Okanagan’s Top Cat Tours are led by wine experts who live right in wine country and have either attended accredited wine schools or worked in the vineyards, cellars or wine rooms of some of Canada’s top wineries. Instead of just acting as a transportation service and merely moving you along the wine trail on your wine tasting journey, your guide will give you insights into each winery and information on the various wine regions of the valley. They will be able to answer questions varying from the area’s history to real estate values. Top Cat Tours are known for their focus on more intimate, unique winery visits.
Most tours are typically six hour excursions and include a gourmet lunch. Pick up and drop off is right where you request, there is no need to show up at a central location, guaranteeing everyone can enjoy the day without worrying about any time behind the wheel. There are eight air conditioned bus-style vehicles in Top Cat’s fleet and they guarantee that every day each and every tour will run.
Departures had previously been just Penticton, however now the company has added Kelowna and Osoyoos as pick up points. Your journey could take you to the Naramata Bench, Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, the Southern Okanagan, Similkameen, OK Falls, Kelowna or West Kelowna, or create your own tailored tour stopping at the wineries of your choice. Upon request, custom tours can be arranged to include experiences such as walking through the vineyards, a private tasting with the winemaker or barrel tasting of unreleased vintages.
Top Cat Tours does a half day option for just $55 and will pick you up after lunch and shuttle you to areas such as Naramata, OK Falls or the Bottleneck Drive, however the full day is needed to get into the Similkameen or to Osoyoos. The company’s buses hold 24 people, but they usually never go past twelve to 14 ensuring you have plenty of room to stretch out and there is the option of creating your own experience; you can have the whole bus to yourself when you book for 8 or more. Smaller groups can travel via the tour company’s chauffeured Ford Explorer, popular for couples celebrating anniversaries or those requiring tailored experiences.
Whichever tour you choose, you are guaranteed to be pampered! There is always water, and Top Cat Tours even carries umbrellas although the chance of rain is low in the Okanagan’s Desert Climate. Top Cat Tours can also be rented out as a charter service for wedding, school, or corporate events, just call for pricing.
~ Cassandra Anderton