Wine Tour

Sip Happens

An Okanagan Boat Tour with a Vineyard Twist!

Visiting the Okanagan is arguably best done in a group. Family reunions, weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties; These are just a few of the group events that are celebrated here! Since La Casa Cottages can hold and host larger groups, we are a perfect destination for family events or other group trips. West Kelowna, Kelowna proper, and Vernon have much to offer visitors; however, there are 2 stand-out options: Boat tours of Lake Okanagan, and wine tasting /vineyard tours. Luckily for us, Sip Happens Wine Tours in partnership with Okanagan Boat Charters has come up with the perfect way to combine these 2 tour options into one amazing group experience! Get a private, captained boat for the day that will make a stop at Frind winery for a wine tasting and stop for lunch.

Why is it Perfect?

With the ability to seat 11 people this is a great option for group trips. Family reunions, bachelorette parties, or other celebratory events are just a few of the things we like to host! It’s all-ages-inclusive (though minors can’t partake in the wine tastings), making it the perfect group activity for the whole family. Even the young ones can enjoy cruising the lake and enjoying the sights at each stop.

Also, Okanagan Boat Charters gives you the option to be picked up from Fintry Provincial Park boat launch. This is just a short 5-minute drive from the resort!

What is Involved?

You will be picked up by a luxury 22-foot pontoon boat from the shores just north of La Casa Cottages. Your friendly, certified captain will then welcome your group aboard. From there, you’ll sail past beautiful wine country scenery along Okanagan Lake on your way to a private vineyard dock of Frind Estate Winery. Frind is the first winery in North America to have beach front access. At Frind Estate Winery you will enjoy a 2-hour lunch stop (though the cost of the lunch is extra) as well as complimentary wine tastings. There is nothing better than tasting wine well taking in views of Okanagan Lake.

From there, you will re-board the boat and cruise into private bays along Okanagan Lake.  Enjoy swimming or lounging while you listen to your favourite music. There is a cooler on board, so you are free to pack all your favourite snacks and drinks.

How to get Started?

Part one: Give us a call or email at La Casa Cottages to book your group into any number of our available cottages. Most cottages sleep 6 – 8 guests.

Part two: Reach out to Sip Happens Wine Tours and pick your wine tour dates. Or, contact us at La Casa and we will be happy to connect you.

wine pairing lineup

Everyone knows that British Columbia is Canada’s wine region. Vineyards may not be open this late into the year but you can expect any local venues to be stocked up with wine from around Kelowna. Here are just a few ideas of what types of wine and food pairings to try.

Savory Squash + Pinot Gris

Squash is in season so you will probably be able to find it on many-a-menu these days. Any savory squash meal should pair well with Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is rich and spicy and quite popular in B.C. so you’ll find it everywhere. It pairs well with the rich creaminess of squash-based meals (think: pasta, warm salad, or soups).

Meat and Potatoes + Rioja

Steak and potatoes. Sausage and potatoes. Red meat stew. These are perfect cold weather meals because they fill you up and make you feel warm and cozy as the nights get chilly. Try pairing these meals with a Rioja, which is a deep, leathery red with hints of cherry. Want it sweeter? Open a newer bottle. For more savory, pick a Rioja that has been aged.

Apple Cinnamon + Riesling

Cinnamon will be making a grand appearance in a big way in many desserts and even breakfast/bunches. You might find it with apple or pumpkin, which are in season. But what wine goes best with apple cinnamon tarts after a long day? Try Riesling, which is equal parts sweet and acidic—a perfect counterpart.

Turkey Leftovers + Grenache Rosé

If you’ve already celebrated (Canadian) Thanksgiving, you most likely have a fridge packed full of delicious turkey leftovers. You might be finding yourself adding it to everything: soups, salads, sandwiches. How about accenting the inevitable turkey overdose with some nice Grenache Rosé? The ruby rose colour and heightened acidity make it a great fall pairing.

