FAQ

What time does the Kelowna tour start and end?

Start Time: Typically between 9:45-10:15am (depending on pick up location)

End Time: Typically between 3:45-4:15pm (depending on the pace of the day)

What time does the Naramata tour start and end?

Start Time: Typically between 9:15-9:45am (depending on pick up location)

End Time: Approximately 5pm (depending on the pace of the day)

What times does the South Okanagan tour start and end?

Start Time: Typically between 9:15-9:30am (depending on pick up location)

End Time: Approximately 5:30pm (depending on the pace of the day)

*Reminder: This tour is not scheduled unless there are a min. 6 guests booked (public, mixed-group or private).

What times does the Okanagan Falls tour start and end?

Start Time: Typically between 9:15-9:30am (depending on pick up location)

End Time: Approximately 5:30pm (depending on the pace of the day)

*Reminder: This tour is not scheduled unless there are a min. 6 guests booked (public, mixed-group or private).

When will the exact pick up time for my tour be confirmed?

Pick up times are confirmed by 6pm the day before the tour, by text message or by email (based on preference selected or guaranteed method of contacting guest).

What is the best way to book a tour?

Please fill out the form on the “Contact Us” page of the website. This message will go directly to Kris or Shannon, who will promptly answer any questions, check availability for you, and confirm your tour booking via confirmation email.

How are reservations confirmed?

All reservations are confirmed via confirmation email. Space is only held once a confirmation email from Experience Wine Tours is received.

Which tours include a winery facility and/or vineyard tour?

Both our Kelowna and Naramata Bench tours include a private winery facility tour of the first winery that we visit. In the warmer months, the Kelowna tours usually also feature a walk through the vineyard.

How many wineries do we visit on the Kelowna tour?

5 wineries

How many wineries do we visit on the Naramata tour?

5 wineries

How many wineries do we visit on the South Okanagan tour?

5 wineries

How many wineries do we visit on the Okanagan Falls tour?

5 wineries

Can we see "the falls" on the Okanagan Falls tour? (Trick question, trick answer!)

No — and that’s because “the falls” are gone! The real “Okanagan Falls” have long been submerged by the waters of Skaha Lake, which rose as a result of the construction of a dam above the falls. They done dammed the lake and flooded the falls!

Is lunch included with all of your tours? What else is included?

Yes!

Unlike many other tour companies, lunch is included in the cost of the tour! We provide a picnic lunch featuring locally-cured charcuterie (pork-based), artisancheeses, fruits and vegetables (locally-sourced when in season), fresh baguette, spreads, crackers, and chilled bottled water.

The tour price also includes all winery tour fees and tasting fees; pick-up and drop-off to many Kelowna and West Kelowna accommodations is included when staying within our pick-up zone.

Can you accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies for the picnic?

We recognize that some of our guests may have dietary restrictions or allergies, and we will do our best to accommodate. It is first and foremost important to let us know if you do have these concerns when booking the tour. However, because we are not a restaurant, we do have some limitations with how many changes we can make to the picnic.

Here is some information about our picnic and the changes we are able to make:

  • All meat products included in the picnic are pork-based.
  • Most cheeses are cow dairy, however the chevre spread from Waterfront Cafe is goat dairy, and we occasionally feature a manchego cheese, which is sheep dairy.
  • The picnic includes items with gluten (pate, baguette, crackers); however, we are able to supply gluten-free Mary’s Crackers to our guests with celiac concerns, and advise gluten-intolerant guests to avoid the pate. All else in the picnic is gluten free!
  • For vegetarian diets, we increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and dairy to ensure the picnic is more veggie friendly!
  • For vegan diets, we supply a healthy selection of fruits and vegetables and always increase these amounts for tours with vegans aboard. However, it may be wise to bring along your own vegan snacks to supplement your meal.

Please ask if you have further questions about our picnic.

Why should we book a tour with your company? There are so many to choose from!

There are lots of reasons why you should book with us!

Excellence: Other than being one of the only all-inclusive tours offered in the Okanagan, all of our sommelier-trained guides are wine industry professionals, who are committed to excellence and provide engaging, informed, first-class service. We can say with absolute confidence that we have the most skilled and knowledgeable team of guides in the valley!

