Tucked away in the Okanagan Valley and famous for its stunning weather, gorgeous views, and endless vineyards, Summerland truly lives up to its name as a beautiful summer destination. The Okanagan’s semi-arid conditions, with little rainfall and lots of heat and sunshine, make it ideal for growing grapes. Taking advantage of this, The Okanagan has established itself as one of the greatest wine regions in the world, competing with the likes of Italy and France.
What better way to enjoy all these features than on a self-guided bike tour of Summerland’s best wineries? Along the way, you can enjoy world-class wines, the Okanagan’s most breathtaking views, and good fun with friends and family.
When planning a biking wine tour, there are few important things to keep in mind. Before you go, consider the following:
- Plan ahead – Call ahead or check each winery’s website for seasonal hours and bookings. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many wineries require reservations for your tasting tour.
- Safety first – Remember to check your bike’s brakes, tires, and chain before you go and always pack a helmet!
- Start early – Summer in the Okanagan can be hot and busy. Beat the heat and make the most of your tour by starting early.
- Be inquisitive – There’s no such thing as a poor question. This is your opportunity to learn all about the winery and their wines – even the simplest of questions may uncover interesting facts you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
- Less is more – Get the most out of your experience by limiting your tour to 3-4 wineries. This will allow you to spend more time at each and really get to know what makes them special.
- Drink in moderation – Each winery on your tour will be offering several samples, making it easy to over-consume. Take your time and don’t be afraid to avoid varietals that you know you aren’t fond of. This will allow you to taste more wines that you love and really enjoy your bike tour. Don’t forget to mix in some water!
- Relax and enjoy.
To help you get organized, we’ve listed six of our favourite wineries in Summerland below. We recommend finding your top picks and planning the most convenient biking route from there.
Best Stops for a Summerland Biking Wine Tour
1. Heaven’s Gate Estate Winery
Choosing where to start can sometimes be the hardest part. You’ll want to choose a winery that sets you off on the right note and won’t leave you too far from your next destination. We recommend starting with Heaven’s Gate Estate Winery. We have a diverse selection of award-winning wines and a stunning vineyard and cellar. Our log tasting room is run by our passionate and knowledgeable staff to make the most of your visit, plus we are conveniently located near many of the other wineries on this list.
2. Lunessence Winery & Vineyard
Lunessence Winery & Vineyard is an organic certified vineyard, with an emphasis on sustainable and environmentally conscious practices. In addition, their tasting room and patio are gorgeous with views of Okanagan lake. As they put it, “it’s about harmony with the land, the vines, and the wines.”
3. Silkscarf Winery
Silkscarf is a family boutique winery established in 2004. They practice sustainable farming and craft incredible, award-winning wines. They also have a breathe taking tasting room with views of their vineyards and the surrounding valley.
4. Giant Head Estate Winery
Giant Head Estate Winery is another award-winning winery and has been crafting small batches of artisan wines since 2008. Located at the base of Giant’s Head Mountain, this winery is on a beautiful family estate. They have a great selection of wines, including one of our favourites, the Blanc de Noir 2016. For fans of bubbly, this sparkling wine features a pinot noir base and bright, fresh flavours.
5. Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery
Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery is one of the more unique options on this list. Using BC-grown fruits and classic wine-making techniques, they have a robust offering of fruit-forward wines, including an extensive selection of dessert and table wines. With varying levels of sweetness, Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery has something for everyone.
6. Lightning Rock Winery
Lighting Rock Winery winery is perched on a volcanic ridge. The property features a large granite rock perfectly split in two after rumoredly being hit by lightning during a storm, hence the name Lightning Rock Winery. Since finding this plot of land, their small team has sought to create electric, juicy wines and we think they’re doing a great job. Be sure to visit this unique winery.
Time to Ride
Finally, it’s time for the fun part. Go grab your bikes and get tasting! Safe travels, we look forward to seeing you.