-6pm and Mon-Thurs by appointment only
- RAINMAKER WINES: Closed for the season
- RAMIFICATION CELLARS: Open Thurs-Sun 10am-4pm
- RED HORSES VINEYARD: Open Daily 11am-5pm.
- RIVER STONE ESTATE WINERY: Closed for the season
- ROAD 13: Thurs-Mon 10am-4pm. Reservations Recommended.
- RUST WINE CO: Open Daily 11am – 5pm
- SECOND CHAPTER WINE CO.: Closed for the season
- SILVER SAGE: Open Daily 10am-5pm.
- SONORA DESERT WINERY: By appointment only
- SQUEEZED WINERY + DISTILLERY: By appointment only
- STONEBOAT: Open Thur – Sun 11am-4pm.
- TINHORN CREEK: Open Daily 10am-6pm
- VINAMITÉ: Open Fri-Sun 10:30am-4pm. Mon-Thur by appointment only.
- YOUNG & WYSE: Open Daily 11am-4pm.