Vegetable Stew + Pinot Noir

Vegetable stew is great to make in bulk and freeze or refrigerate for easy fall meals. Pack it full of lentils, mushrooms, carrots, potato, corn, and anything else you desire. Vegetarian stew lasts longer in the fridge than meat-based counterparts so you don’t have to worry about rushing through it. Pinot Noir is so food friendly it goes with nearly anything but it will keep this particular meal company with it’s rich fruity character.

Lamb + Zinfandel

Thinking about ordering rack of lamb for a luscious, fall meal? Try pairing lamb-based recipes with Zinfandel, which is a perfect fall wine that also goes great with sweet potatoes. Zinfandel has hints of dark fruit and a smoky zest but you can also find earthier varieties.

Looking for a fantastic Fall getaway? Contact us and ask about our vacation properties here in beautiful British Columbia.

BC Wines

Be sure to check out the expansive local vineyards if you are planning to travel B.C. this summer. Not only are they stunning to behold but they produce delicious B.C. wine of every flavor and variety. Any vacation trip to B.C. would do well with some samples from the local wineries. Many visitors arrange wine tours during their stay. (Ask us if you are staying with us and in need of recommendations!)

In honour of all the great B.C. wineries and orchards, here are just a few of our favorite B.C. wines:

  1. Quail’s Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay | Okanagan Valley, BC

This tropical and balanced wine pairs well with any pork-centric meal. It won a bronze medal in the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition, among other notable achievements. This Chardonnay is refreshing, golden, and smooth with a fruity essence.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Red Icon, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

A red Bordeaux blend usually has Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in it. Bold and structured, this wine pairs well with beef and/or venison meals. Red Bordeaux are often compared to fruits like plum and blackcurrant because of their dark colour and rich flavour.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Syrah | Okanagan Valley, BC

Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape known for floral flavors in its youth and more peppery flavors as it ages. Because of this, it pairs well with BBQ (think: spareribs and grilled veggies), braised beef, and aged hard cheeses. Fun fact: It’s only called “Shiraz” if it’s from Australia.

  1. Laughing Stock Vineyards ‘Portfolio’ Red, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

Laughing Stock Vineyards is located in the beachy city of Penticton, B.C. This red pairs well with heavy, fatty, and spicier steaks and lamb. We’re sensing a theme here. Routinely wins top accolades from wine competitions and wine critics alike: a proven chart-topper.

  1. Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine | Okanagan Valley, BC

An ultra-sweet icewine with tons of tropical fruit flavours, like citrus and apricot. Don’t worry, citrus-infused acidity keeps it balanced. It will pair perfectly with berry-centric desserts so be sure to stick around for an after-dinner snack.

We hope this guide will help you sample the best B.C. wine. If you in the area visiting and need a cozy vacation rental, be sure to contact us. Our staff would be happy to help you find the right fit.

Okanagan wine vineyard

Wine in the Okanagan


Did you know that the Okanagan valley wine region is the second-largest wine producing area in Canada? If you are planning a visit to the Okanagan, you can’t miss the beautiful vineyards. Boasting 84% of the province’s vineyard acreage, the Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grapegrowing region. With an ever-changing panorama, the valley stretches over 250 kilometres, across sub-regions, each with distinct soil and climate conditions suited to growing a range of varietals from sun-ripened reds to lively, fresh (and often crisp) whites.


The Okanagan Valley wineries are rich in tradition and character, consistently ranking among the world’s best. From this “Wine in the Okanagan Series”, we will introduce you to the region’s wine’s history, types, wine tours, and other activities you can enjoy.

History of wine in Okanagan


We can’t discuss wine without talking about its history in the Okanagan. The first Okanagan vineyard was at the Oblate Mission in Kelowna in 1859, planted by French Catholic priest Charles Pandosy. It was solely intended for the production of sacramental wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. It did not produce high-quality wines at first, but following Father Pandosy, a number of small wineries emerged.

