FREE SHIPPING on all orders of 6 bottles or more

Cart 0 items: $0.00
Great Estates Okanagan

The Perfect Mother’s Day for Wine-Loving Moms

things to do for mother's day in the okanagan

Ditch the Bouquet and Give her a Wine Experience!

If your mom is a big fan of wine, then don’t bother getting her flowers or another cookbook - give her what she loves.

If there’s one thing we’re sure Mom loves more than wine, it’s you. So, why not bring her to one of our wineries and enjoy a wine experience with her?

We’ve got a variety of winery experiences that will elevate her knowledge and appreciation of wine. Plus, they’re a whole lot of fun!

Wine Experience Centre

The Great Estates Wine Experience Centre at the Lakeside Resort in Penticton will have the bubbles open all Mother’s Day weekend. So, if Mom loves sparkling wine, a visit here would earn you some serious daughter/son/husband Brownie points!

You can also book the Wine and Cheese ‘Perfect Pairing’ Experience or try the popular Wine+Chocolate=Happiness tasting. If you have a group of 8-12, you can book a private, custom tasting!  

You don’t need a reservation if you want to come taste some bubbly, but you will need to reserve for a wine experience. You can do that here.

The Wine Experience Centre at the Lakeside Resort in Penticton is open from 10 am - 6 pm daily.

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

At Sumac Ridge in Summerland, you can choose from several elevated wine tasting experiences including the Progressive Pairings, Black Sage Food & Wine Pairings, or the Black Sage Tasting Gallery.

Mom will feel extra special if you take her to the Mother’s Day Bubbles ‘N’ Bites on May 12th from 3:30 - 4:30. It includes five vivacious sparkling wines paired perfectly with small bites served in the Steller’s Jay Sparkling Wine Cave.

Reserve your spot here. Sumac Ridge is open 10 am - 5 pm daily.  

celebrating mom at sumac ridge winery in the okanagan

See Ya Later Ranch

This historic and scenic winery in Okanagan Falls is open for lunch on Mother’s Day! You can’t go wrong with the new menu. Everything from the chicken tinga sandwich to the reimagined Nicoise salad is delectable. Plus, it all comes served with that stunning view from the patio!

Or, you can take in the view from the tasting bar where fido is also welcome!

Reservations for lunch are not required but recommended. See Ya Later Ranch is open from 10 am - 5 pm daily. Find more details here.

Jackson-Triggs & Inniskillin Tasting Gallery

Drop by the Jackson-Triggs & Inniskillin Tasting Gallery in Oliver on Mother’s Day to enjoy wines from three distinct wineries - Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin, and SunRock Vineyards. You can also treat Mom to one of our new experiences.

Learn all about Terroir in the daily masterclass which includes a tasting and is available daily at 10:30am and 2:00pm. Or, you might want to try the Canadian Classics Wine & Food Experience which is happening every day at noon. Make a reservation to ensure you don’t miss out. You can do that here.  The Jackson-Triggs & Inniskillin Tasting Gallery is open from 10 am - 5 pm daily.


Nk’Mip Cellars

Down in Osoyoos at Nk’Mip Cellars, the Patio Restaurant is now open for the season where the food, wine, and view vie for your attention. Plus, the most popular tours and tastings are back and available on Mother’s Day. Mom might like to experience the Qwam Qwmt Tasting Gallery (now accepting reservations). 

Or, you could take her on the daily Land to Legacy Tour at 2 pm. If your Mom loves culture and food, book a spot for the 3:30 pm “The Perfect Union: Four Food Chiefs Wine & Food Pairing Tour” which features wine paired with indigenous cuisine.

Book your spot here. Nk’Mip Cellars is open 10 am - 6 pm daily.

mother's day at nkmip cellars in the okanagan

And, if you can’t make it to one of the wineries with Mom this Mother’s Day you can still give her the winery experience. Book an experience for her or give her a Great Estates Okanagan gift certificate which she can use at any one of our wineries or the Wine Experience Centre at the Lakeside Resort.  Happy Mother’s Day!


Time Posted: May 6, 2019 at 11:10 AM Permalink to The Perfect Mother’s Day for Wine-Loving Moms Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
March 27, 2019 | Great Estates Okanagan

Explore the Amazing Pinot Noirs of the Okanagan

Discover the Variety of Pinot Noir Wines in the South Okanagan

The pinot noir grape originates from the Burgundy region of France but it thrives in the South Okanagan. 

We asked three of our winemakers to share their approach to pinot noir. 

