Discover winter wine-tasting in the Okanagan on the Lakeshore Wine Route
Winter in the wine country is as beautiful as it is delicious.
“James is the resident musician, and he really has the music living inside him. It just flows out of him freely and easy, which makes everyone feel so good,” says Ezra.
To sip and to savour
Three kilometres away is the much-loved St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery.
Run by brothers Leo and Andy Gebert, the winery’s idyllic rural landscape provides the perfect backdrop for wine tasting.
Just 11 years ago, the Okanagan Mountain Park fire wreaked havoc on the property.
“The winery and house went up in flames in 2003, and the original St-Hubertus portion was entirely destroyed,” says Andy, the younger of the brothers. Ten weeks later they were back in business again. “It’s amazing, with wine you can bribe anyone to show up and help,” he adds, laughing.
The winery’s high quality, award-winning wines continue to be crafted using 100% estate-grown grapes.
“We only make wine that we grow ourselves,” says Andy.
From well-balanced Pinot Noir to luscious dessert wine, the winery offers a variety of delicious flavours for you to enjoy.
St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery is like home. Upon arrival, the tight-knit, friendly staff offers a warm welcome. There are no guided tours, so visitors are invited to wander and enjoy a relaxing and leisurely stroll around the vineyard. Compared to the busy and hectic summer months at the winery, the contrasting calmness and serenity of the off-season are hypnotic.
“There is a more spiritual world in the vineyard in the winter. Everything is asleep and there is not so much hard work to do,” says Andy.
The Wine Shop offers a variety of items, including wine accessories, independent Canadian wine books/cookbooks and local artisan foods and products. Tastings are available during the fall and winter months
The adventure of wine is a short trip away
Just about a kilometre further south is the final destination, CedarCreek Estate Winery. Twice named Canada’s Winery of the Year, CedarCreek’s fertile soil produces award-winning wines, including the unique Platinum “Block 2” and “Block 4” Pinot Noirs as well as their delicate and aromatic Gewürztraminer.
Its views are breathtaking.
“The vineyards are gorgeous in November,” says marketing manager Anahita Pouget. And Lakeshore is so accessible.
Located near the city of Kelowna, the four wineries allow you to have “the best of both worlds,” she adds. “Everything you need in a city setting with easy access to a rural landscape.”
Located within CedarCreek's Mediterranean-style main building, the Tasting Room’s exposed wood beams and rich, warm tones are inviting to both novice and well-seasoned wine lovers.
Off-season allows more time for its professional staff, with in-depth knowledge of wine, to chat and answer questions.
“It’s a wonderful time to enjoy great wine and great stories,” says Anahita.
Call and make an appointment for tasting or arrive and book one there.
Although the Vineyard Terrace restaurant is closed during the winter months, the chef still provides yummy pairings.
The last sips are sometimes the best
During the colder months, CedarCreek offers guided winery tours for groups of 8 or more (should call ahead).
For those wishing to enjoy the Lakeshore Wine Route overnight, CedarCreek offers corporate rates at the landmark Hotel Eldorado.
With its spectacular landscapes, delicious wines and welcoming atmosphere, the Lakeshore Wine Route is a winter destination worth exploring.
Getting to wine country
It's a short plane ride from Vancouver. Rates are affordable and flights are reliable during colder months. Or it's about a five hour drive from the city.
Spend the night at one of the many hotels you can find nearby in downtown Kelowna. Or find a bed and breakfast and stay the night in the valley and enjoy the sound of silence as the sun goes down.