In the early 1930s, 70 years after the first vineyard, Kelowna’s Calona Vineyards opened. Calona Vineyards is British Columbia’s oldest continuously operating winery and is worth a visit!  As the twentieth century progressed, Okanagan wineries started experimenting with hybrid grape varieties and eventually vinifera vines, allowing them to produce much better wines.

Wine Signatures


Wines produced here are often referred to as Cool Climate Wines. They include Ortega, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Gamay Noir, Kerner, Syrah, Maréchal Foch and Viognier. The most agreed upon statement is that BC is defined by its naturally high acidity wines. The idea is that regardless of the grape variety or style of wine or where the grapes were grown, the unifying factor would always be that natural acidity backbone. The Okanagan wine region has a lot to offer the global wine industry, particularly its many grape varieties and wide range of wine styles. 

Interested in Okanagan wines? Please stay tuned for more about Okanagan wines.


okanagan vineyard

Planning an Okanagan vacation? Check out our cottages in Kelowna!

Call  our reservations line on 1-888-226-5566 or email to find your perfect cottage.


Written by Natsumi Matsumoto


East Kelowna’s Lakeshore Wine Route


Looking for your next favourite winery?  Well, if you hop over to East Kelowna and drive around the edge of the lake, you will find four beautifully situated wineries.  This route is called the Lakeshore Wine Route and features some of Kelowna’s top wine-makers.

  • Tantalus Vineyards:

    Tantalus Vineyards, previously known as Pioneer Vineyards, is known as the oldest continuously producing vineyard in British Columbia’.  From 1927 till present day, this vineyard has been growing grapes on the hillside of Lake Okanagan.  Tantalus focuses on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling grapes – some plantings are from 1978!   The vineyard is farmed naturally and the wines are made from only the fruit grown on site.  We think Tantalus would be a wonderful place to enjoy a summer’s afternoon, don’t you?

  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery:

    Summerhill Pyramid Winery takes pride in its use of organic vineyard practices and is committed to producing 100% organic wine. If you visit Summerhill you will not only get a chance to taste their wines, but also an opportunity to taste local, sustainable food at their restaurant Sunset Organic Bistro. With lunch and dinner menus – and a locals’ happy hour (!) – this Bistro is sure to whip up the perfect meal to satisfy your hunger.  Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of this winery is the Summerhill Pyramid.  The pyramid was built under the philosophy that liquids are affected by geometry –so far it seems to be working…because Summerhill’s wines are loved by many!

    Lakeshore Wine Route

  • Cedar Creek Estate Winery:

    For 30 years, Cedar Creek Estate has been making wines and the winery prides itself in the fact that it is one of the eight pioneering wineries of BC. With three unique vineyards and a strong understanding of Okanagan terrain, Cedar Creek consistently produces a range of award-winning wines.  There are several options for tastings so it is worth giving them a call and making a reservation beforehand if there is a particular experience you are interested in. If you are peckish, stop by their Terrace Restaurant which shouts spectacular views over Lake Okanagan.


  • St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery:

    This small, family-run winery is a must-see on the Lakeshore Wine Route.  St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate does not have the grandeur of the bigger wineries in the region, but this does not mean that it’s wines are any less special.   With a quaint tasting room and gorgeous grounds, we guarantee that you will leave this boutique winery happy – and with more than one bottle of wine!  You only need to read the reviews on TripAdvisor to see why this little gem is a favourite with the locals.


There you have it – the Lakeshore Wine Route! Don’t these four wineries sound divine? Which one are you most looking forward to visiting?

If you are planning a trip to Kelowna then why not stay with us here at La Casa! More details about all our cottages can be found here.  For more information on Kelowna wine routes, please check our previous blog post on the Westside Wineries!  AND If you are looking for a wine tour, please give us a shout – we would be more than happy to recommend some companies to you.

Happy Wine Tasting!


Written by Hannah Poaros