Osoyoos is a stunning town at the heart of South Okanagans’ wine country. Lakefront wineries stretch from downtown Osoyoos to Oliver and beyond. It’s the perfect romantic getaway or girls’ weekend away. Whether you’re there for the lakes, wines, or food, we’ve got you covered with this guide.
Travel to Osoyoos
Osoyoos is a 4.5-hour drive from Vancouver. Penticton has a small airport with seasonal flights operating with Pacific Coastal from Vancouver and Westjet from Calgary. Drive if you can, it’s stunning, and having a car makes it easier to get around when you’re there. You can also rent a car at Pentiction airport.
When to Visit / Weather
June and September are the best months to get some sunshine without the crowds. Winter is also stunning with hotel rates at their lowest, but expect some of the wineries to be closed. July and August are REALLY hot and busy.
Where to Stay
Watermark Beach Resort is lakefront luxury in the middle of town. All the rooms have kitchens and balconies. It’s worth the splurge for a lake view! They also have a big pool and hot tub.
Arrive in time for lunch at NK’MIP patio restaurant, followed by a wine tasting. NK’MIP is Canada’s only indigenous winery. The wine is wonderful, the merlot being a crushable, affordable standout. The grounds are extensive, with their own hotel and cultural centre. Take a look and learn about Osoyoos traditional landowners and history.
After lunch, check into your lakeview king suite at the Watermark Beach Resort. Take a wander around the lake or have a swim or hot tub. For a pre-dinner drink, sample some craft beer (or local wine) at North Basin Brewing Co, in the hotel. Their beer is excellent and they have great views from their balcony. For dinner The Restaurant at Watermark is excellent, serving Okanagan infused tapas.
Start your day with a swim, SUP, kayak, or wander around the lake, then pick up some hearty breakfast at Jojo’s cafe across the street. For your wine tour, there are lots of options including self-drive, electric bike tours, or chartered limos. It’s best to book a tour in advance in peak season.
There are 40 wineries in Osoyoos and Oliver and the quality is high, so it’s hard to go wrong. Most charge between $10 and $15 for a tasting, the fee is waived with a wine purchase.
My pick for lunch is Hester Creek, their restaurant Terrafina, is incredible!
Here are some must-see wineries:
Oliver Twist (re-branding to Nostalgia): A female-run winery known for their cab franc & sparkling with a Varga pin-up theme.
Hester Creek: is the perfect lunch stop. Their restaurant, Terrafina, is incredible. The gnocchi is out of this world!
Black Hills: The tasting room is gorgeous and the reds are excellent. This is a high-end winery with a larger price tag on their wine.
NK’MIP: Canada’s only indigenous winery. The patio restaurant is great and the wine is really good. The merlot is a great everyday wine.
Silver Sage: A modest tasting room with some of the most unique and fragrant wines. They’re known for their Gewurztraminer that’s infused with sage. Their wine is low intervention with no sulfites.
Covert Farms: A regenerative organic farm and winery with natural wines.
Rust Wine Co: A well-known old winery with an excellent Gewurztraminer and mineral-laden reds like Meritage and cab franc.
Bartier Bros: Bring a picnic and enjoy the lovely grounds and great wine.
Here’s the Thing: An adorable solar-powered winery in a yellow house.
Jackson Triggs: They’re the biggest producers in Canada but their single vineyard wines will surprise you. Make sure to try their Entourage sparkling!
Order room service and enjoy breakfast overlooking the lake. If you’re feeling active, enjoy the lake, have a round of golf, or go for a hike. Then visit a few more wineries before it’s time to hit the road!
Tips for the best visit:
- Avoid summer holidays – it’s a madhouse!
- Book mid-week or off-season for the best hotel rates.
- To have wineries to yourselves and minimal hotel costs, visit in winter.
- Reserve your meals and tastings, it’s a popular place!
I would like to acknowledge that we are fortunate enough to visit the unceded territory of the Osoyoos Indian band and the Syilx people.