The Okanagan Valley has award-winning wines and these are some of the best wineries in Oliver.
Updated October 2023
This post is a follow-up to my post that discusses how the Okanagan Valley is the Napa of the North. My previous article covered wineries in Kelowna and Vernon, yet the Osoyoos and Oliver region is an important part of the Okanagan Valley. This time we are reviewing Oliver wineries which are worth a visit.
Wine lovers’ paradise: unveiling the top wineries in Oliver
Welcome to Oliver, the wine lovers’ paradise! Situated in the heart of British Columbia’s wine country, Oliver is home to some of the top wineries in the region. With its warm climate and fertile soil, this picturesque town produces exceptional wines that will delight any palate.
In this article, I will unveil the crème de la crème of wineries in Oliver, where you can indulge in the finest vintages and immerse yourself in the world of winemaking. From family-owned estates with a rich history to boutique vineyards crafting unique and limited-edition wines, Oliver has something for every wine enthusiast.
Whether you are a connoisseur or a casual wine lover, these wineries offer an unforgettable experience. Take a stroll through the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process from passionate experts, and enjoy tasting flights that showcase the diversity and quality of wines produced in this region.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links I receive a small commission that enables me to continue providing you with awesome and informative blog posts like this one.
How many wineries are there in Oliver?
There are just over 40 wineries in Oliver. In fact, Oliver is known as the Wine Capital of Canada, according to Wine BC. It should come as no surprise that it’s an area full of fantastic wineries.
There are almost 200 wineries in the Okanagan Valley, making it impossible to see them all in a few visits. 40 of these wineries are located in Kelowna. If you will also be visiting there, these Kelowna wineries are worth noting.
The terroir of Oliver: What makes it unique for winemaking
Oliver’s terroir is what sets it apart from other wine regions in the world. The region’s unique combination of soil, climate, and topography creates the perfect growing conditions for grapes.
Oliver’s soil is primarily composed of glacial deposits, which provide excellent drainage and impart a unique minerality to the wines. The region’s warm climate and long growing season allow grapes to ripen fully, resulting in rich, complex flavours and aromas.
Furthermore, Oliver’s location in the Okanagan Valley, surrounded by mountains and lakes, creates a unique microclimate that protects the vineyards from extreme weather conditions and provides a perfect balance of sun and shade.
Let’s have a look at three of the best wineries in Oliver that should be on your radar for your next trip to the Okanagan Valley area of Oliver, BC.
Three of the best wineries in Oliver
Church and State Wines
There are two locations for Church and State Wines. One is located in the Okanagan Valley and the other is on Vancouver Island. This was my second visit to the Okanagan Valley location; however, this was a very different experience than when I was here a few years ago.
My reason for returning was to purchase a case of their Lost Inhibitions wine – I just love the labels! Unfortunately, they are under new management and you can longer taste or purchase that line of wines at either location.
While I was disappointed that I couldn’t get the Lost Inhibitions wine, I decided to stay for a wine tasting since I was already there. Wine tastings are always fun for me because I get to try all varietals. I favour red wine as I dislike the majority of white and rosé wines. However, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and this was one of those times. I found a Rosé that I like!
When we finished our tasting I decided to purchase a bottle of the Rosé since it’s rare that I find one I like. When I went to pay, the tasting fee was not waived with my purchase. I was shocked! This was the first time I was charged for a wine tasting when purchasing a bottle of wine. Ever. In all my years of wine tastings worldwide.
One might try to blame COVID, but none of the other wineries I recently visited in the Okanagan Valley charged a tasting fee with purchase. I still purchased the wine but thought it was worth noting so you would be aware.
Road 13 Vineyards
Located in Oliver, BC, Road 13 Vineyards looks like a castle and is worth a stop just to see the building. They require reservations as they do not currently offer counter tastings. All tastings are approximately an hour and include a mini-tour led by a guide that shares information and history about the winery.
The tour of Road 13 Vineyards was quite interesting and I was delighted to learn that they are in the process of becoming organic-certified.
Tour of this Oliver winery with wine tasting is $25 and charged regardless of purchase.
I enjoyed the tasting with generous pours and scenic views. They have produced some award-winning and delicious wines. In fact, they won the #1 Winery in Canada in 2018 from the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada. Road 13 offers 3 tiers of wine on-location, and the high-end Blind Creek Collective has an absolutely amazing Cabernet Sauvignon.
Road 13 is definitely on my list of Oliver wineries worth a visit. Their Honest John has become one of my go-to bottles of red wine to always have on hand. A great value at $19, it’s the perfect everyday dinner wine.
If you splurge on a nice bottle of wine, be sure to have a repour wine saver on hand. It’s a lifesaver for those evenings when you open an expensive bottle, but don’t finish it. It removes the oxygen so the wine stays fresh, allowing you to savour the rest of that delicious wine whenever you like.
More Oliver Wineries worth a visit
Kismet Estate Winery
Judging by the photo above, it is pretty clear that I loved this Oliver winery. Kismet Estate Winery has some delicious wines and they allow you to sample as many as you like. I purchased the two in my hands, and yes, one of them is white! I don’t tend to like white wines, but I always sample them.
The Sparkling Moscato caught my attention as it is very orange-forward. I knew immediately that I was going to use it to make a refreshing Aperol Spritz.
Unlike many other wineries in the area, they accept walk-ins, making them a rather convenient stop for a last-minute tasting. Their wine-tasting fee is waived with a purchase.
Winery in the Okanagan Valley
Kismet Estate in Oliver Winery Restaurant – Masala Bistro
Kismet also has an on-site restaurant, Masala Bistro, that serves Indian food. We enjoyed lunch on the patio, which is a lovely spot to dine. It’s very picturesque as you are surrounded by their grapevines. The menu, as one would expect at a winery, offers a wine pairing with each dish. I absolutely love this feature and wish that more Oliver wineries with restaurants would do this.
Best time to visit Oliver for wine lovers
The best time to visit Oliver for wine lovers is during the summer months, from June to September. This is when the vineyards are in full bloom, and wineries offer a range of events and festivals. The weather is also perfect for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and boating.
However, if you prefer a quieter, more intimate experience, visiting Oliver during the off-season, from October to May, is also a great option. The wineries are less crowded, and the cooler weather is perfect for cozying up by the fireplace with a glass of wine.
Conclusion – Best Oliver wineries worth a visit
And there you have it, three (and a bonus) Oliver wineries worth a visit. In these recent wine tastings, I have noticed a trend toward square wine glasses. I’m not sure how they affect the taste of wine, if at all, but I do like their unique look.
If you are new to wine tastings, check out this awesome guide on wine tastings for beginners. With a few of these quick tips, you’ll be well on your way to tasting like a pro. Or at least, you’ll know the difference between tasting notes and tannins.