We start our exploration with Derek Kontkanen, winemaker for Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Winery. He shares the Dark Horse Pinot Noir with us. This wine comes from grapes grown on the Golden Mile Bench - British Columbia's first sub-appellation. As Derek explains, the wine has a clear sense of terroir. 

Next up is the Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir from Nk'Mip Cellars. Senior winemaker, Randy Picton describes this wine and explains how it represents excellence in wine. Plus, he offers his favourite pairing for this wine. It'll definitely make you want to visit the Nk'Mip patio restaurant! 

Finally, we hear from David Saysomsack the winemaker at See Ya Later Ranch. His Legacy Pinot Noir is exceptional because, as he explains it, it's made with the 'best of the best'. If you're looking for a Pinot Noir that breaks the mould, this is the wine to try. 

Learn more about all three wines in this video.

Pinot Noir Wine Tour of the South Okanagan

These Pinot Noirs show how much diversity you can find in a varietal within a specific geographic region. But, why take our word for it? Make your next wine tour an exploration of the amazing Pinot Noirs of the South Okanagan. Start at See Ya Later Ranch in Okanagan Falls, make your way to Inniskillin Estate Winery in Oliver, and end your tour at Nk'Mip Cellars with a beautiful view of the Osoyoos. Or, try them all in one stop at the Great Estates Wine Experience Centre in Penticton. 

We're happy to answer any questions you have and we'd love to see pictures from your Pinot Noir Wine Tour! Connect with us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter


Time Posted: Mar 27, 2019 at 10:08 AM Permalink to Explore the Amazing Pinot Noirs of the Okanagan Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
February 27, 2019 | Great Estates Okanagan

Planning Your Perfect Okanagan Wedding

vows with a view at see ya later ranch

Vineyards, Vistas, and Vino are all Part of a Winery Wedding

Mention the term ‘destination wedding’ and chances are images of beaches and palm trees pop up. But, that’s all changing. Couples today are looking to keep their destination weddings a little closer to home and the Okanagan is becoming a real hot spot.

We’ll look at this new trend, explore what it means for couples, and how they can plan an Okanagan vineyard wedding with ease.

Why is the Okanagan so Popular for Weddings?

Monti Samuel is the co-owner of Coco Events and Weddings. She loves to bring couples to the Okanagan for their dream wedding. She says we can thank the exchange rate for the recent interest in Okanagan vineyard weddings.

But it’s not just because of the economics. The Okanagan offers couples the whole package as a destination. Monti points out that there’s a lot to keep the bridal party and guests happy before and after the big day. Guests can easily make a long weekend or a week out of visiting the beaches, dining, trying out a few adventures (like zip-lining or race car driving), enjoying the spa, and wine touring (of course!).

Or, it might include getting out on Okanagan Lake, explains Monti, “Depending on the size of the group, we’ve done the night before reception on a big boat.”

Tips for Planning a Beautiful Okanagan Wedding

So, how do you pull off the perfect winery wedding when you’re hundreds of kilometres away? Monti’s response should come as no surprise, “Hire a planner.”  She’s not being smug. The truth is, most destination weddings require a person on the ground who’s familiar with all of the venues, the caterers, and the logistics.

Unless the couple wants to take the time to visit the Okanagan in advance and do the leg work themselves, hiring a planner is a pretty smart way to go. But, unlike other destination weddings, there is still a lot of room to personalize the day and make it exactly the way you want.

Start with the Big Picture

Monti says each couple has a vision (usually) and that helps her find the perfect location for them. She does have her favourites, though.

“See Ya Later Ranch is such a special place. It’s almost like you’re transported into your own little wonderland of a winery where it doesn’t feel like there’s anything around you. It’s such an intimate location even though there is so much space there. And, there’s so much for a planner; there is so much to play with. They have so many different locations on the winery for a bride and groom - a location that you can get married in, to tenting, to a big open grassy space, to the big barn that they have, to the patio that you can do something on. You can go out to the front lawn and have a cocktail party, you can go out to the back lawn and have a dance floor, the options there are so diverse.”

Wedding party on the lawn with a tent at see ya later ranch in okanagan falls

See Ya Later Ranch really does give couples a lot of options on location but the other thing that sets See Ya Later apart is their vast wine portfolio.  

Monti says that See Ya Later is an ideal winery wedding location because they’ve got a good selection of wines, “They’ve got a sparkling, which is very important at a wedding, and they’ve got a very diverse choice of reds and whites for a bride and groom. And, at a whole range of price points, as well.”  

