South Okanagan in the summer is a picturesque paradise marked by wine tours, nights on the patio, and carefree lake days. Think Osoyoos – Kelowna’s less busy, underrated sibling. And while we can certainly attest to its beauty during summertime – the south valley truly makes for a fantastic destination any time of year. Even Vogue recognized it as one of the most “underrated wine regions in the world.”
So, if you’ve been eyeing a couple of these spots but couldn’t make the trip out this summer, this list is for you. Here are 12 amazing things to do in South Okanagan.
Klippers Organic Acres
The Similkameen Valley is ripe with organic wine and farmland – no pun intended. And Klippers is one of the biggest names in the game. In fact, the family-owned farm just won Producer of the Year during Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Rewards, and for very good reason.
Known widely for their beloved Row Fourteen restaurant and Untangled Cidery, Klippers has become a fixture in the Similkameen Valley community and beyond. In addition to selling their produce at their very own marketplace and café, Klippers’ fruits & veggies are available at farmers’ markets across Vancouver, and through their own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives.
You can stay up to date with their full event calendar here, which includes farmers’ markets through April 2023.
Fall/winter hours: Klippers Marketplace and Café open from 8 to 4 pm from Monday to Sunday, Guest Suites open 24 hours
Spring/summer hours: Open 7 days a week, hours TBA mid-April
Where: 625 MacKenzie Road, Cawston
Row Fourteen & Untangled Cider
Now, if you’re a few wineries in and ready for a bite to eat – you can’t go wrong with Row Fourteen. The restaurant takes the best of Klippers’ produce and turns it into a delicious, almost hypnotizing array of seasonal plates. This fall, we suggest the Sieglinde Potato (cucumbers, oyster mushrooms, dill, aioli) and the Cider Sausage, which lies in a flavourful bed of hummus, romesco sauce, and arugula. Oh, and their housemade sourdough with smoked butter, of course.
And to wash it all down, a flight of crisp Untangled Cider is all but necessary. From the off-dry Lionheart Plum with hints of mint & basil to the floral Lavender Nectarine, there are simply too many unique options to stop at just one.
Fall/winter hours: Row Fourteen: Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 3 pm & 5 pm to 8 pm (closed from mid-December to February 1st) Untangled Cidery: 11 am to 8 pm
Where: 725 MacKenzie Road, Cawston
Clos Du Soleil Winery
Renowned for its delicious Bordeaux-inspired wines, Clos Du Soleil is a small artisanal winery & vineyard that keeps things simple by letting the rocky Similkameen land do its thing, with minimal intervention from wine growers. The result? Classic wines with complex flavours that bring a whole new meaning to ‘aging with grace.’
The winery’s tight-knit team is like the Von Trapp family of winemaking, led by Tasting Room Manager Amanda Elyzen, Managing Director & Winemaker Michael Clark, & Vineyard Operations Manager Steve Roche. Each member helps out with the vineyard to ensure that every sip of Clos Du Soleil is better than the last.
Fall/winter hours: Open until October 31st, tastings available by appointment only during winter months
Spring/summer hours: Open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm from April 1st to October 31st
Where: 2568 Upper Bench Road, Keremeos
Old Grist Mill & Gardens
The Old Grist Mill is truly one of the valley’s best-kept secrets – though it won’t be for long. The heritage museum & farm is home to hundreds of rare apples, including endangered or ‘lost’ varieties as well as ones that were ‘happy accidents’ – which make for a delicious treat if you ask us.
Whether you want a break from all the wine or just really love apples and local history, this is a must-visit spot for folks of all ages. In addition to a family-oriented campground (voted Best Campground in the South Okanagan), visitors can explore a working 1877 water wheel-powered flour mill, participate in one of their regular workshops or community bonfires, and enjoy lunch in their Kitchen. Oh, and enjoy their popular summer concert series!
Fall/winter hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, closed from November to April.
Spring/summer hours: TBA in late May
Where: 2691 Upper Bench Road
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Established in the heart of wine country, Twisted Hills is the first stand-alone cidery in the Valley. The “apple-focused” cidery grows a variety of organic apples, many of which are cider-specific varieties. Basically, imagine a flavourful and well-balanced blend in every sip. Our top picks? Definitely the Tangled Rose, Pippins Fate (for fans of dry cider), or the Pommeau if you want an extra kick.
Fall/winter hours: Tasting room will operate by appointment only after October 31st
Spring/summer hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Where: 2070 Highway 3, Cawston
Phantom Creek Estates
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Phantom Creek is an experience in and of itself. The estate probably boasts one of the most gorgeous vistas we’ve ever seen, with sunbathed grape vines stretching as far as the eye can see. With several decades of viticulture and winemaking under its belt, Phantom Creek officially opened to the public in 2020, followed by its restaurant in 2021.