Lunch Included: The price of your tour includes a picnic lunch with all of our tours, which consists of locally-cured charcuterie (pork-based), artisan cheeses, spreads and baguette, and some of our Valley’s amazing produce…everything we like to eat while we are wine tasting! Eating at a winery restaurant could add up to an extra $40 per person once you include tax and tip.

Connected: We are fortunate to have a myriad of connections with desirable wineries, winemakers, and industry professionals within the Okanagan Valley and the BC wine industry in its entirety. This includes some small boutique wineries and vineyards not open to the public. Our friendships and business relationships within the industry enable us to offer experiences unlike any other Kelowna tour company.

Tour in Style: Our guests can relax in style, safety, and comfort in our luxury vehicles, and leave the driving to us.

Value: All of the above truly adds up to the best value for your tourist dollar among wine tour companies in Kelowna.

Bottom line: your experience is our focus.

What type of vehicles do you use?

All of our tours take place in the comfort of our luxury, air-conditioned Mercedes Sprinter vans (maximum of 11 passengers) or our Ford Expedition Max (maximum of 7 passengers).

Which accommodations are inside your pick-up zone?

We offer complementary pick-up and drop off to many hotels, B&Bs, AirBnBs,  and private residences in central Kelowna and West Kelowna. Our pick-up zone lays primarily within several km of downtown Kelowna, and along the Hwy 97 corridor, including locations in West Kelowna. Our goal is to provide a convenient service to our guests, while ensuring more time is spent tasting wine — not riding in a vehicle!

However, we recognize that our region has a variety of accommodation options outside our main pick-up zone. Guests staying outside these areas may be eligible for pick-up and drop-off for a fee of $10-$15 per person (plus 5% GST), depending on their group size, location, and which tour they are joining. These locations may include:

Sheraton Four Points Hotel, YLW/Kelowna International Airport, Black Mountain, Rutland (past Hollywood Rd & Hwy 33), Chute Lake Rd (past Summerhill Winery), Lakeshore Rd (past Summerhill), Gallagher’s Canyon, June Springs, Glenmore (past Scenic Dr), McKinley Landing.

Sparkling Hill, Predator Ridge, Lake Okanagan Resort, and La Casa are outside our pick-up zone. For guests staying at these locations and wishing to join public, mixed-group tours, we suggest hiring or arranging for alternate transportation to meet us at a central pick-up point. This is also applicable to Summerland for guests joining a public, mixed-group tour of Kelowna. FOR PRIVATE GROUPS: For a flat rate of $200 (plus 5% GST) we offer pick-up and drop off to these locations.

Big White is outside our pick-up zone; pick-up and drop-off are not available. For guests staying at Big White and wishing to join public, mixed-group tours, or organizing a private group tour, we suggest hiring or arranging for alternate transportation to meet us at a central pick-up point.

Please check with us if you are unsure if your accommodation is within our pick up zone. Thank you for your understanding, and please feel free to contact us with questions!

What is the maximum group size you accommodate?

Our tour company specializes in tours of more intimate group sizes, with a maximum of 11 guests. We are unable to provide the same personalized experience that is associated with our brand with larger groups. Further, many wineries are unable to accommodate groups larger than 11 guests for the types of experiences we provide.

Do you accept bookings for Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties?

Yes, we do!

Wine touring is a fantastic activity for these types of groups!

For Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties, we require you to “buy out” one of our tour vehicles, thus keeping your event a private tour. There are several options, based on group size:

  • For groups of 8-11 guests, we require you to rent one of our 11-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Vans; payment is required for a min. of 8 seats.
  • For groups of up to 7 guests, you have the option of renting our 7-passenger Ford Expedition Max; payment is required for a min. of 6 seats.
  • For groups of 6 or more wanting a little more room, you are able to rent one of our 11-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Vans; payment is required for a min. of 8 seats.

Renting out the vehicle preserves the special nature of Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties by limiting guests on tour to only your VIPs who have been invited!

PLEASE NOTE: Some wineries that we routinely visit with other groups have a strict “No Bachelor/Bachelorette” policy. This policy applies to Bachelor/Bachelorette groups on organized tours, as well as groups who visit the winery on their own. While we feel that this policy discriminates against this type of group, we are obligated to abide by these regulations out of respect for our long-standing relationship with our winery partners. These circumstances are out of our control, and apologize for any inconvenience.

While the itinerary may differ, your wine tour will still feature a private facility tour different winery, premium wines and a delicious picnic lunch, led by a sommelier-trained guide.