Having a large wine portfolio to choose from is particularly valuable to couples who want to give their guests a really special dining experience that includes wine pairings. Otherwise, when it comes to picking a single wine for dinner, Monti suggests that couples pick a middle of the road red and white for the dinner - a people pleaser. Wine experts at See Ya Later work directly with the couple on wine selection.

One of the best things about having a wedding at a winery is that the guests have the opportunity to experience a real variety of wines. “Guests love it. If you bring guests to a winery where the wine is fabulous, like See Ya Later, even the guests are going to go home with bottles of wine,” says Monti.

But, not everyone is a wine drinker and many couples envision also having a cocktail bar. What many people don’t know is that a lot of wineries aren’t licensed for that. Luckily, See Ya Later Ranch is! So, the martini crowd can easily mingle with the vino lovers.

sparkling wine served at wedding at see ya later ranch in okanagan falls

Dialing in the Details

Beverage licenses are just one of the little details that couples have to figure out. More importantly, they have to know which questions to ask when it comes to planning their big day. They might have this perfect picture in their minds but it’s all of the little details that add up to create that picture.

Some couples enjoy figuring out these details and, when it comes to a destination wedding, sometimes having a ‘partial planner’ is all they need. This is someone who will join the couple in the last month or so to make sure all of the T’s are crossed and the I’s dotted. It helps to take the pressure off the couple during an already stressful time. These planners coordinate with the winery so that the couple can relax and enjoy the day.

See Ya Later Ranch loves to host weddings and has comprehensive packages to choose from or is happy to create custom options. Whether the bride and groom dream of saying ‘I Do’ in front of a scenic valley vista, dine in the vineyard, or dance barefoot on the lawn, every detail will be taken care of. Especially with the help of planners like Monti at Coco Events and Weddings. See Ya Later Ranch is honoured to be one of Coco’s preferred venues.

Photo credit: Kevin Trowbridge Photography


Time Posted: Feb 27, 2019 at 10:41 AM Permalink to Planning Your Perfect Okanagan Wedding Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
December 10, 2018 | Great Estates Okanagan

How to Pick the Perfect Gift for the Oenophile on Your List

gift ideas for wine lovers

Gift Ideas for Wine-Lovers

Count yourself lucky if you've got a wine-lover on your list this holiday season. Just buy them some wine! We know it can be intimidating purchasing wine for someone who really knows their vino. Here are a few tips for buying wine for the oenophile on your holiday shopping list. 

Select a Crowd-Pleaser. 

What's their favourite wine? This is almost an impossible question because 1) it is likely to change often and 2) it might depend on their mood, their meal, or their company. Instead, stick with a crowd pleaser. This way, you can give it knowing it's a well-loved wine and they can serve it knowing it's a well-loved wine. Win-win. Not sure which are crowd pleasers? Visit the Great Estates Wine Experience Centre before the holidays, ask the winery associate to give you the low-down. The Centre stocks favoured wines from all of our Okanagan wineries so you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for. Did you know we have over 7 rosés to choose from and a wide selection of winery-exclusive wines?  And, as a bonus - you get to go to the tasting bar and discover for yourself why these are so popular! 

No time for that? Take advantage of Great Estates Okanagan's Gift Guide and online shopping. And, if you're buying for more than one wine-lover (and you want to get your shopping done all at once) email us to place a special order and we'll take care of all of the shipping for you.  

Give them an Award-winner. 

While everyone has their personal taste preference, the judges at wine competitions have honed theirs for years. When they get together and collectively agree that a wine is the best - it’s a pretty sure bet your loved one will agree. Or, at the very least be interested in trying it. 

Plus, buying an award-winning wine as a gift sends a clear message that you think they deserve the best. Select the Platinum, Double-Gold, or Gold winners from any wine competition to send this message. 

Find Something Unique. 

Every oenophile (or budding oenophile) loves to try wine. Experiencing a variety of different wines is the only way for them to develop their palate and increase their understanding of wine. So, give them a bottle that will expand their wine knowledge. 

For example, Tempranillo is not a very common variety in the Okanagan so giving them a bottle of the Inniskillin Okanagan Discovery Series Tempranillo or Sparkling Tempranillo would be an exciting option. The Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz is another unique wine that might fit the bill. There aren’t a lot of sparkling red wines that are produced in Canada. This is a style of wine more common in Australia, so giving them a bottle of this wine is like giving them an international experience. 

Make it Special. 

Some of the best gifts are the ones that we know the recipient wouldn’t buy for themselves. This is why icewine is such a common wine gift. Icewines tend to be a little more expensive and they are often enjoyed as a special treat. 

