Fancy a quick wine tasting on your road trip along Highway 3 (BC, Canada)? Did you know it is possible to drop in and try some wine, even without a reservation? Obviously things are even smoother if you book in advance; But if you tend to go hiking, and never know what time you’ll arrive at your next destination… It’s good to know last minute wine tasting is possible! This post will introduce vineyards we visited in Osoyoos and Keremeos, without any bookings.
Drinking and road trips
I should probably mention, that although Marc and I both did some of these tastings, I used the spit bucket while we still needed to drive. The wine glasses we had at Nk’Mip Cellars were HUGE, so Marc had to drink most of them while I just had a couple of sips. Once we arrived in Keremeos we could walk, so we both tasted the wines. Obviously, don’t drink and drive!
Wine in Osoyoos
We’ve stayed in Osoyoos a few times now. It is a beautiful town at southern end of the Okanagan Valley in BC, surrounded by mountains, desert and expansive vineyards. Osoyoos Lake is famous for being warm, so great for swimming and watersports. It’s also on the border, so part of Osoyoos Lake stretches into the United States.
Lakeside Cellars has a stunning location, right on the eastern shore of Lake Osoyoos.
Location: 5221 Lakeshore Drive, Osoyoos, BC, V0H 1V6, Canada
Cost: $5 for tasting bar (25mins) or $10 for seated tastings (45 mins.) If you make a purchase, the tasting fee is waived.
There are a couple of options for wine tastings. The speedy version takes place on their lake-view patio on top of wine barrels. We tried bubbles, rose, chardonnay and a couple of their reds (cab franc and reserve provenir.) I am afraid I was not a massive fan of their wines, but Marc liked the cab franc.
Incredible location with vines, Lake Osoyoos and mountains as a backdrop.
Location: 1400 Rancher Creek Road Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V6, Canada
Cost: $5 or $15 for premium version. Tasting fee is non-redeemable.
Nk’Mip Cellars is owned and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band (pronounced in-ka-meep.)
We LOVED this winery! We were unable to join a wine tasting (the couple queuing in front of us nabbed the last one of the day.) So we opted for “wine and wings” on their patio. We ended up buying a couple of bottles that were fabulous, so we plan to go back for a proper tasting. Even if you can’t join a tasting; I highly recommend spending time on their patio!
Drive between Osoyoos and Keremeos
The drive between these two areas is beautiful. It’s 48km, taking you from the Okanagan Valley through the mountains to the Similkameen Valley (around 40 mins.) I strongly recommend stopping just outside of Osoyoos to see Spotted Lake or kłlilx’w. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Wine in Keremeos!
I always think of the Similkameen valley as a great place for fruits and vegetables (especially peaches) but it turns out the warm weather and volcanic soil is a recipe for really good wine too. There are a whole bunch of wineries and cider-makers here. We stayed at the Crowsnest Vineyard, so we tried their wine, as well as Eau Vivre.
Eau Vivre Winery & Vineyards
Easy to reach tasting room just off Highway 3 in Cawston
Location: 716 Lowe Dr. Cawston, BC V0X 1C2, Cawston, BC, V0X 1C2
Phone: 250- 499-2655
Cost: Tasting fee is redeemable so I forgot how much it was(!)
We didn’t know anything about Eau Vivre before we visited. We just drove past and saw that it was open, so dropped in to see if we could do a tasting with them. We were so glad we did! The owner Sukh (and his wife Neetu) bought the winery in 2017 and it seems like it is a passion project for them.
We really love their Riesling (it’s not too sweet, and has a lovely rich flavour), their chardonnay and their “Buddhaful” red wine. We loved it so much that we joined their wine club. It might just be our taste in wine, but this is one of my favourite BC wineries.
Another beautiful spot surrounded by vines and mountains in Cawston.
Location: 2035 Surprise Rd, Cawston, BC, V0X 1C0
Crowsnest Vineyards is a bit more than a winery. It’s also a guesthouse with a fantastic restaurant that serves German food including excellent sourdough breads.
We had a flight of wines to try with dinner. I liked their Riesling (I think I just love Okanagan Rieslings!) and their Similkameen Sunset which was a lovely off-dry rose.
Dinner at Crowsnest Vineyards
The most pleasant surprise was the delicious German food! Marc is a huge schnitzel fan, and I tried a very tasty duck. This was a treat as we’d been camping for the last few days, so having a shower and extra tasty food was so welcome.
Crowsnest Guesthouse Breakfast
I should also mention that if you stay at the Crowsnest Guesthouse, the breakfast is lovely, and you get to try some of their homemade bread. It was so good that we bought more from their shop to take home.
We really enjoyed taking some time to visit a few wineries on our roadtrip through Osoyoos and Keremeos. The following day (of course) we explored the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area around Mount Kobau so we went back to hiking.
The areas around Osoyoos and Keremeos are beautiful, warm and great for tasting wine. If you are driving through the area, I highly recommend dropping in to try some wine (or to stay at the Crowsnest Guesthouse.) What do you think? Do you like the sound of this warm, desert region of British Columbia? Please click on the pins to save this for later.