We ask that attire remain tasteful while still festive, and recommend sensible shoes as there may be some varied terrain to walk over during the facility tour.

We thank you for your understanding, and welcome your feedback or questions with regards to this matter.

Do you offer private tours?

Yes!

Private tours are ideal for those celebrating a special occasion, or for those who are looking for a more exclusive tour.

We have a few options, depending on group size:

Our Mercedes Sprinter vans accommodate a maximum of 11 passengers; we offer private tours to groups with a minimum of 8 guests. If your group is less than 8, you can still rent the vehicle provided you pay for a min. of 8 seats.

Our 2017 Ford Expedition Max accommodates a maximum of 7 passengers; we offer private tours in this vehicle to groups with a minimum of 6 guests. If your group is less than 6, you can still rent this vehicle provided you pay for a min. of 6 seats.

Our Platinum Experience tours are always private; click here to learn more.

I'd like to give a wine tour as a gift, do you sell Gift Cards?

Absolutely!

We admit to being totally biased, but we think that a tour with Experience Wine Tours makes THE BEST gift! Choose the tour that you think your wine-loving comrade will love the most, or select a denomination; our Gift Cards are available in increments of $25, starting at $50.

Skip the crowded parking lots and huge lineups–once you order your Gift Card, we’ll ship it to the address of your choice. Shipping & handling may apply if selecting a traceable ExpressPost service through Canada Post.

Order your Experience Wine Tours Gift Card today and start feeling the love!

What is the difference between your Kelowna and Naramata tour?

Both of our Kelowna and Naramata tours offer a memorable wine touring experience, visiting 5 of our favourite tasting rooms and vineyards, with stunning views of the lake, mountains and the Valley. Both tours include a winery facility tour, and both tours are classified as “full-day” tours as we start mid-morning and finish up in the early- to late-afternoon.

The Kelowna tour is somewhat shorter since we remain in the Greater Kelowna area. This region is known primarily for cool-climate varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling, although some wineries are producing red blends made with fruit sourced from vineyards further to the south. Kelowna is home to some of BC’s largest and most well-known wineries, such as Quails’ Gate and CedarCreek.

The Naramata Bench tour features mostly a variety of smaller boutique wineries compared to Kelowna. Naramata’s micro-climate provides for a larger variety of fuller bodied reds, along with both dry and sweeter white wines. The tour is a bit longer as we travel an hour south of Kelowna, past the charming lakeside town of Peachland and through the terraced vineyards and orchards of Summerland before arriving in Penticton, and ultimately on “the Bench.”

If you have spent a lot of time in the Kelowna area, and are more familiar with the local wineries, we suggest exploring further south! Then again…there’s all this delicious Pinot and Riesling and Chardonnay so close to home…

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Still stuck on which tour to take? Call us on 250.300.4436 or 1.866.826.8687 and we’ll offer some expert advice!

Which wineries will we be visiting on the tour?

We’ve developed our itineraries based on several factors, and it truly comes down to: “what kind of guest experience do we like to have while touring and tasting?” We strive to ensure our guests have an overwhelmingly positive experience while on tour with us! We certainly have our favourite wineries that we like to visit in each region, however itineraries can change slightly from tour to tour.

Wineries we typically visit, according to region, may include (but are not limited to) 5 of the following:

Kelowna: CedarCreek, Tantalus Vineyards, Quails’ Gate, Sandhill Wines, The Hatch, Sperling Vineyards, and Kitsch Wines.

Naramata Bench: Laughing Stock Vineyards, La Frenz Winery, Deep Roots Winery, Joie Farm Winery, Nichol Vineyards, Poplar Grove Winery, Upper Bench Wine and Cheese, Bella Wines, and Kanazawa Wines. Our first stop is generally Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards en route to the Bench.

Okanagan Falls:Meyer Family Vineyards, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, Stag’s Hollow Winery,  Liquidity Wines, Noble Ridge, and Painted Rock Estate Winery.

South Okanagan: Culmina Family Estate, La Stella, Road 13 Vineyards, Burrowing Owl, La Vieux Pin, Stoneboat Vineyards, Bartier Bros.Riverstone Estate, and Fairview Cellars.

Platinum Experience: Please contact us for more info.

Which accommodations in Kelowna do you recommend?