Icewines aren’t the only wines that fit this bill. A fortified wine, like Black Sage Vineyard Pipe, is another great option. This dessert-style, red wine is generally served after dinner and savoured over conversation. 

Of course, there’s a bottle of bubbles. While we think any occasion is an occasion for sparkling wine, a gifted bottle certainly still holds that cachet of celebrations to come. 

Give them a Wine-tasting Experience Instead. 

If the thought of buying a wine still feels overwhelming, then give your loved one the opportunity to try a variety. All of our wineries offer elevated wine tasting experiences. These often include food pairings and an opportunity to taste winery exclusive wines. And, there’s always an education component which your oenophile is sure to love. For example, learning how to pair chocolate with wine, how sparkling wine is made, or how winemakers blend wine. 

There are also amazing wine and food events throughout the year at our wineries. One of our most popular is Chef Meets BC Grape. This event features wineries from all over the Okanagan as well as chefs from across BC. The food, wine, and atmosphere are spectacular. The event is held in the vineyard at See Ya Later Ranch in June and tickets are already available (at an early bird price until January 15, 2019). 

Gifts of experiences are often cherished because they generate such great memories. Why not make the experience extra special and include yourself in the gift? We bet time with you is gift enough. You can book an experience at any of our wineries or on our website. Gift certificates for experiences can also be picked up at the winery or online.

The Gift of Knowledge.

When people first get into wine, they learn about how to sniff and sip to determine if they like a wine or not. They might learn a little bit of wine vocabulary so they can describe how a wine smells or tastes. For a lot of people, this is enough. 

If someone is really keen to understand wine and the winemaking process, they take it a step further by registering for the WSET. The WSET is actually the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. They’ve created three levels of awards or levels that people can take to improve their understanding of wine. 

Many people who work in the wine industry have this designation. In the Okanagan, anyone keen to get their training can check out Wine Plus+ Wine School’s upcoming dates. Wine Master, Rhys Pender will certainly help your wine-enthusiast become a full-fledged oenophile. 

Hopefully, these tips help take the intimidation out of buying wine for an oenophile. But, if you’re still uncertain, you can always buy them wine accessories or novelties. Our winery stores all carry a variety of fun decorative items (for example, See Ya Later Ranch has a large selection of tongue-in-cheek, wine-themed signs and pillows), cookbooks, wine glasses, bottle openers, and a myriad of other vino-centric items. Why not make your shopping a little more fun? Stop by our wineries, enjoy a wine tasting, and browse the shop. 

Time Posted: Dec 10, 2018 at 8:05 AM Permalink to How to Pick the Perfect Gift for the Oenophile on Your List Permalink
Great Estates Okanagan
July 4, 2018 | Great Estates Okanagan

Stunning Picnic Spots in the Southern Okanagan

best okanagan winery picnic spots

Okanagan Wineries and Parks with Picnic Areas

Nothing says summer quite like enjoying an al fresco meal in a beautiful setting. Luckily, the Okanagan offers plenty of picnic options. And, many of them fit perfectly into a day of wine touring!

We looked at the picnic area in terms of its setting, whether it has facilities, and what other attractions or activities can be enjoyed there. We whittled down the list of options to come up with our top picnic spots in the Okanagan. If you’re wondering which wineries have picnic areas, you’re in luck. We’ve included a few in our list. 

Top Picnic Spots in the South Okanagan (Summerland to Osoyoos)

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery - Summerland
There are two picnic areas at Sumac Ridge that offer a lovely vineyard vista. You can spread your blanket out on the grass or set yourself up at one of the bistro tables. And, it’s a licensed area so you can purchase a bottle at the wine shop and enjoy it on the lawn. Forgot to pack a picnic? No problem. The wine shop also offers nibbles (both sweet and savoury) and there’s a cooler in the back stocked with everything you need for a DIY cheese and charcuterie plate. This is the perfect spot for a spontaneous picnic!

picnic area at sumac ridge winery in summerland


Peach Orchard Park - Summerland
There are a lot of different areas to choose from at this waterfront park. You can grab a stretch of grass close to the water, snag a picnic table, or claim a spot on the beach. This park is perfect for bigger family gatherings thanks to the covered group picnic area. And, if you need to work off some of that potato salad, there’s a lakeside walkway. Bathroom facilities, a floating dock, a swimming beach, a doggie beach, and a splash park all make this a great spot for long, leisurely picnic. 

