This article was published on September 11th, 2011
The Okanagan Valley is the heart of British Columbia’s wine country, and right in the centre of it all is the beautiful city of Kelowna, the birthplace of BC wine. The first grape vines were planted in the 1860’s by Father Pandosy and in 1932 the very first commercial winery was opened, kicking off what is now Canada’s largest wine tourism region.
Quail’s Gate Estate Winery is one of over 20 wineries in Kelowna. Opened in 1989, the 125-acre, south facing, lakefront property is located on the original home site of Okanagan pioneers, the Allison family (1870’s). Today, the vineyard is owned and operated by the Stewart family, employing more than 60 employees year-round.
Each year Quail’s Gate Estate Winery produces 55,000 cases of wine, equaling 400,000 liters. To grow enough grapes for their production, Quail’s Gate owns and operates six different vineyard locations. The majority of the wineries focus is on ultra-premium Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Old Vines Foch
- Chenin Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Merlot Fortified Vintage Foch
- Optima Botrytis Affected
- Riesling Ice Wine
Many of Quail’s Gates wines can be sampled at the Wine Shop’s tasting bar. Overlooking Okanagan Lake, the extremely knowledgeable staff will help guide you through a tasting tour of a number of the premium wines.
Located next door to the Wine Shop is the Old Vines Restaurant. The chef works with local suppliers and organic growers using the freshest ingredients from the Okanagan and the West Coast. The fresh dishes highlight each season and are perfectly paired with estate wines.
For more information on wine touring, accommodations and more activities in Kelowna, visit the Tourism Kelowna website.