Now, the powerhouse of a vineyard has produced the “Best Red Wine in Canada” on three separate occasions – which is certainly no easy feat given the incredible competition in the region. Most recently, Phantom Creek has earned its official organic certification – which they’re following up with a full transition to organic and biodynamic farming practices.
This month, you can check out their October Dinner Series or book a tour/tasting from 11 am to 5 pm from Thursday to Monday.
Fall/winter hours: Tours & tastings are offered from Friday to Sunday (last tasting at 4:15 pm)
Spring/summer hours: Open 7 days a week from 11 to 5 pm
Where: 4315 Black Sage Road
Covert Farms Family Estate
This one is definitely a trip highlight if you’re looking for something that the whole family can enjoy. The fourth-generation family-owned farm & winery boasts an award-winning portfolio of organic wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Rosé, and their iconic red blends: The Bluff and the Amicitia.
And their charcuterie offerings are simply jaw-dropping. Picture a beautiful spread of locally sourced cheese and meat adorned with fresh produce and edible flowers from their farm. One step onto their patio will have you feeling like a kid again.
And for the actual kids (and the occasional adult) – there’s a giant trampoline and slip ‘n slide to take advantage of, as well as child-friendly meat and cheese “tastings,” private tours to meet the farm animals, and campfire cookouts. Oh, and some amazing u-pick fruit and veggie options, courtesy of Secrest Organics.
Fall/winter hours: Tours and wine tastings available until the end of October
Spring/summer hours: TBA mid-April
Where: 300 Covert Place, Oliver
District Wine Village
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Located just outside of Oliver, District Wine Village brings together some of the best in the winemaking scene (13 wineries total) in one central space, accompanied by the sound of flowing fountain water and live music. From Silhouette to Canter to Nk’Mip Cellars (AKA- the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America), there’s something for everyone at The Village.
And it’s not just wine on the menu, either. In addition to Trading Post Eatery, The Village’s production facilities can handle all kinds of makers, including cideries, breweries and distillers. If you’re looking to try a couple in one go – this is a fantastic option.
Those visiting in November or December can check out their outdoor Winter Markets and a leather workshop at Canter Cellars.
Fall/winter hours: Thursday to Monday from noon to 5 pm starting November
Spring/summer hours: Open Wednesday to Monday from 12 pm to 6 pm
Where: 100 Enterprise Way, Oliver
Bartier Brothers Winery
Born & raised in the Valley, brothers Don and Michael set out to create the winery of both their dreams, respectively. Now, visitors can enjoy a tasting under twinkling garden party lights and grapevines and savour the “unspoilt” flavours of the land. When it comes to creating great wine that is a true expression of the Okanagan, this family-owned winery truly has it down to a science.
Fall/winter hours: Closed for the season after Thanksgiving
Spring/summer hours: Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm starting April 17th
Where: 4821 Ryegrass Road, Oliver
Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre
Fun fact: Osoyoos is known as Canada’s only desert. And the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre is the place to be if you want to learn about the unique wildlife and First Nations who call the land home. With a state-of-the-art interpretive centre and plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits to check out, this one’s definitely a great daytime pick if you have an afternoon free.
Year-round hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm
Where: 1000 Ranch Creek Road
Corcelettes Estate Winery
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Corcelettes Estate is definitely one of those places you might mistake for someone’s private cottage or farm if you’re passing through. But if you stop and slow down to smell the proverbial roses (and graze on the fresh fruit stands), you’ll see that this spot is truly a hidden gem in the making.
If you’re looking for a charming spot to sip some delicious Syrah, Bordeaux, and Pinor Noir varieties – then look no further than Corcelettes. Guests can enjoy their glass of wine (and vista viewing) from their covered patio during the warmer months, and even book a stay at their guest house, which is open year-round.
Fall/winter hours: Tasting room and storefront close for the season on October 24th
Spring/summer hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Where: 2582 Upper Bench Road, Keremeos
The Art Gallery Osoyoos
Finally, we thought we’d map out a solid morning activity for folks with some time to spare. First up, we’d suggest grabbing coffee (and breakfast sandwiches) from Jojo’s and perusing the local consignment shops along Main Street – because you never know what treasures you’ll find. Next up is checking out the local Art Gallery, which opened in the ’90s and is still run by volunteers. Support local and guest artists, and see what’s on in terms of seasonal events.
Year-round hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: 8713 Main Street, Osoyoos
And that’s a wrap on some great things to do in South Okanagan. Consider this list as a solid jumping-off point for your next trip to the valley, whichever season it may be!
This author was hosted by Destination Osoyoos and Watermark Beach Resort.
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