picnic area at peach orchard park in summerland


Sun-Oka Beach Provincial Park - South of Summerland
There are several provincial parks along the Hwy. 97 corridor between Peachland and Penticton but Sun-Oka is the best option for a picnic. The first reason for that is the sheer abundance of picnic tables. You can find a table in the trees, on the grass, on the beach; romantically secluded or in a cluster for groups. There are also plenty of areas to lay out a picnic cloth on either the grass or sand. There are also good facilities here, a nice swimming beach, and lots of chirping birds to help you forget that you are steps from the highway. If you like to picnic with your pooch, there’s an entirely separate dog beach you’re going to love. 

picnic area at sun-oka provincial park


See Ya Later Ranch - Okanagan Falls
You can’t beat the scenery from this winery picnic area! See Ya Later Ranch is located above Okanagan Falls with a long view out over the vineyard of Okanagan Lake. It’s stunning. The picnic area offers both tables and grassy areas in the garden. You can also choose a shaded spot if you’re not a sun-lover. The best part - you can purchase a bottle of wine at the wine shop and enjoy it right away. Now, if you want the wine and views without the hassle of bringing a picnic, the Patio Restaurant is open 7-days a week through the summer. 

licensed picnic area at see ya later ranch in okanagan falls


Christie Memorial Park & Kenyon Park - Okanagan Falls
Picnicking at this park is like getting two parks in one - both on the lake. To the East, you have Christie Memorial Park with its grassy area dotted with massive weeping willow trees that just beg to be napped under. Right next door, you have kid-friendly, Kenyon Park with a splash park and playground and lots of grass to run around on. Plus, there's a covered picnic area that is great for big families or groups. There are good facilities here, a shallow swimming area, and you’re only a block from the main strip in case you forgot something. 

Kenyon splash park near picnic tables


Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin Winery - Oliver
Fancy a picnic on a winery patio? This location is for you. There’s a nice patio table where you are welcome to nosh on your own food while enjoying a bottle purchased from the wine shop. The best part of picnicking here is that there are actually two wineries here -  Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin  - you can choose wines from either of their iconic portfolios. The sunny patio offers a vineyard panorama backed by rocky hills. You can also enjoy the delectable food and wine pairing experiences here (in case you show up without a picnic). 

picnic on the patio at jackson triggs estate winery in oliver


Sẁiẁs (formerly Haynes Point) - Osoyoos
There is so much to recommend this location for a picnic, especially since the campground itself is usually booked solid. The day use area at Sẁiẁs (pronounced s-wee-yous) Provincial Park is set just up from a cute beach right on Osoyoos Lake. There are picnic tables, change rooms and washrooms, trees for shade and plenty of things to entertain you when you’re not eating. Take a dip in the lake, walk through the marsh and check out some birds, or learn more about the cultural significance of this site now operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band. After a visit to nearby Nk’Mip Cellars, it’s definitely a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the splendor of the south end of the Valley. 

Explore swiws provincial park after a picnic


Nk’Mip Cellars - Osoyoos
The first thing you need to know about picnicking at Nk’Mip Cellars is that there is no picnic area at Nk’Mip Cellars! So, why is it on this list? Because you can enjoy all of the things you love about a picnic without the hassle of packing a picnic. The patio restaurant offers a spectacular view, delicious lunch or snack options, and serves award-winning wine by the glass or bottle. This is the place if your idea of a picnic is as upscale as picnicking gets - kind of like glamping instead of camping. 

alternative to picnic at a winery nk'mip cellars osoyoos


Conkle Provincial Park - Westbridge, BC
This final entry might surprise you and that’s because it’s a bit of a local’s secret and a hidden gem. That’s because it’s a bit off the beaten track. From Nk’Mip Cellars, head down the hill and turn left on Hwy 3. Watch for signs for Conkle Provincial Park after about 40 km. Turn left on Johnstone Creek Road (which is a bit bumpy going) and continue to follow the signs. So, what makes this spot worth the 1hr + drive from Nk’Mip? The picnic area is located on a pebble and sand beach next to one of the most serene lakes you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Plus, there are some rustic facilities, trees for shade, and a couple of tables. Once you get out here, you won’t want to leave which is why we suggest arriving prepared with a tent and some wine from Nk’Mip so you can slip into one of the first come/first serve, forested campsites. It’s the perfect place to enjoy your wine and leisurely picnic while surrounded by nature. 

beach picnic at conkle provincial park

Winery Images by Milk Creative Communications
Time Posted: Jul 4, 2018 at 7:55 AM Permalink to Stunning Picnic Spots in the Southern Okanagan Permalink