Our Preferred Hotel in Kelowna is the Hotel Eldorado — a beautiful heritage boutique hotel located in the Lower Mission district, right on the shores of Lake Okanagan. “The El” is a vacation unto itself — aside from taking your wine tour, you may not want to leave!

Other recommendations include the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Manteo Resort, the Kelowna Inn & Suites, Hotel Zed, and the Royal Anne Hotel. If you are interested in staying at a B&B, we always hear great reviews from our guests when they stay at Lakeshore B&B, A View of the Lake B&B, and A Touch of English B&B.

There are also lots of great Airbnb’s in Kelowna if you check out the Airbnb website.

Visit our Partners and Friends page for more recommendations.

Which restaurants do you recommend in Kelowna?

Our favourite place to dine in Kelowna is Waterfront Wines Restaurant, awarded Best Restaurant in the Okanagan 8 years in a row by Vancouver Magazine. Their menu is inspired by fresh local ingredients, with an excellent selection of both small course/shared plates and entrees. While not actually on the water (but near!) and off the beaten path on Sunset Dr., it’s always a great dining experience, and the wine selection is fantastic! Open daily at 5pm, reservations are highly recommended.

Some of our other favourites include Raudz (please note they do not take reservations), BNA (for a craft beer and delicious appetizers), Central Social Kitchen, Momo’s Sushi, and Wasabi (ramen). All of these are located downtown. Lakeside Dining at the Hotel Eldorado is another incredible spot for great food and stunning views — dine right on the lake, and in summer, on the boardwalk by the marina. Quail’s Gate, Mission Hill and Summerhill Winery all have excellent winery restaurants too, with gorgeous lake and vineyard views!

Where can I get a great pint of craft beer in Kelowna?

The best thing after a hard day of wine tasting is a refreshing beer! Kelowna’s craft beer scene is growing, with a number of options in our downtown core for you to sample.

Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. holds a special place in our mugs…er, hearts…since Matt is one of the founding members! Watch for V&V to open Summer 2018.

Some other tasty and frothy stops:

  • Kettle River Brewing Co.
  • Red Bird Brewing
  • BNA Brewing Co.
  • Tree Brewing Beer Institute
Do you visit Mission Hill Winery on your Kelowna tour?

Although we highly recommend our guests spend an afternoon at Mission Hill wine tasting, walking the property, taking a facility tour and enjoying lunch or a glass of wine and cheese at their outdoor restaurant, we unfortunately do not visit Mission Hill on public, mixed-group tours in Kelowna. Due to the length of our tours and the fact that we visit wineries on both sides of the lake, we find Mission Hill to take up too much time.

However, groups wishing to book private tours may request a visit to Mission Hill. For an additional $10 per guests, we can request a public tasting at the main tasting bar. For an additional $30 per guests, we can request a private, sommelier-led tasting at Mission Hill.

Can we drink alcohol in your tour vehicles?

Consumption of alcohol in our vehicles is against the law. We encourage you to have fun, but also be aware of the law and that your safety is in our hands. Thank you for understanding.

Can I bring my kids on the tour?

Our tours are designed specifically for guests of legal drinking age and therefore all guests must be 19 or older to participate in our wine tours. Many of our guests look forward to the opportunity to be in adult environment during their tour. We unfortunately cannot accommodate children on a non-private tour as we try to respect the wishes of our other guests. Children are permitted on private tours, and guests are required to provide child safety seats/car seats.

Can I bring my dog (or other pet) on tour?

We love animals of all sorts! Unfortunately, we do not allow pets on our wine tours out of respect for all guests and for liability reasons (no matter how tiny or cute they are!). Thank you for your understanding.

Do we still wine tour if it’s raining?

Yes, we tour rain or shine! Rainy days we find are actually a great time to tour, at least you won’t be missing a day at the beach or golf course! Furthermore, most of the tour takes place indoors at the wineries and we have a covered and/or indoor area where we can picnic for lunch.  Please dress for the weather on rainy days.

Do you offer winter tours?

Yes, we tour year-round!

Our full roster of tours are available May through October, but due to seasonal winery closures, only our Kelowna tour is available in the winter months. Winter is actually a great time to tour, as the wineries that remain open tend to be less busy, and there is generally a lot of wine to taste (especially Fall releases)! Plus, our Kelowna tour in winter still features our delicious picnic lunch.

If the snow is flying, we’re staying warm and tasting some of our Valley’s finest vintages!